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Can you make money using Threadripper for mining?

Threadripper has a lot of mining potential with CryptoNight

Can you make money using Threadripper for mining?

Can you make money using Threadripper for mining?

It is easy to assume that cryptocurrency mining is only profitable on GPUs or specialised ASICs, after all, we are not seeing a CPU shortage in today's market. This assumption ignores one critical factor of the crypto market; it's diversity. 

Today some currencies are only profitable to mine on ASICs, like Bitcoin, while others are not suitable for ASICs and are more commonly mined on GPUs. Others can be mined bog standard CPUs, without much need for mining specific system optimisations. This mining potential leaves an opportunity for PC enthusiasts to profit from their hardware when it is not in use, without the need for a dedicated mining setup.   

This untapped potential is why AMD decided to contact us, not only to inform us that CPUs are profitable cryptocurrency miners but that the company's Ryzen and Threadripper series CPUs are uniquely equipped to deal with such tasks.  

AMD wanted to talk to us specifically about CryptoNight-based cryptocurrencies, like Monero, which are profitable on AMD's Threadripper series of CPUs (and Ryzen to a lesser extent). This gave us the opportunity to talk to some of AMD's top technical boffins, most notably AMD's technical marketing director Damien Triolet, who went into a lot of detail about how Threadripper owners could be earning some money on the side through cryptocurrency mining.  

 

Can you make money using Threadripper for mining?

(Who said that only GPUs and ASICs were profitable for Cryptomining?)

 
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, we will start by saying that investing in cryptocurrencies are an inherently risky venture. Things in this market can change quickly and as such anyone who has ambitions to make money from the cryptocurrency market should be prepared to lose their investment. Today alone we have seen the value of Bitcoin drop from around $9,000 US to under $8000 to only jump back up to $9,000 again when the next hour.   

Now, back on topic. CryptoNight is an algorithm that relies on random access to low latency memory, with each instance requiring around 2MB of memory to function correctly. This memory access makes CryptoNight unsuitable for ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) as such a large amount of cache is inherently expensive for a chip, making these calculations more suitable for CPUs and GPUs.   

GPUs are not the best-suited products for these kinds of jobs, as the GDDR5 memory that is included in most of today's GPUs is designed primarily for bandwidth, not latency, making this task better suited to CPUs with large amounts of L3 cache.  

This is where Threadripper comes in, offering 32MB of L3 cache on their Ryzen 1950X and 1920X series CPUs, offering 2MB of L3 cache or the 16 and 12 respective cores in each of these Threadripper products. This huge bank of L3 cache classes AMD's Ryzen Threadripper series of CPUs in a different league than Intel's current consumer offerings, giving them a considerable advantage when mining any CryptoNight-based currencies. 

  
Can you make money using Threadripper for mining?

 

To put things into perspective, we will compare Intel's i9 7900X to AMD's Threadripper 1950X, both of which sell for similar prices online. Intel's 7900X comes with  13.75MB of L3 Cache and ten total cores, whereas the 1950X comes with 32MB of cache and sixteen cores. This allows Intel's 7900X to mine effectively with up to 6 CPU cores, whereas the Threadripper 1950X can use all of its 16 cores.     

To quantify this, we were able to source some data regarding the relative mining performance of these two CPUs.  An Intel i9 7900x should offer a hash rate of around 494 Hashes per second (H/s) with 166 watts of power, whereas the Ryzen Threadripper 1950X is capable of about 1360 hashes per second with a power consumption of approximately 214 watts. This gives the 1950X a hash efficiency of 6.35 hashes per watt while the 7900X offers a hash rate efficiency of about 2.97 hashes per watt. These values will vary based on your exact system setup. The GPUs in both systems are at idle, with power rating coming directly from the socket, making PSU efficiency a potential factor.

AMD's Damien Triolet compared the Threadripper 1950X to an unoptimised RX Vega when mining a CryptoNight-based currency, with the Vega requiring time-consuming overclocking and undervolting to achieve higher hash rates.     

On the next page, we will detail exactly how these high hash rates can be used to make money from the cryptocurrency market. 

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Most Recent Comments

02-02-2018, 14:26:11

NeverBackDown
Not bad. Not as profitable as GPUs but the fact that it can just brute force it's way through with so many threads is pretty impressive. I wonder how Intels 16/18C CPUs would fair in these tests too.Quote

02-02-2018, 14:53:07

Asen
I don't get it, is it a good or a bad result compared to a graphics card?Quote

02-02-2018, 14:53:15

CRITICALThinker
I wonder if its worth the time to throw an old FX cpu at mining lol, hell if it pays for the power it uses it might be lol. The woes of only having old midrange hardware to screw around with means I completely missed out on the mining craze lol.Quote

02-02-2018, 16:40:48

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeverBackDown View Post
Not bad. Not as profitable as GPUs but the fact that it can just brute force it's way through with so many threads is pretty impressive. I wonder how Intels 16/18C CPUs would fair in these tests too.
Not that well, cache is the issue here. Even Intel's 18-core has less l3 cache than the 1950X. CryptoNight needs 2MB per instance, making Threadripper's extra cache a huge factor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CRITICALThinker View Post
I wonder if its worth the time to throw an old FX cpu at mining lol, hell if it pays for the power it uses it might be lol. The woes of only having old midrange hardware to screw around with means I completely missed out on the mining craze lol.
Nope, 8MB of cache over 8 cores, so only 4 instances can run well. Then there is electricity to consider and the lower IPC.

The aim of the game is to earn more than the power you use costs.Quote

02-02-2018, 16:48:38

AlienALX
How much did AMD pay for this advert?Quote
Reply
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