With the rise and fall of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, there’s a massive demand for the powerful CPUs that can mine those digital currencies. Although GPUs have been crowned for mining coins for a decade, still we cannot ignore the performance of CPUs at this point. We found some of the best Intel CPUs for mining that are cost-effective and reliable.
Crypto mining is a very intense and time-consuming process. Although an expensive GPU is the most reliable and fast way to get rich, it needs a lot of investment. On the other hand, CPUs are way cheaper than the GPUs and save you a lot of money to spend on expensive gigs. At this point, we are talking about pairing the best CPU with the GPU to get most out of the entire rig.
For this guide, we have chosen the Intel CPUs rather than AMD. We ran several tests and found that Intel processors outperform AMD lineup when it comes to mine crypto coins. So, if you don’t want to invest tons of cash into the mining business, these processors can get your job done without any doubt.
Top 5 Best Intel CPUs for Mining
Let’s compare some of the most recommended Intel processors for mining.
1. Intel Core i5-7600K | Most Reliable CPU for Mining
Cores: 4 | Threads: 4 | Base Speed: 3.8 GHz | Overclock to 4.2 GHz | L3 Cache: 6MB
Our journey of mining cryptos starts from the Intel’s most bought Core i5-7500K processor. The i5-7500K comes with four cores and threads to get most out of your mining rig. With a base clock of 3.8 GHz and overclocking up to 4.2 GHz, you can expect decent performance from this CPU.
Yes, you cannot expect this to perform as good as some of the high-end processors meant for mining, but it will do your job. This CPU is more favourable for someone who is tight on budget and needs to spend most cash on a GPU.
Core i5-7500K is good enough to drive mining rigs without any problem. Furthermore, it’s compatible with the some trending motherboard sockets in the market, so you won’t need to upgrade or downgrade to fit it inside your PC.
2. Intel Pentium G4400 | Highly Recommended CPU for Mining
Cores: 2 | Threads: 2 | Base Speed: 3.3 GHz | No Overclocking | L3 Cache: 3 MB
Pentium G4400 is one of the most economical CPUs from Intel for mining cryptocurrencies. Yes, it comes with two cores and no overclocking, but it can save you a lot of money that you can then spend on buying a good GPU.
It uses less power that is 54W as compared to the i5-7600K that uses 91W. So this CPU makes an excellent choice for entry-level or low-cost mining rigs. This CPU can save you not money but will also cut a huge portion of your energy bills.
With just two cores and threads, it might take a bit more time than usual to mine cryptos. But if you pair it with the right GPU, you will not notice the difference that much. We highly recommend you to go with Intel Pentium G4400 if you are building a mining rig.
3. Intel Pentium G4920 | Best Low Price CPU for Mining
Cores: 2 | Threads: 2 | Base Speed: 3.2 GHz | No Overclocking | L3 Cache: 3 MB
The Intel Pentium G4920 lies in the category of the CPUs that are meant for music creation, but it worths more than that. It is one of the most bought Intel processors for mining cryptocurrencies due to its low price and power consumption.
Apart from its limited compatibility with the Z300 series motherboards which limits it to be installed on LGA 1151 sockets only, this is a perfect cost-saving mining processor for beginners. But it is quite weird to see a CPU with just two cores and no overclocking to fit inside the Intel’s most powerful CPU socket.
Yes, its limited architecture will bottleneck this CPU with the most advanced graphics card out there in the market. But our concern is not gaming, so it will do your job as far as you stick with it for mining coins.
It does not consume a lot of power, so this might save you a lot of money on buying expensive aftermarket coolers. Moreover, this means less heat and no extra money to spend on expensive CPU coolers. A good quality CPU cooler under $50 will get your job done at this point.
4. Intel Core i7-8700K | Most Powerful Processor for Crypto Mining
Cores: 6 | Threads: 12 | Base Speed: 3.7 GHz | Overclock to 4.7 GHz | L3 Cache: 12 MB
i7-8700K is one of the best Intel CPUs for mining digital currency. It packs six cores and 12 threads to handle the intensive tasks like no other CPU on our list. And for mining, it is undoubtedly the best processor from Intel to hit the market. Apart from being an ideal processor for video editing, i7-8700K also shines in the crypto industry.
