New MacBook Pros ‘Insanely Efficient’ at Crypto Mining, but Isn’t Worth the Effort

BY Chandraveer Mathur

Published 10 Nov 2021

Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips for the MacBook Pro offer significant performance gains over the vanilla M1 chip. This begs the question of whether or not the latest-generation Apple Silicon is suited for cryptocurrency mining?

A cryptocurrency mining community on Reddit contemplated the same thing and arrived at the following conclusions.

Redditor u/MrPandaPotato said, “Facts to consider: It’s the most efficient SoC, it will consume much much much less power than a dedicated GPU. MacBooks’ resale value is basically the best in the market […] The SoC has multiple dedicated processors for specific things like screen output, super-fast video encoding, encryption, and an extremely powerful neural engine. If some world-class apple and crypto mining programmer put his hands on it, magical things would happen. It’s basically both the most efficient generalized CPU and the most efficient programmable ASIC too.”

Another Redditor u/basitmustafa added, “I have the 64GB M1 Max 16″, running in high power mode, I am getting ~10.25MH/s with stock ethminer-m1 binary. Not blazing fast by any means, but it is pretty damn efficient, and the per W hash rate is probably really good.”

In a video about cryptocurrency mining on the M1 Pro chip, YouTuber UFD Tech noted that precompiled binaries for the M1 Mac already exist. The video also detailed how to install and run one, specifically for mining Ethereum.

After a bit of number crunching, the YouTuber determined that the M1 Pro chip was generating just over 5Mh/s (Mega hash per second) — an impressive figure for the MacBook Pro’s total power draw of just 17W. An equivalent computer running Windows would consume a lot more power to generate the same result.

According to a crypto calculator, the net profit is just $12.82 per month after factoring in the cost of electricity. This means that you would earn $0.42 per day if you used the M1 Pro-equipped MacBook Pro for mining Ethereum. The laptop would be able to pay for itself after 17 long years.


Additionally, it is essential to note that running a cryptocurrency miner decimates the performance of the MacBook, leaving it unfit to do anything else. Even if you calculate the net profit after factoring in the MacBook Pro’s resale value after four or five years, it remains insignificant. To become reasonably profitable, the M1 Max chip would need to double the mining rate, assuming that the cost of electricity and the value of the cryptocurrency don’t increase. This makes it sufficiently clear that nobody should buy the latest-generation MacBook Pro as a dedicated mining rig.

That said, if you already own an M1 Max or M1 Pro MacBook Pro, there is no harm in mining cryptocurrency when you’re not using the machine, provided you temper your expectations and don’t hope to become rich quickly. Do note that the tables may turn in your favor if you choose to mine a relatively newer cryptocurrency or if electricity is cheaper than $0.10/kWh in your locality.

Meanwhile, Tim Cook recently dismissed the possibility of accepting crypto as a mode of tender for Apple products and Apple Pay in the near future. Interestingly though, he revealed that he has personal funds invested in cryptocurrencies.

Would you be keen to mine cryptocurrency on your MacBook Pro when you’re not using it? Tell us in the comments section below!