I’m going to be straight up here and explain why buying a Bitmain Antminer in general is a bad idea.
I won’t go into detail about the fluctuation in the current crypto currency markets or the nature of mining competition in regards to hashrate, but with the electronic hardware its self.
Contrary to what most people think, Antminers themselves are not just tied down to mining bitcoin but these miners will hash any currency that’s based on the sha256 hashing algorithm so there’s a hand full of currencies that can be mined with these machines.
If you’re really willing to take some risks in regards to your electricity bill then some initial coin offerings (ICO’s) may be worth some of your hash time.
I started my crypto mining back in 2015 where I purchased a USB block erupter off of Ebay. If only I knew what I was getting myself in for.
I went up a level and purchased an Antminer S3 and at the time it cost me around $100. This wasn’t producing results as I thought so I then went on and purchased three Antminer S7’s costing around $700 each.
Finally I purchased two Antminer S9’s costing me $1800 each!
So at the time I thought it was a great investment, and at the time it probably was a great investment. But that didn’t last long and I should have paid attention to Warren Buffet when he said “Never invest in electronics”.
I learned the hard way and I certainly paid for my education on this one.
The noise from these machines alone is enough to deter anyone from mining at home and they really do require somewhere dedicated as the sound is deafening, especially when more than one miner is working at the same time.
Just a note here, the miners are more likely to over heat if there’s more than one together in the same room so I usually tried to keep them either separated or use the acoustic air ducting that I had bought, which was wrapped around the plastic fan shroud at one end then the other end was usually aimed out of the window of my home at the time.
Just another note here, there was no manufacturer who created these fan shrouds it seemed. I bought a few online from someone who was 3D printing these essential bits of kit! Maybe a lucrative money spinner here if anyone is interested.
Even the Antminer S3 was loud enough to keep me awake on it’s own and the noise of this rig is nothing compared to the S7 and S9.
One of my S9’s had a heatsink on one of the chain boards that was slightly off centre. From a technical point of view this was nothing to worry about. However, As the powerful fan was sucking in all that air, the rig was making a HUGE whistling noise when the fans would reach a certain RPM because of the misaligned heatsink. I did try to adjust the heatsink but those things are fixed and I’m not quite sure what with, but at the price of those machines I wasn’t about to find out.
One good thing about one of my S9’s was that there was a custom ROM available that would allow auto-fan control so this kept the noise to a minimum on that particular rig. I’m really not sure why all these rigs don’t have that feature as standard to begin with?!
But with all this noise.. this is still not the most single reason why I wouldn’t go down the ASIC mining route..
So I’ve come to the end of explaining to you why I choose not to continue buying any more of Bitmains Antminers and this is it. The most single reason I would not recommend such an investment.. is hardware failure!
The Antminer S3 its self did not have any problems. However this miner required you to supply your own Power Supply Unit so I took my Thermaltake PSU from my PC to power this thing. After a month or so it blew my Power Supply. It was quite an old unit but that thing cost me $80 and was working fine on my PC for years. And it was certainly rated in terms of wattage to be up to the job.
Other than my Power Supply Unit blowing out then that was nothing compared to what else was about to go wrong.
Every S7 and S9 rig has three hashing boards inside of them. I had one board fail on me.. on every single S7 and S9 rig I owned!
I was always checking the temperatures of the hashing boards in the dashboard and always took into consideration the air flow from the intake fans and exhaust fans but these things just fail.
So the option now is to keep these miners running at a lower hash rate, or find someone who would be willing to buy one with a faulty hash board from me.
I’m guessing I will be stuck with the first ‘option’ here.
If of course you still have a warranty in which case I did not as I bought these rigs second hand, you would still have to ship these machines half way across the world, back to Bitmain as they don’t currently have any local manufacture repair centres around the globe.
The above image just shows one of the nightmares you really don’t want to be faced with after paying through the nose for one of these miners.
The image above shows TWO hashing boards not functioning from the dashboard.
The image below shows what these physical hashing boards (chains) look like.
As a tech geek I don’t regret bitcoin mining as I’ve learned so much from the experience although I do regret spending so much money on ASIC equipment and I feel that I would have been better off financially if I had just purchased the bitcoin from day 1.
When I started mining, one whole bitcoin was worth around $400 and if I had bought $5000 worth of BTC (instead of buying miners) on December 2017 when one bitcoin hit a whopping $15,000.. well i’ll let you do the math.