Archive for the ‘Mining Hardware’ Category

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We have been playing around and testing the Baikal Mini Miner for a few days now and we are ready to share our first impressions from the device. First off it really works and works well with all of the six supported algorithms – X11, X13, X14, X15, Quark and Qubit. This is the first and only ASIC manufacturer (to our knowledge) to offer a dedicated ASIC miner supporting multiple algorithms (though they are not that different from each other). The device is able to deliver the promised hashrate of about 150 MHS in the different supported algorithms and does it with a low power usage also as promised in the specs. Furthermore thanks to the low power consumption is it really compact and nowhere near as noisy as we are used to get from ASIC miners lately, so the Baikal Mini Miner is actually great for a home crypto currency miner.

We are going to be talking more about exact numbers as well as technical details in a future post about the Baikal Mini Miner. This post covers our initial impressions from the device after a few days of normal mining usage to confirm it is working stable and reliable and it does indeed do that. The build quality and the overall design is probably not the best out there, but it works well and apparently allows for easy stacking up of multiple devices as we’ve seen form the Baikal Quadruple Miner that essentially stacks for of these devices together. Everything about the device looks pretty impressive so far aside from the price, the device is being sold for about $500 USD or 56 DASH coins. So it seems a bit expensive, but it is not when you compare it to the competition in terms of X11 ASIC miners that are less power efficient for the hashrate they provide and end up costing you more for the same hashrate. Not to mention that they only support X11, while this one comes with support for 5 other algorithms, so it is more usable and offers support for significantly more crypto coins.

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The Baikal Mini Miner comes with its own mini computer unit similar to a Raspberry Pi that essentially controls the device, so there is no need to actually connect it to a computer for it to work. All you have to do is connect it to your Ethernet LAN network and then open up the web interface for control and monitoring of the device through a browser, the device uses DHCP to get an IP address on your network. The web interface is a modified version of Scripta mining distribution for Raspberry Pi. The default password for the web-interface is baikal and the username and password for the console login are also the same baikal and baikal respectively. You should be able to change them for security reasons of course, though be careful when you change them to note the new passwords for access.

The Scripta mining distribution works stable and really well with the Baikal Miner, it is easy to configure and monitor the device with it. There is a temperature sensor available and it is being reported by the software, though you probably will not be interested much in it as the temperature of the miner is really low. The switching between the 6 supported mining algorithms is as easy as clicking a button after you configure mining pools for each of them of course. The software supports priority based failsafe switching between pools/algorithms. What it could really use however is some sort of automation for profitability based switching between the supported mining algorithms.

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Talking about profitability we cannot forget to do some calculation on the actual profitability of using the device as this is the factor that can be decisive in you choosing to get it or not. The Baikal Mini Miner does come with support for 6 mining algorithms, though not of them are really that popular and widely used. For example X11 is quite widespread, but there are already a lot of X11 ASIC miners on the market, yet it is still often the most profitable one to mine. Other such as X14 and X15 were never that popular, so unless there are some new coins coming out using them there are probably not that much worth mining (they use more power). Mining Quark and Qubit can also do you some good profit if you manage to catch something good. So for actual profit you will probably have to go looking for new coins or for trending ones and risk a bit more and mine them.

If you decide to go the safer way and just sell your hasrate on a service such as NiceHash for example you will have a bit more stable and reliable profit in Bitcoin, but it might not be as high as if you can get by mining the right coins at the right time. Based on our experience using NiceHash with the Baikal Mini Miner we can say that you can expect to get something like 0.0034 BTC per day with the more profitable algorithms. That is like $2.08 USD a day, fortunately the power used by the device is really very little and the cost is not much, something like up to 1 kWh per day. So making let us say $2 USD per day and $60 USD per month it would take you more than 8 months to get enough to cover the cost of the miner. Not that much, but not that little time for the crypto currency world either, and that is only if the current conditions remain for the duration of the next 8 months. Of course you can also risk it and try to get more profit than using the more safer way, though in the end the result might be either better or worse. It is up to you to decide…

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Today we’ve received our Baikal Miner ASIC supporting X11, X13, X14, X15, Quark and Qubit algorithms and we can share some photos with you. Our first impressions from the device as well as results from testing and using it will be shared in the next couple of days when we get to play around with it and see how good it will work and if it manages to deliver what is being promised by the manufacturer.

