GPU Usage in Cryptocurrency Mining- News Sails

GPU Usage in Cryptocurrency Mining- News Sails

Before 2009, there was no such thing as cryptocurrency. As technology advanced to keep up with the rampant demand, cryptocurrency mining became a reality for many on their home computers.

Over the years, the mining process and its efficiency have improved with better hardware. Graphics Processing Units (GPU) have been used in the mining process for years because they are more efficient than their immediate counterparts.



  • A GPU, or graphics processing unit, is responsible for the digital rendering in a computer system.
  • A GPU's power potential vs. a CPU or central processing unit has become more valuable in blockchain mining due to its speed and efficiency.
  • The blistering pace of technological advancement will determine if GPUs will remain the standard for high-level cryptocurrency mining.


How Do GPUs Help in Cryptocurrency Mining?

Cryptocurrency mining was initially performed using CPUs or Central Processing Units. However, its limited processing speed and high power consumption led to narrow output, resulting in inefficient CPU-based mining.

Enter GPU-based mining, which offered multiple benefits over the use of CPUs.

Like a Radeon HD 5970, a standard GPU clocked processing speeds of executing 3,200 32-bit instructions per clock, which was 800 times more than the speed of a CPU that ran only four 32-bit instructions per clock.

This property of the GPU makes them suitable and better for cryptocurrency mining, as the mining process requires higher efficiency in performing similar kinds of repetitive computations.

The mining device continuously tries to decode the different hashes repeatedly, with only one digit changing in each attempt.

GPUs are also equipped with many Arithmetic Logic Units (ALU), which are responsible for performing mathematical computations.

Courtesy of these ALUs, the GPU can perform more calculations, leading to improved output for the crypto mining process.


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Each standard computer is equipped with a Central Processing Unit (CPU), a processing device that acts as a master of the whole computer system.

It performs the controlling functions for the entire computer based on the logic of the operating system and the software installed on the computer.

Typical functions—like saving this file as MS Word, printing this spreadsheet, or running that video in VLC Media Player—are controlled by the CPU.

A GPU is another processing device that works solely for handling display functions. It is the part of a computer responsible for its video rendering system.

The typical function is to perform and control the rendering of visual effects and 3D graphics so the CPU doesn't have to get involved in minute details of video-rendering services.

It takes care of graphics-intensive tasks such as video editing, gaming display, and decoding and rendering 3D videos and animations.

To draw an analogy, the master (CPU) managing the whole organization (the computer system) has a dedicated employee (GPU) to take care of a specialized department (video-rendering functions).

This setup allows the CPU to perform the diversified high-level tasks for managing the whole computer, while the GPU is in charge of the video functions of which it is a specialist.

A CPU will perform the process to open a video file in Windows Media Player, but once the file opens, the GPU takes over the task of displaying it correctly.


The Bottom Line

GPUs have been around for years, but face competition from improved, new-age devices.

They include the Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and the Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), which score better than both CPUs and GPUs at performing hash calculations, an essential function of blockchain management in cryptocurrency.