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There was a time when anyone could mine Bitcoins using their video card. However, with the addition of new miners and mining farms to the bitcoin network, the possibility of mining this cryptocoin with a simple PC is impossible. No GPU could provide the necessary hashrate to be profitable.
This is why Bitmain, a China-based company developed and launched a set of ASICs that are accessible to the casual miner and have a reasonable ROI, allowing ordinary people to start mining Bitcoin again.
The company is well known for ASIC mining models such as the R4 and S7. As the difficulty rate increases, Bitmain launches new miners to keep up with demand. Its latest S9 is the first-class ASIC miner that uses 16nm technology to deliver superior performance.
The S9 generated a lot of stir since it first appeared in June 2016. However, the criptocoins are volatile, and in this article I intend to review if it is still profitable to mine bitcoins with the S9. Let us begin to explore by Bitmain Antminer S9 Review.
For a price that can be around US $ 2,100, not including the power supply, the device uses the company’s most modern chip, the new 16nm ASIC Chips BM1387. The ability of the hashrate are triples of the previous generation of miners, producing 14 Th / s of processing power, while at the same time owns the energy consumption level of Antminer S7 miners, which is equivalent to 1,375 watts.
Another point that Bitmain is taking into account is the speed with which the miners discard the hardware due to the loss of profitability. Bitcoins mining hardware is rapidly becoming obsolescence, so Bitmain wants to make its future Bitcoin mining equipment with a lower obsolescence rate.
The Antminer S9 almost the same size and very popular like the Antminer S7 and follows the same form factor. However, it has more than three times the power and double the efficiency of the S7.
Something innovative on the part of Bitmain is that the S9 is compatible with the power supplies that are used in older models, a change that will be welcomed by the mining community. In addition, the team continues to maintain the air-cooled system, which is easy to maintain for experienced people or for users who are just starting out in the mining world.
Bitmain limits the number of devices that each user can order to 5 units, in order to distribute the devices in a decentralized way over time.
The Antminer S9 has following official specifications:
- Hash Rate: 14.0 THS ± 5%
- Power consumption: 1375W + 7% (on the wall, with APW3, 93% efficiency, 25C ambient temperature)
- Energy Efficiency: 0.098 J / GH + 7% (on the wall, with APW3 93% efficiency, 25 ° C ambient temperature)
- Rated voltage: 11.60 ~ 13.00V
- Number of chips per unit: 189x BM1387
- Dimensions: 350mm (L) * 135mm (W) * 158mm (H)
- Cooling: fan 2 × 12038
- Operating temperature: 0 ° C to 40 ° C
- Network connection: Ethernet
- Default frequency: 650 MHz
There are several lots and reviews of the S9 available in the market with slight differences in price and features. In the official page of Bitmain the S9 has an approximate cost of 1300 dollars, however due to the high demand and limited production of units, these usually exhaust in a short time. Bitmain website are officially responsible for directly marketed, so it will play to be alert to the announcement of new units. The price on sites like Amazon and Ebay can easily exceed $ 2995.
The S9 is far from cheap. However, the lower your electricity costs, the greater the likelihood that the miner will pay for himself within a reasonable time.
Of course, much depends on the difficulty and the price of Bitcoin.
As smaller manufacturing processes become an industry-wide standard and with other manufacturers launching competitive hardware, the price of S9 is expected to fall within a few months.
The advantage of the 16 nanometers
The ongoing miniaturization of semiconductors allows for increasing computing power and electrical efficiency, but the process can’t continue forever with current technology.
Many have noted that Moore’s law is no longer valid as the pace of advancement of computing speed has slowed to the physical limitations of silicon semiconductor technology.
The 16 nm manufacturing process used in the manufacture of S9 is a major improvement over the 28 nm design common to other modern mining devices.
The Bitmain BM1387 world’s most efficient bitcoin chip in the consumer market that using 16nm FinFET technology in a chip with a record of 0.098 J / GHs. Each Antminer S9 employs up to 189 chips of this type to deliver greater hashrate and efficiency than any other bitcoin miner available on the market.
