Damaging a CPU CAN be done by having it process a lot, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
For us to understand this, let’s go over the basics of why your CPU gets damaged.
Heat: Absolutely the biggest danger.
Heat is the biggest danger when you’re having your CPU work a lot. Electronic components (such as the CPU) can have tiny cracks appear as they generate a lot of heat and cool down.
The reason develops these cracks is due to something called “thermal expansion”. In essential words: Matter (such as the PCB on a GPU) change shape, volume and area due to changes in temperature.
Now if that happens a lot on the PCB of a graphics card, these cracks can damage the components on the GPU, and with it the GPU/ CPU itself as well.
If you do have decent cooling and your CPU doesn’t go above the 60C area, this won’t cause any damage in modern CPUs.
You can read more about it here Thermal expansion – Wikipedia if you haven’t heard of it before!
You will rarely see it “overwork” itself.
When a CPU “idles” as we like to say (aka when you’re just browsing the web) the CPU often lowers their clock speeds not to consume less power and to generate less heat.
When you’re mining or doing something CPU intensive, the CPU increases its clock-rate to work with it faster, and because of this, it needs what? You guessed it: More electricity (power).
This means that more electrons are being pushed through. and the more work it is for the transistors, diodes etc. They will get worn out over time.
But this isn’t anything to worry about. Last time I checked, transistors etc. tend to be rated with an average lifespan of 10 years+.
Is there anything else?
The Mosfets and other transistors on the motherboard and PSU tend to be the first ones to go, not the CPU ones, so those might be the ones I’d worry about the most, but even those have a reasonably long life expectancy.
Mining with a CPU isn’t the right choice.
CPU mining is not worth it. It used to but not Nowadays!
So to wrap it up
The CPU’s most likely form of damage is due to heat thanks to something called thermal expansion, but this should not be an issue if you have an excellent cooling solution.
Another thing that can die on the CPU are the transistors, but I wouldn’t be worried since they have a reasonably long life expectancy.
Motherboard and PSU transistors are the most likely ones to die first, so that might be the biggest worry I’d have if I were you, but if you have a high-quality motherboard and a decent PSU that wouldn’t worry me either.
But in the end, why would you mine with your CPU?
You won’t get much done due to your CPU becoming a massive bottleneck, and it won’t benefit you to mine with it these days