Killer Whale Crypto
October 7, 2021, 3:26 AM UTC
Graphics cards or GPUs are the current standard processing unit for Bitcoin mining, as well as the mining of other cryptocurrencies. Graphics cards can perform hash calculations at over 800 times the speed of traditional CPUS. ASICs and FPGAs may however replace GPUs in cryptocurrency mining.
Why Graphics Cards?
It is fair to say that most people are aware of Bitcoin by this point. Many people are also aware that graphics cards have something to do with the Bitcoin mining process; however, not many of them are aware of why graphics cards are used in Bitcoin mining. In this article, we will be taking a look at the role graphics cards play in the Mining of Bitcoin.
Graphics cards, AKA GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) are used in mining simply because they are currently the most efficient option available. In the early days of Bitcoin, miners used CPUs, or Central Processing Units in the mining process. CPU mining did not last long after GPUs proved to be the superior technology.
The mining process requires processors with a high degree of efficiency when performing repetitive computations. The miner continuously attempts to decode different hashes, while repeatedly changing only one digit with each attempt. This process is not dissimilar to the functions GPUs perform in a standard computer when processing graphics.
CPU miners typically have a clocking speed of about 4 32-bit instructions per clock. The clocking speed for a standard GPU is 800 times greater than the clocking speed of a CPU. GPUs can execute around 3,200 32-bit instructions per clock on average.
GPUs also have a greater number of Arithmetic Logic Units, or ALUs which are specifically designed to perform mathematical computations. Because GPUs can perform a greater number of calculations, they offer a superior level of output in the mining process.
Typical Functions of a GPU
GPUs are traditionally the component of a computer which is responsible for the video rendering system. GPUs perform and control the 3D-graphics and visual effects, so the CPU does not need to be involved with any of these minute details. The GPU typically handles tasks such as gaming displays, decoding and rendering of 3D environments, and video editing tasks.
With the GPU handling these tasks, the CPU is freed up to handle a wide range of diversified operations, required to manage the whole computer. The CPU of a computer will perform the action of opening a video-intensive file and pass it along to the GPU to properly display the file on the monitor.
Although GPUs are currently the most efficient means of mining Bitcoin, this does not make them the fastest. Newer, more specific technologies already exist, which can outperform GPUs when it comes to performing hash calculations. These technologies include Application-Specific Integrated Circuit Miners (ASIC Miners), which are specially designed to perform only one task with the greatest degree of efficiency. In fact, ASIC miners are so specific that ASICs designed to mine Bitcoin, are only capable of mining bitcoin and nothing else. Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) are another viable technology for mining, as they are an integrated circuit, designed to be configured by the user after manufacturing. FPGAs consist of an array of programmable logic blocks which can be wired together.
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