How to Choose the Best Bitcoin Mining Hardware
Since its inception, Bitcoin has slowly but surely become one of the most prominent buzzwords. The invention of Bitcoin and the blockchain has not only paved the way to a great deal of exciting inventions, but it has also thrown the world into a frenzy.
This exposure and mainstream adoption have led many individuals to either become rich or lose everything in their quest of making a profit from cryptocurrencies. There are numerous ways to actually make money by getting into cryptocurrency.
For example, one could enroll in one of the many ICOs and airdrops currently on the market, or buy crypto and trade it based on the market’s moves, or mine crypto coins. If you are one of the latter, then read on, because, in this article, we will point out some of the best ways to choose the appropriate Bitcoin mining hardware/equipment.
Before we dive deeper into the actual process of choosing the best Bitcoin mining equipment, it’s important to understand what Bitcoin mining is.
What is Bitcoin mining?
Bitcoin mining is the process through which a computer (or processing unit) adds transaction record to Bitcoin’s public ledger of past transactions, also known as the blockchain. It’s called this way since there are multiple blocks chained together. The system was invented to solve one of the biggest problems of digital currencies, that of double spending.
The computing units are used to check complex transactions and broadcast them to other computers systems around the globe. The operators of these computers (the miners) are rewarded for their efforts. Part of that reward comes from the network itself, part from the transaction fees.
Bitcoin uses a Proof-of-Work system designed to ensure that people don’t cheat the network. Performing proof-of-work operations actually means calculating and determining a long string of number and letters. This string is known as a hash and only the computer that correctly guesses it can add the block to the chain. This proof-of-work algorithm requires extensive computational power.
While in the early days, Bitcoin mining was viable with the help of a simple computer by using its CPU resources, with the passing of time the difficulty of the hashes increased, demanding much more power-intensive computational solutions. Soon after, Bitcoin mining was only possible via GPUs, and as of a few years, Bitcoin mining is now reserved to specialized units called ASICs (short for Application-specific Integrated Circuit Chips)
Things to keep in mind when choosing Bitcoin mining hardware
There’s currently a wide range of ASICs miners on the market. Before you choose one, you should consider that each one comes with its advantages and disadvantages. Besides picking one based on the brand (which is more or less of a personal preference), the reasons behind your pick should be practical.
It’s paramount that your decision is based on the following: hashing power, electricity consumption figures, ambient temperature, and, probably most important, the cost.
Popular Bitcoin mining hardware
Some of the most popular choices currently on the market are Antminer T9+, Avalon6, M3X, DragonMint T1, and Antminer R4.
Priced somewhere around the $600 mark, the Antminer T9+ is one of the cheapest mining rigs currently available, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t perform. It’s one of the best choices if you don’t have a lot of space and you want to mine at home, for instance. Thanks to its reduced size it’s also very good for creating a more hardcore mining rig farm. The miner uses 162 Bitmain BM1387 chips. The hash rate it produces is 10,5 TH/s, and the consumption figure is around 1332W. Please remember that the power supply is sold separately.
Coming from the same company, the Antminer R4 also uses BM1387 chips. It uses 126 chips and produces a decent 0,098 J/GHs, which makes one of the most efficient Bitcoin miners out there. The Antiminer R4’s main selling points are its incredibly small size, and its very quiet operation, making it very ideal for home Bitcoin mining. All these features come at a price, as it’s a bit on the expensive side of things. The price range varies between $1,000 and $1,700.
If you just started with Bitcoin mining, then Avalon6 is not a bad choice. This miner was designed with simplicity in mind, making it perfect for those without much technical knowledge. It’s not what you would call performance orientated, boasting figures like 3,5 TH/s and consumption of 1050W. The prices revolve around the $650 making it very accessible. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with its own power supply which has to be purchased separately.
Developed by a company that’s specialized in building ASIC miners, the DragonMint T1 is arguably the most powerful kit you buy. It uses the top-notch DM8575 chip and achieves an outstanding hash rate of 16 TH/s. It does all consuming all that much (0,075J/GH), translating in around 1480W of power draw. The unit boasts an incredible cooling system with two nine-blade variable fans which together manage to keep the average ambient temperature down to just 25 degrees. It doesn’t come with its own power supply, which is somewhat intriguing especially considering the unit’s price tag of around $2,729. This also makes it one of the most expensive Bitcoin miners out there.
The M3X Bitcoin mining unit is designed by a company called PangalinMiner, and it offers a good alternative for those looking for something other than Bitmain ASICs (such as the Antminer T9+, R4, and S9). Its performance figures are very balanced, and it boasts a good balance between hashing power and value for money. It runs between 12 and 13 TH/s. While these figures may not sound too impressive, it’s not bad when you consider its price tag of just $850. M3X does have some disadvantages, though. One of its biggest drawbacks is the noise, probably the highest out of all the miners listed above. AT 2100W, it’s also nowhere near what you would call an energy-efficient miner.
We hope this guide was useful for you.