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AMD suggests mining with Threadripper to make upgrading your PC cheaper

March 06, 2018

AMD, Ryzen, Threadripper

AMD suggests mining with Threadripper to make upgrading your PC cheaper

There are two major assumptions these days about cryptocurrency mining that AMD wants to dispel. The first is the assumption that mining can only be done with any degree of success using a mining GPU. The second, more compelling, argument is that the current cryptocurrency mining craze is bad for PC gamers and people looking to build their own PCs.

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We chatted to AMD’s technical marketing manager, Damien Triolet, about how the company wants to highlight cryptocurrency mining on its processors, especially its Ryzen Threadripper range, and how this can actually help make building a high-end PC more affordable.

While cryptocurrency mining started off mainly using processors, nowadays attention has turned to using graphics cards.

“The reason why crypto mining is a good fit for GPUs,” Triolet explains, “is that they have a lot of compute power they can run thousands of threads in parallel, and they have huge memory bandwidth to feed all that. So, running crypto mining on the GPU is a very good fit, and because it's such a good fit on a GPU it seems unnatural that it would also be a good fit on the CPU because their profiles are so different.”

What Triolet, and AMD, want to prove is that CPU mining is still a viable way to make a profit.

Why CPU mining?

Triolet was keen to talk to us about the benefits that AMD’s Ryzen and Threadripper CPUs could bring to miners.

With a CPU, what is very critical is that the data that you're working with resides in the cache.

Threadripper 1950X and 1920X, both come with 32MBs of L3 cache, which is massive. It's much higher than what the competition offers so far in that price range.

Having each thread of a Threadripper processor access around 2MB of L3 cache, it would allow the chips to potentially run 16 mining threads, offering excellent mining results, especially if you pair it with the right mining algorithms.

“It enables some crypto algorithms to run very fast on the CPU, and the one we've been looking at, because it's the best one to run on the CPU right now, and it's actually very good on the GPU, is CryptoNight."

CryptoNight is a mining algorithm designed for CPUs, and requires around 2MB of L3 cache per core of modern processors – perfect for use with Threadripper CPUs.

“The fastest GPU for CryptoNight is the Radeon RX Vega, and Threadripper will be in the same ballpark.” 

However, it’s not quite that clear-cut, as Triolet explains: “With the Radeon RX Vega you can come up with some tweaks that might improve its performance significantly, and so the Radeon RX Vega would be faster in the end when properly optimized. But anyway, Threadripper will give you very good hash rates for CryptoNight that will lead to a nice profit.”

Bonus profits

“From our point of view, Threadripper is the best of the best right now, and it's priced accordingly. Now, if the end users are considering mining on the side, when they are not using the system, then they should realize that the profit they will make will easily pay for the price difference compared to a more mainstream platform, which could be an incentive to then make the jump to this amazing platform.” said Damien Triolet.

Cryptocurrency mining: the saviour of high component prices?

As Triolet tells us, instead of buying a GPU at today’s inflated prices, but rather buying a CPU and motherboard and using it to mine to help you save up for a new graphics card, could be a wise choice.

“Because mining on the CPU is so dependent on the cache, if you get Threadripper 1920X it will it will give you almost the same hash rate as a Threadripper 1950X. 

How to mine using a Threadripper CPU

As Triolet says, Threadripper is very proficient when mining, so there is no reason to expect that you won't be able to make a profit with it. So, the profit might go down or it might go up, but you could recoup the cost of your platform after a while.

So, while we’re not talking about making huge earnings from mining, by aiming to make more modest profits and putting them towards paying for upgrades, we can certainly see the appeal of what AMD is suggesting.

Looking for right CPU or VGA for Mining or Gaming? Contact our experts to get consultation and latest update. 

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