Give the huge rally in Bitcoin; many people are interested in Bitcoin mining hardware.
But as you move ahead, there are many related questions like is Bitcoin mining profitable?
However, the most important topic at this juncture is what is Bitcoin mining?
In very simple terms, it refers to looking for new Bitcoin.
Essentially this is a process where the Blockchain verifies every new transaction.
This is a process where individuals manage to enter a Blockchain and get new Bitcoin.
Every miner gets a reward of 25 Bitcoins after managing to enter a blockchain.
Earlier in 2009, it was 50 Bitcoins.
So, essentially this number gets halved every four years.
So it is going to be reduced even further going forward.
Once the mining process hits the 21 million mark, there will be no new bitcoins left.
Every year the mining blocks are cut down by 210,000 blocks.
But that does not seem to deter new miners.
Often it may take close to 1,789,546,951.05 attempts before you crack one key.
So in many ways, it is almost close to looking for a needle in a haystack.
This is where the question about its profitability comes to play.
You have to take into consideration whether it is worthwhile to choose Bitcoin mining?
But before that, it is important to seek details about who can do this trade.
More importantly, the Bitcoin mining hardware.
That can often be the deciding factor for your relative rate of success.
Insight Into Bitcoin Mining Hardware
You do not have to be a computer expert for Bitcoin mining.
Even relative computer novice can start Bitcoin mining.
What they need is a basic computer, software and specific bitcoin mining hardware.
Most times, the software that you need is fairly straightforward.
But the bitcoin mining hardware is the key determinant of one’s success.
Once these are in place, you will also need a bitcoin wallet.
This is generally used to store the bitcoins that you earn.
But you have to be careful about storing these coins properly.
This is because the Bitcoin wallets are quite susceptible to theft.
At the initial stage in early 2009, the regular PCs had the reasonable speed to support mining.
But as more and more Bitcoins are generated, the process keeps getting harder.
This is why you now have ASIC or application specific integrated circuits.
In simple words, this is a specific hardware that does a specific job.
In this case, this hardware has only one function, mining Bitcoin.
A variety of mining startups are devising a range of options.
All of these are targeted towards mining faster and more effectively.
Most of these also involve considerable spending as well.
This is because bitcoin mining hardware involves significant cost.
In many ways, the more efficient hardware you want, the more you spend.
It is important to gauge the efficiency of the hardware because it can be a game changer.
Often it is the single most important factor that determines your success.
Bitcoin Mining Pools
But what if you are not in a position to afford this cost?
Does it mean you will have to forego this dream?
Well, this is exactly where the mining pools will help you.
The word pools indicate a group of miners from around the world.
They have all united with a common goal.
They want to pool their computer power for bitcoin mining.
There are many small time sites which facilitate this service.
Depending on the rate of mining your computer enables, you lend speed to the group.
Speed also ensures that you receive a larger share of bitcoins.
Technically bitcoins can be broken into eight decimal points.
The only problem is these pools are unregulated like the wallets.
So technically the pool is under no legal obligation to pay anyone their cut.
The only advantage from this is that your mining hardware is much cheaper.
In fact, USB ASIC miners can join a pool for as little as $20.
However, if the hardware is relatively low-end, you can lose money.
That is a huge risk on the efficacy of the mining process.
Moreover, the price volatility is a huge factor to ponder upon.
That also affects the rate of mining to a large extent.
So while the bitcoin mining pool is a convenient option, efficiency is a concern.
It surely provides a more affordable service, but the reliability is questionable.
Therefore, if you stable, safe and secure options bitcoin mining is not for you.
Individual PCs with special hardware is often the best bet to address this.
So then the question is what do you choose?
There are various parameters to base your choice:
- AntMiner S9
- Avalon 6
- AntMiner S7
- Antminer S5
1. AntMiner S9
This is one of the most popular and user efficient mining hardware for Bitcoin
Even if you are a regular hobbyist, this hardware can be a game changer.
The hash rate at 14/THs is one of the best offerings across the industry.
It is needless to mention that this is one of the most efficient alternatives.
Its efficiency levels are at ~0.1 Joule per GH/s.
However, this does not come cheap.
This cost anywhere close to $3000.
But the advantage is lower the electricity cost, better is the efficiency rate.
The expectation is that as the bitcoin mining dynamics keep changing, it will be cheaper.
It has a definite edge over others on the basis of the nanometer technological advantage.
Existing power supply units are fully compatible with this one.
However, you will have to buy these separately.
It does not come with the hardware.
But the overall technological advantage makes it one of the most efficient one.
Compared to its immediate predecessor, it is almost 2.5x more efficient.
However, this one uses a large amount of electricity.
In fact, even if you compare with the S&, it is about 300W more.
Most importantly this system is easy to maintain.
The servicing and maintenance of the system are relatively simple.
Most times, all that you need is a well-ventilated room for it to function normally.
The only problem is that the power supply is sold separately.
But the question is does it make sense to invest in it.
It is ideal for more effective Bitcoin mining in the immediate present.
But at the same time, you have to take into consideration the impact in future.
Just like other effective options, this severely dents scope for profitability going forward, the overall return on investment in just above one year.
2. Avalon 6
If Antminer S9 is the king, this one is an able deputy of Bitcoin mining.
This is, in fact, the second most efficient option.
One of the best features is the low noise levels.
Compared to most other variants available in the market, this one is comparatively silent.
You can easily run this on a reasonably good power supply unit.
Any unit that draws close to 1100W power is competent for this mining hardware.
It can run quite efficiently on these.
This hardware costs around $550 with a significant discount on bulk buying.
In many ways, this is one of the strongest rivals to the AntminerS7.
