Best Bitcoin Mining Hardware Review: Top ASICs Miners


June 11, 2018

Bitcoin Mining Hardware

The Bitcoin miner hardware is getting more powerful these days. Just three years ago you could successfully mine cryptocurrencies using your computer, but today the success in mining is depending not just on how powerful your hardware is, but also how efficient it is regarding energy consumption and cooling.

Modern Bitcoin mining rigs became more energy-efficient compared just to a couple years ago when mining software was anything but sophisticated. Bitcoin mining ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuits) make all the difference, as they turn mining computers into true coin generators. With the right units and their setup, you can earn a positive yearly income.

If efficient Bitcoin mining looks attractive to you as a source of passive income, you need to decide on the Bitcoin mining hardware to buy. The first thing to keep in mine is a hash rate which measures how many calculations the hardware is able to perform per second. Best Bitcoin mining machines with high hash rates increase the probability of solving mathematical problems more quickly, and results earn more Bitcoins for you. Hash rates are measured in megaHashes (less powerful machines) or teraHashes (more powerful computers) per second.

In Bitcoin mining, there are hash algorithms or similar mathematical problems which can be solved with similar solutions. To make mining more competitive, their algorithms are run in random orders. The miner cannot predict the solution to the problem. As the transaction request is broadcast to the entire network of mining nodes, the first one who calculates the solution is the one who grabs the reward. This is why a highly performing best mining machine with high hash rate is necessary for profitable mining.

Another important metric to look is energy consumption. Just a few years ago the most efficient Bitcoin mining rig would consume as much energy as a small European country and produce unbearable noise and substantial heat. The common notion was that you had to spend a lot of money on energy because the more powerful equipment you had, the higher the power usage would become.

The situation changed significantly with the arrival of energy efficient ASIC chips which were more productive in terms of processing power and consumed less energy at the same time. But for the all other types of the Bitcoin mining equipment, you still have to consider energy consumption that will be used to mine, which is key to the profitability of your mining installation. If mining revenue would solely get used to paying electricity bills, then we assume that all your investment is not producing any return, regardless of the Bitcoin price.

You should calculate the profitability of a specific piece of equipment by dividing the hash rate by the hardware’s watt consumption. The energy efficiency of your units plays an important role here.

Another important factor is the price of the hardware itself. The cheaper the piece is, the fewer Bitcoins it is going to generate. More expensive hardware with Bitcoin-specific ASIC chips will bring more value to your mining startup. Here are some options:

Antminer S5 by Bitmain

The Bitmain Antminer S5 is a perfect example of balance between efficiency and cost. While the more advanced models in this lineup S7 and S9 have been released, Bitmain Antminer S 5 is very popular among Bitcoin miners. It consumes less power: approximately 560 W, which is similar to desktop computers and generates a hash rate equalling approximately one gigaHash per second for every 0.5 W of electricity. Another advantage is the open structure of the unit which makes it easy to keep cool and lightweight. Its power supply unit is compatible with most models. Users noted that the installation of the unit is very easy and requires no advanced technical skills. Thanks to the relatively low purchase cost this is a good model for a newcomer, and it is quiet enough to be run at home.

Antminer S7 by Bitmain

Antminer S7 by Bitmain started selling in 2015. The unit quickly rose in popularity thanks to its low electricity consumption which is even lower than that of S5. This unit is best used with a power supply 1600 W APW3 which is one of the best available for Bitcoin mining. It is precisely designed for Bitcoin mining, and it’s a decisive factor for Antminer S7 optimal performance. Thanks for its efficiency the Bitmain S7 produces about 1300 W worth of computation power. Its hash rate is 4.73 teraHash per second and requires about 1.3 kW to operate. The average amount of Bitcoin generated every month is 0.15 BTC which is an attractive volume considering high Bitcoin price.

The unit is slightly heavier than S5 and the equipment is contained in a metal casing. This makes this unit more noisy and heat-generating than any competition. For these reasons, S7 is best used in a specialized premise and not in a house.

S7 is more powerful and produces a decent income on a monthly basis. Instead of buying a more expensive model you can combine several lower priced units and achieve same rewards. Electricity costs will be higher though so this option best suits users who have access to a steady supply of low-cost electricity. Unfortunately, you cannot buy this unit directly from the manufacturer as it has been discontinued. But you can still find Antminers S7 on eBay at attractive prices suitable for the average person.

Antminer S9 by Bitmain

This is the most powerful and yet affordable mining unit around. It boasts the hash rate of 14 teraHash per second which is achieved due to the clever combination of three circuit boards containing 189 ASIC chips. And even with this power, it remains very modest on energy consumption. Compared to previous models of the Antminer, it requires slightly more electricity, at around 300 kW, but it pays back quite nicely with the steep increase in productivity. It mines three times more Bitcoin than previous versions racking up to 0.37 BTC per month.

No wonder such a powerful unit comes at a hefty price.

S9 has a solid metal body weighing just over 10 pounds (5 kg). Thanks to the sleek design several units can be stacked on shelves. But the noise that the unit generates during its work is just too high for the household so it’s best to keep these units in a well-ventilated shed. This is a small price to pay for such a powerful efficient unit that will most likely provide the highest ROI for your investment. Currently the Antminer S 9 costs around $2000. We do not recommend buying a used version because mining equipment tends to wear out very quickly. It’s entirely possible to find a bargain that has very little life left in it.

Antminer T9 by Bitmain

We decided to mention this model because it’s another strong unit designed and produced by a reliable Chinese manufacturer. Reviewers are divided over whether the price of this model is justified by its productivity. T9 consumes more electricity for processing power of 11 teraHash per second. This makes a comparison, not in the favor of T9. The attractive feature of T9 is the durability of its chips. The manufacturer even offers a two-year warranty on this unit, compared to just 90 days warranty on S9. It is very easy to set this unit up and the return on investment is approximately the same as with S9. Currently, this model is sold at around $1000 each but due to its good reputation, it’s selling out quickly. You can try to find it on eBay.

AvalonMiner 741by Canaan

This is a reliable ASIC miner that doesn’t cost a fortune yet is offering a decent hash rate of 7.5 teraHash per second and an innovative cooling unit that keeps 88 chips running smoothly. It is also very modest on energy consumption. The only drawback is that you have to purchase these units in bulk, starting with 20 units. So this is an option better suited for an enterprise that wants to build a mining farm. It’s still possible to find a new or lightly used unit at $1,600 which makes it a very attractive investment since this model outpaces Antminers for energy costs and processing output.

When talking about the best ASIC miners for Bitcoin it’s essential to mention the Dragonmint T 16 by Halong Mining. With incredible productivity of 16 TH/s, Dragonmint is the most powerful ASIC miner on the market. It is also remarkably efficient and consumes about the same amount of energy as top performing Bitmain miners. This is possible because of their proprietary boost that exploits Bitcoin’s algorithm while increasing efficiency by 20 percent. This is important for mining farms where every bit of savings counts.

So you are now equipped with more knowledge on what kind of an ASIC miner to look for. Make sure you also get the right supporting equipment. You will need specialized power supply designed for use by Bitcoin rigs. These units keep the power supply delivered in a steady stream, protect from surges, and help funnel energy efficiently.

You will also need special cooling fans because even the best mining hardware usually gets hot and can even shut down because of overheating. You will need a good supply of cooling fans for your new units. Mining equipment can be easily found on Amazon and eBay. Unlike mining units, you can buy these pieces used. And like with any investments, don’t spend more money on Bitcoin equipment that you can afford to lose.