Евгений Парилов/123RF

Bitmain Antminer S9 Review: Should You Buy?

  • 12 September 2017
  • James Njau

Knowing the bright future Bitcoin had, Bitmain Technologies jumped into the Bitcoin “gold rush “ in 2013 with the aim of giving people mining hardware that’s reliable and efficient. And do you know why it has remained relevant up to now? It has ALWAYS lived to its promises!

With an appetite for maximizing computing capacity for mining, there seems to be nothing stopping this giant company. Its products are known across the globe!

Source: @JihanWu

Juan Wu – the CEO – is the man who’s at the helm of the company, leading a team of cryptocurrency experts to make Bitcoin mining a reality. At the moment, Bitmain utilizes ASCIC technology to make its Antiminer hardware so that they can perform at optimum levels.

Source: bitmain.com

The Antminer S9 is a great example of what can be possible when a passionate team works towards a common goal. Since its release in May 2016, the S9 has proved itself as the world’s first ever consumer-grade Bitcoin miner with a 16nm ASIC chip that goes head to head with industrial standards.

Relax and read on as we dissect the Antminer S9, looking at its benefits and some answers to some of the common questions people ask about this hardware.

 Top 5 Benefits of the Antminer S9

Many people have realized the lucrative investment of Bitcoin mining, but the challenge comes in when they need a reliable hardware that can handle the job without fail. Fortunately, the S9 promises to be a game changer that will hopefully decentralize mining capacity to the advantage of home miners and professionals alike. Here’s what this hardware has in store for you:

1. Compatible with existing power supplies

Source: Bitmain.com

Good news folks! the Antminer S9 is compatible with already existing power supplies. So if you only want to get the S9 to upgrade your hardware for home mining, you won't have to worry about getting a new power supply all over again. The one you are using with other Bitcoin mining hardware will work just fine!

2. High Performance

Currently, the Bitcoin network is the world’s most sophisticated network boasting of the most computing power. If you don’t have a hardware that’s built to match up to that high demand then you are doomed to fail. Don’t break a sweat though because that’s where the Bitmain Antminer S9 comes in handy. With its massive hashing capacity, you will enjoy an impeccable performance.

3.  Highly profitable

Source: Bitmain.com

Compared to its predecessors the S9 is without a doubt the most profitable miner any hobbyist can get their hands on.  With the right mining pool and the right location for minimal power costs, this machine can earn a great return on investment.

4. Efficient power consumption

The S9 is the most efficient mining device thanks to Bitmain’s state of the art manufacturing technology. When compared to the S7 and other hardware released before it, you will realize that it uses only 0.1 joules power Gigahash making it 2.5 times better at energy consumption. It is, therefore, a bargain since it costs less to maintain and to mine in the long run.

5. Easy to maintain

Source: Bitmain.com

Whether you are a solo miner in your basement or just a hobbyist looking to leverage the huge benefits that come with Bitcoin mining, maintaining the condition of your hardware is a necessity even though it can get a bit expensive. Luckily the S9 comes with simplified and easy maintenance. How do you ask?Well, we can confirm that this miner is a fully self-contained unit. You do not even need a separate computer to get access to your Bitcoin nodes as it comes with an onboard port for web management.Fantastic, right?

Top 10 Questions about Antminer s9

1. What is the setup process of the S9?

When you first get your Antminer S9 it is important to give it a quick check before powering it up to make sure that no heat sinks went loose during shipping. You can do this by shaking the machine gently. Once you are done with that, you can now proceed to set up. Here’s how to do it:

  • Connect the control board power cable to the hash boards cable
  • Now proceed and connect the PSU power cable to the Anminer PCI-e connector on the controller
  • Fit the ETH port to connect with the network
  • Finally, power up the S9 and configure the miner to start mining.

The S9 comes with a straight forward interface and connecting it to your Bitcoin nodes after the set up is equally a simple process.

2. What power supply is recommended?

With the S9, the power supply is no big deal especially if you already have one with compatible wattage for PSU. You can just plug it in and get the hardware up and be running! In case you need to buy one, you can get the Antminer APW-12 1600 watt on retail sites. There is also the EVGA SuperNOVA 1300 WATT GPU that’s a bit more affordable, in case you are on a tight budget.

3. How many Bitcoins will I mine?

There are a lot of factors that influence the number of Bitcoins any miner can harvest. However, given that the S9 has a high hash rate when combined with affordable electricity costs and sufficient maintenance, any miner can make an upward of about 0.285 BTC per month for every 160 dollars spent.  Remember there are pool fees that can alter your returns, so be sure to do the right calculations beforehand.

4. What is its hash rate?

The Antminer S9 has an incredible hash power of about 13TeraHash per second. Compared to previous mining devices from Bitmain, the S9 is one of the most advanced miners with computing power that is equivalent to the entire Bitcoin network back in 2012. Yes, that right! If it were possible to go back in time to 2012 with the S9 in your hands, you would mine lots of Bitcoins in minutes.

5. How long will the S9 remain profitable?

Change is a constant in the Bitcoin mining business and even powerful machines such as the S9 are not future proof. However, even with the high competition in the manufacturing of mining hardware, it is unlikely to have any more drastic technological advancements. This is because the semiconductor can only be miniaturized so much, and since computing power depends on how small the semiconductor becomes, you can depend on the S9 to stick around for a while before we see a new invention. And trust us – that’s something Bitmain is thinking about seriously!

6. How much power does the S9 consume?

The Antminer S9 is manufactured to consume electrical power sufficiently using only  1350 watts at 0.1 Joules per Gigahash.  When compared to the S7, it is 2.5times more power efficient and consumes only 300w more.

7. What’s the price of the S9?

With all the great features and benefits we have already highlighted, it’s no brainer that the S9 will come at a high cost. Most retail sites sell it at around $2100 (as at the time of writing this review), which is obviously more expensive than its predecessors. Don’t worry about the digging deeper into your pockets though; the hardware can easily “pay for itself” after a couple of months of mining. Its price can actually be expected to fall given there are other manufacturing companies that are constantly releasing hardware with improved power efficiency and performance.

8. Is there an alternative to the S9?

The Antminer S9 is still the undisputed leader in the world of mining hardware. But if it’s still not your cup of tea for whatever reason, you can wait for future releases of improved hardware from Bitmain and other cryptocurrency hardware manufacturing companies. Another alternative is the S7, which also comes with some pros and cons.Even though it has lower performance, it is affordable when compared to the S9.

9. Are all S9’s the same?

Well, when you get your Antminer S9 be sure to get exact specification and confirm from which batch it's coming from since Bitmain delivers its Bitcoin miners in different batches. For instance, you can find older ones that are more powerful on retail sites or you can get new ones that have varying hash rates. However, the performance is fairly the same.

10. Does it have a warranty?

Yes! If your S9 is bought from Bitmain, it will come with a 90-day warranty, but with some limitations. Some of those limitations include

  • Your warranty will be invalid if you overclock the miner
  • It will also be canceled if you use it will an incompatible power supply
  • Lastly, if you damage the environment with the miner your warranty will be invalid
About James Njau