After I wrote this article illustrating how much money (in U.S. dollars, not digital coin) you stand to make with the graphics cards in your existing gaming PC, AMD reached out and basically said "hey, you might be surprised what our Threadripper CPU can do."
We know AMD's Threadripper is a monster, designed for extreme multitasking. It's not easy to max that sucker out. Throw 4K gaming, video encoding, 1080p Twitch streaming, rendering, and gameplay recording at it simultaneously and it barely breaks a sweat. And we also know it has 32MB of L3 cache, which AMD Technical Marketing Manager Damien Triolet tells me is part of its secret mining sauce. I'll divulge more of that conversation soon, and extensively test Threadripper in my own mining environment for some sharable hard numbers.
In the meantime, I wondered if Threadripper could earn you more profit with software like NiceHash than Nvidia's GTX 1080 can. (Note that NiceHash pays out in Bitcoin, which you can then transfer to an exchange like Coinbase for free, and then ultimately to your bank account).
When you mine with a CPU on NiceHash, you'll be throwing your hashing power at an algorithm called Cryptonight (the same one used to mine a crypto coin like Monero) because it was designed to cater to a CPU's strengths. I scoured various subreddits and Monerobenchmarks.info and determined that many users can reach a hashrate of at least 1300 H/s. If you plug in that hashrate under Cryptonight, enter an electricity cost of $0.10kW/h and input Threadripper's 180W TDP into the NiceHash profitability calculator at the time of this writing, you get a monthly profit of $99.79.
However, AMD's Triolet tells me their test Threadripper test system is pulling only 190W with the 1950X, 32GB of 2133MHz DDR4 RAM, and a Radeon RX Vega idling.
Using the same profitability calculator at the same time of writing (in other words, capturing Bitcoin's current value for both estimates ), an Nvidia GTX 1080 delivers an estimated $94.56.