How Much Ram Is Needed to Mine Monero: Your Ultimate Guide

Published: November 26, 2023 | Last Updated: October 30, 2023

Markos Koemtzopoulos

Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

Monero mining is memory sensitive which means the more RAM sticks you add to your mining rig the higher the hash rate you will be able to achieve. However, RAM is expensive so you need to find the sweet spot between upfront investment and performance. At a minimum, two 8 GB RAM sticks of 3200MHz CL14 per rig are needed per rig to mine Monero. This way you can use dual channel speed.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been looking into everything you need to mine Monero. I’ve looked into the best hardware, the optimum software, the components you need for a rig, and the best Monero mining pools, calculators, and wallets. I’ve broken down the numbers on XMR mining profitability, the most efficient CPUs, what a good hashrate is, and what it would take to mine 1 XMR per day. Today I will cover the missing piece which is everything you need to know about RAM in Monero mining.

How Much Ram Is Needed to Mine Monero

What is RAM?

RAM, or Random Access Memory, is a fundamental component of your computer’s hardware. It is an essential part of the system’s memory hierarchy, playing a pivotal role in how data is stored and accessed while your computer is in operation.

RAM is a type of volatile memory, meaning that it temporarily stores data while your computer is powered on, and that data is lost when the computer is turned off or restarted.

Here are some key attributes and functions of RAM:

  1. Data Storage: RAM is used to store data that your computer’s CPU (Central Processing Unit) needs for its ongoing operations. This data can include application code, program variables, and various types of system data.
  2. Quick Data Access: RAM is much faster to read from and write to than other forms of storage like hard drives or solid-state drives (SSDs). This speed is crucial for ensuring that your computer operates smoothly and efficiently.
  3. Multitasking: RAM allows your computer to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. When you have several applications running, each requires its own space in RAM to function effectively.
  4. Temporary Storage: Unlike long-term storage devices such as hard drives or SSDs, RAM is designed for temporary data storage. It provides the CPU with fast, short-term access to data while you work on your computer.
  5. Cache: RAM is often used as a cache for frequently accessed data from other storage devices, which further enhances overall system performance.

In the context of Monero mining, having an ample amount of RAM is particularly important because it enables your mining software to efficiently process and store the data needed for cryptographic calculations.

The higher your RAM capacity, the more data can be loaded into memory for mining operations, potentially resulting in faster hash rates.

Why is RAM important in the Monero Network?

In November 2019, Monero developers decided to fork the original Monero blockchain to get rid of the old Cryptonight algorithm and introduce a new proof of work mining algorithm called RandomX.

What is special about RandomX is that it discourages ASIC mining.

This discourages large specialized mining farms from concentrating hash power which has happened with Bitcoin mining.

Instead, RandomX can be optimally mined by CPUs which are more accessible to everyday people like you and me.

But the mining hash rate of a good CPU greatly improves when you throw RAM at it.

RAM specs explained

  1. 8 GB RAM Sticks: This refers to the RAM (Random Access Memory) modules you should use in your mining rig. “8GB” denotes the size of each RAM module, and it means each module has a capacity of 8 gigabytes (8GB) of memory.
  2. 3200MHz: This number represents the memory speed or frequency. It’s measured in megahertz (MHz) and indicates how quickly the RAM can transfer data. In this context, “3200MHz” means that the RAM operates at a speed of 3200 million cycles per second.
  3. CL14: The abbreviation “CL” stands for CAS Latency. CAS Latency is a measure of how quickly the RAM can respond to requests. A lower CAS Latency is generally better, and “CL14” means that the CAS Latency for this RAM is 14 clock cycles.
  4. Dual Channel Speed: Dual-channel memory is a technology that allows your system to use two identical RAM modules simultaneously to increase memory bandwidth. It can enhance memory performance.
  5. Double Data Rate (DDR): DDR is a technology that allows RAM to transfer data on both the rising and falling edges of the clock signal. This effectively doubles the data transfer rate compared to Single Data Rate (SDR) memory, which transfers data only on one edge of the clock signal.
  6. 4th Generation (DDR4): The “4” in DDR4 indicates that it is the fourth generation of DDR memory. Each generation typically brings improvements in terms of speed, efficiency, and other technical aspects.

