Monero (XMR) will be once more changing its PoW algorithm for mining in an effort to attract regular miners CPU/GPU miners and drive away FPGA/ASIC miners. Testing on the private RandomX testnet has concluded successfully and RandomX PoW mining will move to public testing on the XMR official testnet.
This Proof of Work will introduce significant changes with respect to the current CryptoNight-R, as it will eliminate the ASICs and FPGAs from cryptocurrency mining. Not only that, since the operation of this algorithm is optimized for the use of classic CPUs and related instructions, caches, and architecture, even the yield in the mining of video cards will drop dramatically, thus making it suitable (given the efficiency) to Monero mining only the CPUs, at least initially.
From the first tests in fact, among all the tested processors an interesting performance advantage emerged for the new AMD Ryzen CPUs, in particular for the third generation of CPU based on the ZEN 2 architecture. These particular CPU models, in fact, boast large quantities of Cache of first, second and third level, practically double compared to the first and second generation of AMD Ryzen and to the current solutions offered by Intel.
Currently, the most performing model is certainly the Ryzen 9 3900x, equipped with 12 cores and 24 threads at a base clock of 3.8 GHz. This CPU can reach a hashrate close to 11500-12000 H/s, with a consumption of about 150 Watt. However, the price is not the cheapest, as it is difficult to find the Ryzen 3900x for less than 600 dollars/euros.
The model with the highest price/performance ratio is certainly the Ryzen 5 3600, a solution with six cores and 12 threads operating at a clock base of 3.6 GHz. In fact, it manages to get a hashrate up to almost 6300 Hash/s, all with a consumption of about 80-90 Watts for the CPU alone and a price below 200 euros.
There is quite some time left before the fork happens though, it is scheduled for block 1978433 that should hit sometime on November 30th, so there is time for you to get familiar with the new RandomX algorithm by then. If you are interested in checking out the performance of your CPUs, then you might want to check the official RandomX Benchmark app (link for download: CPU – GPU). There is also a not so optimized OpenCL miner available that works on both AMD and Nvidia GPUs available as well, though performance might be disappointing compared to that of higher-end CPUs at this point.
It is interesting to note that the RandomX algorithm apparently favors CPU mining due to its design even GPUs might not do so well initially with it, though we are probably going to see better optimized GPUs miners soon enough.