A CPU, or central processing unit, is the brain of a computer that executes, or processes, the instructions that come from computer programs, operating systems, and other computer hardware.
It is the most important part of any computer.
CPUs have become an integral component of crypto mining rigs, the computer hardware that is used to mine various cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
For mining to be profitable, miners need a combination of cost-efficient hardware, cheap energy sources, optimally-priced cryptocurrencies, and the most powerful crypto mining equipment they can afford.
That includes CPUs with maximum CPU cores, multi-thread or hyper-threading capabilities, the fastest clock rates, specialized cooling options and optimized power consumption.
CPU mining is one way to mine cryptocurrencies, using your computer’s CPU to perform advanced arithmetic operations and calculations over and over to solve complex algorithms and validate crypto transactions to a blockchain.
In the early days of Bitcoin and mining in general, CPU mining from a single computer was the most popular form of mining, as equipment requirements were basic, miner competition was low, and practically anyone with a computer could use their CPU to create new blocks and earn rewards.
As network adoption increased, so did transaction volume, resulting in higher levels of miner competition as more miners joined the network to earn rewards.
Miners soon realized that to be competitive, they need more mining computers that were also more powerful.
This pushed miners to move away from single computer mining rigs to the present-day crypto mining facilities running out of data centers that hold thousands of mining computers.
GPU mining, largely overtook CPU mining as the preferred method of mining as GPUs are better at handling large volumes of repetitive mathematical data. They solve more blocks in the same amount of time it takes CPUs to solve them.
GPUs have the added benefit of lower cost to operate, as you can sometimes run up to 8 GPUs on a single motherboard with just one CPU and memory.
However, GPU mining has been replaced at the enterprise level of mining by specialized mining hardware called ASIC machines.