First of all these acronyms refer to computer chips like CPU central processing unit (computer processor based mining), GPU or graphics processing units (graphics card based mining) or ASIC (application specific integrated circuits) or special circuit boards designed to do mining functions.

You mine different coins with different kinds of units.

In the old days of Bitcoin, whenever the average person said he or she was getting into mining, it meant that they had one or several computers filled with maybe 3 or more graphics cards.

Graphics cards are able to come with better chips and can process numbers much faster than cheap graphics cards and have traditionally only been used by gamers and CAD cam 3d artists who needed to see or render pictures or videos faster.

People realized that if you wanted to process numbers fast to do crypto mining that you could shove several high end $1,,000 graphics cards into a box with some fans and lots of cables.

These things became very hot and eventually you could destroy your video cards which is why when people sell high end video cards they are always asked if they were used for mining.

Now eventually the small guys with a rack with 3 or 4 mining rigs gave way to basements filled with rigs and then warehouses filled with rigs and then the question of wasting energy came up and the topic of charging gas fees arose.

So Ethereum got criticized for charging their users high gas fees for small transactions so users started looking for other places to sell their NFTs or other products.

So Ethereum started getting a lot more competition and the concept of POS or proof of state came to be and it was hoped that the small guy or gal could mine again and not have to be in such fierce competition with the big miners.

It gets complicated in a hurry though.

(under construction Dec 20, 2021)