The miner is pretty compact in size and is a little less than 0.5 kilograms in terms of weight. It is well packaged, the build quality is good, though a bit strange in terms of design, and since there is not much weight there should be no trouble with the package, unless of course it gets seriously damaged during transportation. Our package has arrived in good condition and there seems to be no damage to the box that the miner was delivered into.

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It is important to know that you will only get the miner itself, there is no manual, power supply or any cables along with it, so the rest you need to provide yourself. There is no need for software as you plug directly the device into your network and control it via web interface. But the power supply is important, you need an adapter capable of outputting 12V at 5A with a 2.5mm barrel size (2.1mm won’t work). You can either use a dedicated power 12V supply or go for an adapter from molex to this type of barrel connector and use a regular computer PSU. You can find an online manual and additional support here. That is it for now, stay tuned for more details very soon.

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Bitmain is apparently setting a very ambitious goal of their new miner called AntMiner R4 and that goal is to bring back home mining of Bitcoin. What they are doing in order to get home miners’ attention is trying to make the miner more compact and less noisy while still managing to provide quite a serious hashrate rated at 8.6 THS with just about 845 W of power usage. What will make the most difference for home users however is the price of the new miner and if it is not right, then why would you bring one or even more of these home, guess we’ll know in a few days as sales start at 23:00 (GMT+8) on 29 August when we’ll probably also get an idea about the price of the device.


Bitmain AntMiner R4 Specifications:

– Miner Hash Rate: 8.6TH/s (Variation of ±5% is expected)
– Power Consumption: 845W +9% at the wall (with Bitmain APW5 PSU)
– Power Efficiency: 0.1 J/GH +9% at the wall (with Bitmain APW5 PSU)
– Noise level: 52dB (at an ambient temperature of 35°C)
– Chip quantity per unit: 126 x BM1387
– Default Frequency: 600MHz
– Rated Voltage: 11.60 ~13.00V
– Network Connection: Ethernet
– Operating Temperature: 0°C to 40°C
– Product size: 515mm (L) x 100mm (W) x 222mm (H)

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One of the most interesting things that you will notice with this miner is the cooling fan it uses, Bitmain calls is “a groundbreaking custom-design fan” that is intended to reduce the noise coming from the miner. Instead of using traditional computer fans (designed for servers) that are not intended to be silent, but instead to do their job providing good cooling they have opted out for a different design for the R4’s cooling. The fan that Bitmain uses in the AntMiner R4 is apparently inspired by the fan of a silent split air conditioner, so it was designed to make less than half the noise of the standard miner fan. Furthermore the rotational speed is being automatically controlled to ensure it never creates more noise than is absolutely necessary to keep the miner cool and running, so the noise will also depend on the ambient temperature.

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Bitmain will be also offering an optional custom-built PSU for further noise reduction to go along with the AntMiner R4 – the Bitmain APW5. The power supply works with both 220V and 110V (the standard in North America) input to deliver 2600W and 1300W, respectively. It has a dynamically controlled fan that runs at full speed only after heat sink temperature is 80°C. The Bitmain APW5 should start selling along with the Antmier R4 miner in a couple of days, do note that this is a 12V only power supply that is capable of delivering a very good efficiency of up to 93%. So it may be a great choice to go along with the R4, unless of course you already have some spare 1 KW or more computer power supplies sitting idle.

For more details about the upcoming release of the Bitmain AntMiner R4 Bitcoin ASIC miner…


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