The cycle of launching a new generation of bitcoin mining hardware every few months has slowed down, being currently limited to 16 and 14nm manufacturing processes. Although a 10nm process is on the horizon for 2017, further increases beyond that remain theoretical. In addition, the design and manufacture of new Bitcoin mining hardware with a 10nm process will take at least one to two years. Due to these factors it is very likely that the S9 will remain as the best ASIC team to mine bitcoins for quite a while.
If you do not live in China (or Venezuela), energy consumption will probably be the main factor affecting return on investment. Depending on the price of electricity in your country the S9 can be paid in a few months, or become an expensive hobby and no return.
The Antminer S9 electric power consumes with a 7% variation of 1375W. It uses just 0.1 joules per Gigahash, making it about 2.5 times more efficient than the Antminer S7.
For the S9 to work without problems it is recommended to use a power supply of 1600W or more.
The existing sufficient power supplies are fully compatible with the S9, that is really good news.
Recommended for use with the S9 are:
- Bitmain AntMiner APW5 PSU 1300 Watts (110v) / 2600 Watts (220v).
- Bitmain AntMiner APW12 1600 Watt PSU.
- EVGA SuperNOVA 1600 Watts T2 80+ GOLD Titanium.
As with all cryptos, income depends heavily on the difficulty rate of mining, which in turn depends on how many people are mining the same coin simultaneously. Since large Chinese consortium continue to buy Bitcoin mining equipment, it is expected that the difficulty of mining with this crypto miner will continue to increase steadily.
However, the price of Bitcoin also rises. It started with 0.08USD by Bitcoin in July 2010, and reached a whopping $ 2,600 in June 2017.
Currently, there is no more powerful Bitcoin miner than the S9. The S9 has more processing power than any previous device: a massive 14 TH / s (TeraHash per second). The entire Bitcoin network from its bootstrap through mid-2012, so a single S9 drive has a hashrate equivalent to the maximum capacity.
Hashrate: 5,067,546,989 GH/s 174 (source: https://bitcoinwisdom.com/bitcoin/difficulty)
We will now calculate the projected earnings based on the mine difficulty rate and the most recent exchange rate:
The difficulty rate to date (6/24/17) is 711,697,198,174 (source: https://bitcoinwisdom.com/bitcoin/difficulty)
The current exchange rate (6/24/17) is 2669 dollars for each Bitcoin (source: http://btc-e.com)
Taking into account the current difficulty rate, the S9 will in theory produce 0.179 BTC, which is equivalent to $ 399.36 per month and 2,148 BTC / $ 4770 per year.
The Return on Investment as you can see is feasible in a period of approximately 6 months, especially if the price of Bitcoin is kept on the rise.
Apart from the power supply, the S9 is an autonomous unit. It does not require connection to another computer to interact with other Bitcoin nodes.
Its on-board web management portal allows a simplified installation and maintenance process.
Noise and temperature
The S9 is definitely not meant to be used inside a house. The miner is very sensitive to temperature, so it requires adequate cooling to maintain stable operation. Due to overheating 16nm chips expire easily, so it is recommended to install the S9 in a place like a garage or a dedicated mining farm.
The S9 works reliably in well ventilated spaces, whether a few units maintained in an open and well ventilated room, or hundreds of units in a large industrial mining center.
The S9 is quite noisy. It comes with two large high revolution fans that produce about 77-80 Db of constant noise (the equivalent of a vacuum cleaner).
So if you want a compact and quiet mining equipment for the home, your best bet is probably the AntMiner R4.
Now, today the S9 is the most advanced and efficient bitcoin miner. If you are serious about mining Bitcoin or need to expand your current mining capacity, the S9 and its 14 TH / s are the best choice currently available in the market.
The S9 will continue to be profitable for much longer than previous generations of ASIC miners thanks to its 16nm design and high processing power.
In the current difficulty this miner can mine around 0.179 Bitcoins every month, which makes it profitable if the price of the crypto coin is kept up. If the cost of electricity is not a problem, this miner will cover hardware costs in 6 months.