• Market Cap: $269b

  • Aug 25, 2019

Chapter 4.9

Bitcoin Mining Hardware?

Bitcoins are the hottest digital assets in the markets right now. The crypto currency markets is growing like never before and continues to boom with every passing day.

Bitcoin Mining Hardware?

Bitcoin Mining Hardware

Let us take a look some of the best bitcoin mining hardware options in the markets right now:

Read our article on Bitcoin Mining for a detailed introduction to Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Mining Hardware: An Introduction

The Bitcoin mining hardware has been changing with the changing difficulty levels of mining for bitcoins.For those wondering how to mine bitcoins, these are the top four hardware alternatives:

  • CPUs: In the early days when Bitcoins were new and it was easy to mine for them, a standard PC would suffice. Today, while it is not impossible to mine for bitcoins using a standard PC, it is impractical to do so. With the kind of processing power that these PCs have, it might take almost 90 to 100 years of continuous operation to mine a single bitcoin.

  • GPUs: After realizing that the standard CPUs are slowing down, miners came across GPUs - they realized that graphic cards which are used for gaming and video processing are actually quite beneficial for mining bitcoins as their energy consumption is considerably higher. It is still possible to mine for bitcoins using GPUs. It has been found out that AMD GPUs are much better compared to other GPUs for mining bitcoins. GPUs allowed 50 to 100 times faster processing than CPUs.

  • FPGAs: While the jump from CPU to GPU witnessed a change in the speed of mining, it also brought forward another problem - increased consumption of energy. FPGAs, which are Field Programmable Gate Arrays bring a solution to this problem. Consider the difference between the GPU-based mining rigs and FPGA-based mining rigs: A GPU with a hash rate of 600 MH/s consumes the power of 400W. Compared to that FPGAs with a hash rate of 826 MH/s consume the power of 80W.

  • ASIC: Anyone who considers themselves a serious miner is now using ASIC - Application Specific Integrated Circuit. This is basically a chip that is specifically designed for the purpose of mining bitcoins and cannot be used to perform anything else. This is the single most effective way of mining bitcoins and offers up to 100 times better hashing power and the least energy consumption rates.

Best Bitcoin Mining Hardware

Here’s a comparison of some of the top tools of the trade.

Antminer S9 Bitcoin Miner:

One of the best, most reliable and advanced bitcoin miners considering the complexities of modern-day bitcoin mining, the AntMiner S9 Bitcoin miner is indeed a powerful machine. What makes it incredible effective is the fact that it can generate 1 BTC in about 2 months’ time and there’s truly no other device which has this amount of power. Here’s a detailed breakdown -

  • Released: June 2016

  • Power Consumption: 1375W  

  • Power Efficiency: 0.098 J/GH

  • Hash Rate: 12.93 TH/s

  • Revenue: 0.5 BTC/month

  • Price: $2000

Avalon 7 Bitcoin Miner:

There are a handful of brands which make Bitcoin mining hardware, and most of the market is dominated by AntMiner and Avalon. The Avalon 7 comes as one of the latest offerings from Avalon. What really makes it special is the fact that it offers performance at par with its top-level competitors but is slightly more affordable. Up to 5 Avalon 7 devices could be paired up to create a powerful rig.

  • Released: December 2016

  • Power Consumption:  850-1000W

  • Power Efficiency: 0.29 J/GH

  • Hash Rate: 6 TH/s

  • Approx Revenue: 0.14 BTC/month

  • Price: $880

Antminer S7 Bitcoin Miner:

The AntMiner S7 Bitcoin miner is quite a popular name when it comes to the world of bitcoin mining. Second, only to the AntMiner S9, the AntMiner S7 is still in active use by some miners. Despite being about 2 years old in the markets, what makes it relevant is the fact that it can generate about 0.15 Bitcoins per month - almost at par with the Avalon 7 while it is cheaper too. The power consumption is a disadvantage.

  • Released: August 2015

  • Power Consumption: 1293W

  • Power Efficiency: 0.25 J/GH

  • Hash Rate: 4.73 TH/s

  • Approx Revenue: 0.15 BTC/month

  • Price: $599

AntMiner S5 Bitcoin Miner:

The AntMiner S5 comes out into the markets as one of the cheapest bitcoin mining hardware devices. It is an outdated, entry-level option and meant for those users who do not want to spend much. However, considering the fact that it is a device made in late 2014, the AntMiner S5 is as good as useless in today’s times when block rewards are getting lesser while the power requirements are high.

  • Released: December 2014

  • Power Consumption: 590W

  • Power Efficiency: 0.51 J/GH

  • Hash Rate: 1.155 TH/s

  • Approx Revenue: 0.05 BTC/month

  • Price: $199

Avalon 6 Bitcoin Miner:

An old bitcoin mining hardware, but still in use at some places, the Avalon 6 came out in August 2015 and is almost as effective as the AntMiner S7 and slightly better than the AntMiner S5. However, the fact is that it costs more than the AntMiner S7 while bringing in lesser returns. Economically it makes no sense in the markets of today’s day and age. The power consumption is high in this one.

  • Released: August 2015

  • Power Consumption: 1100W

  • Power Efficiency: 0.29 J/GH

  • Hash Rate: 3.5 TH/s

  • Approx Revenue: 0.12 BTC/month

  • Price: $700

You can use our Bitcoin Mining Calculator to calculate profitability.

What to Consider Before Choosing a Bitcoin Mining Hardware Device?

  • Mining Hardware Costs: The cost of the hardware is one of the first things that many users look at. It must be kept in mind that the more revenue you tend to make out of a miner, the higher will the cost be. It is a major investment as most users tend to pair up multiple miners to create a rig.

  • Hash Rate and Efficiency: An ideal miner should have a high hash rate while it should be more power efficient. Basically - the hash rate should be high and the power consumption should be lower. However, that is a combination which is yet to be generated at the moment. The higher the hash rate, the higher the power consumption.

  • Electricity Costs: It is very important to understand that buying the mining equipment isn’t the be-all and end-all of things. There are other costs involved in this too. Electricity costs are among the biggest additional expenses as the Bitcoin Mining hardware consume a lot of electricity.

  • Cost of Other Equipment: Not only does Bitcoin Mining hardware consume a lot of electricity, but it also generates a lot of heat. Additional costs include those of air conditioners and other equipment used to keep the rig cool.

  • The Risk of Bitcoin Price: One thing that has to be kept in mind is the value of bitcoins. While it might seem a lucrative investment today when Bitcoin is about to touch $5000, the markets are unpredictable and it may fall to $3000 the next day - anyone willing to invest into bitcoin mining hardware needs to understand the markets are really unpredictable and all calculations might be rendered ineffective tomorrow. There are big rewards for a rise in the price, but there are harsh consequences if the price falls.

  • Block Rewards: Block rewards are currently 12.5 Bitcoins per block. However, every four years, the rewards get reduced. It started with 50 Bitcoins per block, reached 25 Bitcoins per block in 2012, and 12.5 bitcoins in 2016. In 2020 this will further fall to 6.25 per block. Miners need to be prepared for that.

We hope you consider all of these factors and make an informed choice.

Get latest Cryptocurrency & Blockchain updates directly into your inbox.