Though it is less energy efficient in comparison, the other features make up for that loss.
It is undeniably one of the best in terms of customization options.
No wonder it is inevitably one of the best bets for a wide range of hardware enthusiasts.
In terms of hash rate, the Avalon 6 has a reading of 3.50TH/s.
You may look at this as a demerit.
But the core efficiency is not hampered too much.
The other combination of features makes up for this one function in multiple manners.
The temperature control too is satisfactory.
You will see that the system is relatively cool and benign even after it is overclocked.
Though the system runs on a comparatively smaller fan, it can cool it sufficiently.
This is because the system has such a unique design that even a small fan can cool it.
Another important feature is the extreme user convenience.
Be the basic or advanced features; users can access these with relative ease.
The setup is so designed that it can access an IP address quite easily.
This further improves efficiency in terms of setting up the device.
3. AntMiner S7
The hash rate is one of the most important features of a mining hardware.
It essentially refers to the rate at which the mathematical formulas are being solved.
This hash rate keeps growing depending on the number of members who join.
This has the capacity of 4.73TH/s.
It has a power usage of 1300W.
The price of this mining hardware is north of $400.
It is one of the most popular ones since its release in 2015.
In case you see any recent mining operations, you will see tons of these S7.
The strong performance track record and the affordable price are the biggest triggers.
Moreover, this hardware is powered by a 28nm BM1385 ASIC chip.
There are a total of 135 chips, and these are spread across 3 boards.
There are two fans that keep the chips cool.
The strong case allows a unique arrangement system.
This facilitates multiple miners performing at the same instance.
Whether you are a professional or an amateur, the S7 can be a convenient option.
Its power supply unit is a relatively high-quality one at 1600 Watt.
The APW3 is specifically designed for Bitcoin miners.
It is needless to mention that it enhances their overall performance.
It is also a very efficient system.
At any given point of time, you don’t lose more than 7% electricity.
The electricity loss I am referring to is between the miner and the designated outlet.
It needs around 205 Volts for proper functioning.
Most importantly the manufacturers do not send the 16A power cord.
So if you are planning to buy this, you must keep it in mind.
Most importantly this set-up enables easily allows up gradation.
So if you need to upgrade to the next level, you can easily do so.
This one is, however, a bit noisy.
4. Antminer S5
These Antminers undeniably have some of the most versatile range of options.
They variants are generally an improvement on the predecessor.
But at the same time, each one is fairly self-sufficient in providing maximum value to the user.
When you reach the lower end of the price spectrum, the Antminer S5 provides a good bet.
It is a fairly efficient and low-cost miner.
The specialty is that it uses very low power but has a reasonable hash rate.
This means this is an excellent option for beginners.
It helps them master the various challenges of bitcoin mining.
But at the same time, you are not spending too much trying to buy a hardware.
It is in fact, one of the best for experimenting with bitcoin mining.
However, this device is cooled by a single fan and can be quiet noisy at times.
It is one of the fastest ASICs available today.
The best part is it can be used efficiently by both new users and veterans.
But if you see the host of new variants, then the S5 has in many ways outlived its features.
So the question is why are we reviewing it?
Well if you are an occasional miner and not too keen on profit, you can use this.
For those who are operating on Budget, this is one of the best options.
It is slightly more expensive than the SP20, but you can still get it under $300.
That makes it a great option for the price-sensitive public.
When you compare this system to other options, power usage and profitability are in focus.
You must, however, remember that it is hard to mine bitcoins from a single S5.
Therefore it becomes necessary to join a pool.
That alone will help yield relatively better results.
If you just compare the hash rate, this one is similar to the Antminer S5.
Compared to the Antminer S5 at 1.16TH/s, it has a hash rate of 1.3-1.7TH/s.
But the cost is the biggest positive for this Bitcoin hardware.
It costs just a little over $100.
That means you can easily afford it even if you are an amateur player.
Despite the lower price, it is a very effective bitcoin miner.
The noise level too is quite okay for those looking to mine bitcoin at home.
It is fairly user-friendly and has some unique options.
It is a powerful and very neat device that can help you derive value.
The flexibility of design and usage are the best features for this device.
In terms of power supply, it is compatible with the ATX PSU.
But if you are looking at cheaper alternatives, you can also try dual wattage of 750+.
But this is not a very profitable device.
If you compare the ROI and the electricity consumption, it will be very clear to you.
The only way you can make it a profitable device is by making electricity free.
That by far is the only option that will help you get maximum value from this.
Otherwise, the average cost of mining and the relative operation cost will cancel each other out.
Repeated results indicate that you are not even mining 1 BTC a year.
The tally sometimes is even less than that.
In such a scenario, it is a sheer wastage of money and electricity.
Though the hash rate and price often attract users, you have to take a holistic view.
It is imperative that you create a tally of the pros and cons before deciding on it.
Conclusion: Looking for the Ideal Bitcoin Mining Hardware Is Tricky
You cannot judge by the sheer price of the product.
That will not be sufficient to get a value for money deal.
It is very important to take a comprehensive view.
Always judge the relative use and profitability of the device you are buying.
If the hardware you decide on is expensive but yields better profit, it is a good deal.
The core idea is to take a balanced view.
Also, it is important to take a view on the future implications.
For example, bitcoin mining rewards have now been halved to 12.5.
In another few years, it will reduce even further.
So, you have to take that into perspective.
Calculate if this will still be a value buy going forward.
Therefore the bitcoin market is extremely dynamic.
It is better to go for reasonably priced bitcoin mining hardware.
These will help you get better profitability from the hardware.
It will help you make money by acquiring bitcoin.