How much RAM Do Monero Miners use?

The top-performing mining rigs use at least 12 RAM sticks on their motherboards.

You can see this information on XMRig/benchmarks. XMRig is the most popular software to use with XMR mining and aficionados can connect back to the site to show off the hashrate they are achieving.

The miner rig with the highest computing power is achieving a whopping 133 Kh/s on Monero’s RandomX algorithm.

Let’s take a look at how they are doing this.

  1. Firstly, they are using a high-end machine. The AMD EPYC 9554 has 64 CPU cores and they are maxing out its 256 threads.
  2. Secondly, they have a dual socket motherboard which means they are using 2 of these CPUs.
  3. They are using 12 out of the 24 memory slots with a combined memory of 384 GB. If you are fast at math you will have figured out that is 12 RAM sticks with 32 GB each. More specifically they are using DDR5 @ 4800 MHz.

Let’s take a look at what people are doing on midrange CPUs like Ryzens, Threadrippers and Intels.

AMD Threadripper 3960X 24-Core Processor

  • Hashrate: 31KH/s
  • CPU:1
  • Threads: 48
  • Memory: 2 RAM sticks 16 GB / DDR4 @ 1867 MHz giving a total of 32 GB.

Intel® Xeon® CPU E7-8890 v4

  • Mining rig Hashrate: 42.6 KH/s
  • CPUs: 4
  • Threads:96
  • Memory: 768GB of RAM i.e. 24 RAM sticks of 32 GB / DDR4 @ 1600 MHz 

Intel® Xeon® CPU E5-2697A v4

  • Mining rig Hashrate: 15 KH/s
  • CPUs: 2
  • Threads:32
  • Memory: 256GB i.e. 8 RAM sticks of 32 GB / RIMM DDR4 @ 2133 MHz

AMD Ryzen 5 3600X 6-Core Processor

  • Mining rig Hashrate: 8 KH/s
  • CPUs: 12
  • Threads:12
  • Memory: 8 GB of RAM i.e. 2 RAM sticks of 4 GB / DDR4 @ 3200 MHz /

Looking at the results above we can deduce that for high output you are going to need to invest in about 8 RAM sticks.

In his YouTube video on CPU components Sebs FinTech Channel recommends that you use a minimum of two 8GB sticks of 3200MHz CL14 per rig.

However, keep in mind that just because the benchmark machines achieve high H/s it does not mean they are making a profit. In fact, unless they have free electricity they are making a loss.

There are two costs you need to account for when purchasing RAM

  1. the cost of buying RAM
  2. the additional electricity costs as a result of using RAM

How much does RAM Cost?

Here are some representative prices I took from Amazon

  • 4 GB / DDR4 @ 3200 MHz : $15
  • 32 GB / RIMM DDR4 @ 2133 MHz: $69
  • 16 GB / DDR4 @ 1867 MHz: 27$
  • DDR5 @ 4800 MHz: $78

How much electricity does RAM consume?

According to buildcomputers.net, RAM can add 2-5 watts depending on the DDR that you use and to what extent you overclock/underclock it. But if you have 8 sticks that means 16-40 Watts extra power consumption.

In absolute wattage that does not sound too much but it could make or break your profit margin because mining Monero is only marginally profitable.

What else do I need apart from RAM?

For CPU mining you will need to following:

Hardware:

  • Motherboard
  • Power supply
  • CPU
  • A graphic card if you are using a cheaper CPU. You can’t mine XMR with a GPU but you need it to edit the BIOS etc.)
  • RAM
  • CPU Cooler or fan

Software

  • Operating system
  • Monero mining software
  • Monero wallet
  • A pool if you are going to do pool mining

Check out the guides below for more details on each of the above

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Markos Koemtzopoulos is the founder and main writer of ElementalCrypto. He has been a lecturer at the University of Nicosia on cryptocurrencies and DeFi and has taught two courses on crypto and blockchain technology.

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