What is CPU Mining?
CPU Mining is one of the methods of securing blockchains with the objective of generating new coins and verifying new transactions by utilizing the central processing unit (CPU) for mining cryptocurrencies.
Does Mining Damage Your CPU?
The short answer is that it depends - the overheating of your CPU through the mining process could cause harm to this vital component of your rig. The CPU must be kept at a reasonable temperature to avoid failure or permanent damage.
Unlike mining through the graphics processing unit (GPU Mining), the safety of CPU Mining is not as clear-cut. You might say that graphics cards are just as likely to overheat as CPUs are and you would be right in your answer. However, there is a rather significant caveat that sets them apart regarding their resilience. In lacking external drivers, your CPU does not benefit from the frequent upgrades that a GPU undertakes, meaning the latter is more prone to underperform and, as a result, overheat in trying to give 110%. Luckily, drivers are wonderful things and, just like your antibodies, they will do whatever it takes to protect your computer.
And so, what you would typically encounter in the case of CPU overheating is a shutdown or perhaps a blue screen.
Can CPU Damage be Prevented?
There are a few things that you could do to ensure your CPU stays safe while mining cryptocurrency:
- Low Temperature. Keep a close eye on your CPU heat levels by aiming at a maximum temperature of 80°C or 176°F.
- Reasonable Task Load. Every CPU has its limitations and any unnecessary strain on your CPU could lead to performance issues and overheating. You might think that the harder your CPU works, the higher your financial returns. However, an over-heated CPU under-performs and this will reflect in your earning rates. Keep your background tasks to a minimum and aim at undertaking as few simultaneous processes as possible while mining.
- Frequent Cleaning. I am all for an in-depth spring clean but these things should be treated as if it’s May Day all year round. The can of compressed air is your best friend and will help keep every inch of your PC interior dust free.
- Cooling Equipment. The over-heating of your CPU leads to thermal expansion of the inner components. Look into purchasing additional high capacity cooling systems such as an All In One (AIO), CPU water block or air coolers. Every little goes a long way!