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 the use of better hardware. Graphics Processing Units (GPU) have been used in the mining process for years, simply 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.
Due to a GPU's power potential vs. a CPU, or central processing unit, they have become more useful in blockchain mining due to their 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 originally performed using CPUs, or Central Processing Units. However, its limited processing speed and high power consumption led to limited output, rendering the CPU-based mining process inefficient.
Enter GPU-based mining, which offered multiple benefits over the use of CPUs. A standard GPU, like a Radeon HD 5970, clocked processing speeds of executing 3,200 32-bit instructions per clock, which was 800 times more than the speed of a CPU that executed only 4 32-bit instructions per clock.
It is this property of the GPU that 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 a large number of Arithmetic Logic Units (ALU), which are responsible for performing mathematical computations. Courtesy of these ALUs, the GPU is capable of performing more calculations, leading to improved output for the crypto mining process.