With a base speed of 3.7 GHz on six cores, this processor can perform to its best when paired with high-end GPUs. This will result in a high-end mining rig, but the performance will be exceptional at this point. A high-end rig means you will end up spending more cash on buying this processor.
Intel i7-8700K is the most reliable processor for mining because it draws less power. For crypto miners seeking for the ultimate Intel CPU, i7-8700K can be their best bet. Right out of the box, it delivers excellent performance even without overclocking it to higher clock speeds.
5. Intel G3930 7th Gen Celeron | Most Power Efficient CPU for Crypto Miners under $50
Cores: 2 | Threads: 2 | Base Speed: 2.9 GHz | Overclocking: No | L3 Cache: 2 MB
If you are looking out for an Intel processor that is cost and power-efficient, then you must go for G3930. Yes, it is no match to the previous processors on our list, but it draws very low power for mining. It comes with TDP of 51W, which is much lower than the Intel’s top of the line CPUs for mining.
This is an ideal processor for mining rigs due to its low power consumption. It is quite hard to find mining processors under $50 with low TDP. Moreover, it comes with a built-in Intel 610 graphics card, but this is of no use as you will need a high-end GPU for mining purposes.
You can build a decent mining rig around this CPU under $200. Its low price allows you to spend your budget on more important components for mining like GPU, power supply, and ram.
6. Intel Core i3-9100F | The Best CPU to Mine Ethereum
Cores: 4 | Threads: 4 | Base Speed: 3.6 GHz | Overclocking: No | L3 Cache: 6 MB
From the last few months, there has been a huge demand for mining cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin. Core i3-9400F has been in the spotlight in the crypto market when it comes to mining altcoins.
Moreover, this CPU has 4 cores and threads to take care of your mining operations. Clocked at 3.6 GHz, this CPU packs more value for the money. This CPU has a very single-core performance as compared to the quad-core. We expect this CPU to be competent for at least 5 years before you need to upgrade it.
Moreover, the Core i3-9400F is an ideal choice with integrated graphics and low power consumption. If you really don’t care about overclocking and your sole intention is to build your mining rig, go for this processor.
How to Choose the Right Intel CPUs for Mining
When choosing the best Intel CPUs for mining, you have to consider following factors
Mining cryptocurrencies is a process that needs a lot of energy to run. A power hungry processor will add more bucks to your bills as compared to a processor with lower TDP. For mining, Intel Celeron processors use low power (less than 60W) to power your mining rig.
Although Celerons come with just two cores and threads to mine out the coins, still they outshine in the mining industry. Intel Pentium processors are cheap as compared to Intel Core Series processors. Therefore, beginners can start their mining journey with processors like Intel Pentium G4400.
Whenever you choose a CPU for mining, make sure you go for a cheaper one. This will allow you to save money for most important components of a mining rig like graphics card, rams and power supply. However, choosing a cheap CPU for mining does not mean that you should go for a single-core CPU.
For mining, you must go for a CPU with at least 2 cores. However, make sure you choose a CPU with more cores and low TDP. We recommend you stick with at least 4 cores if you want decent performance.
L3 cache is the most crucial factor to consider when buying a CPU for mining. As the algorithm used for mining has a buffer size of 2 MB, therefore, the mining performance of the CPU depends upon the times a buffer can fit into the cache. Therefore, higher the number of cache, faster will be the mining process.
The Bottom Line
With some of the best processors from Intel, CPU mining has caught the attention of many crypto miners. If you are a beginner and low on budget, then we recommend you to stick with Pentium G4400 CPU due to its low power and price. For advanced crypto mining, the Intel Core-i7-8700K might be the final bet. It holds more power, cache, and cores as compared to other CPUs on our comparison chart.