Antminer S9 was among the most popular miners when it was released, but is this mining hardware still viable in the face of increasing mining difficulty and decreasing mining rewards? Let’s have an Antminer S9 review and things you should know before buying.
I will answer this question at the end of this Antminer S9 review if you are looking for a quick answer – No, Antminer S9 is no longer viable and it would be wise not to go for it. I’ve explained this in detail in the profitability section of this article and even mentioned some alternatives that you can consider. Now, let’s start the in-depth review of this miner.
Background of the Antminer S9
Not so long ago, Bitcoin mining was only possible with gaming GPUs. With the rapid proliferation of miners and mining farms, the mining pool became saturated, reducing the possibility of mining at home as no GPU could provide the required bitcoin hashrate.
At this point, Bitmain, a China-based company, jumped in and released a series of ASICs that are not only accessible to the miner but also ensure a reasonable ROI, allowing hobbyist miners and ordinary people to find their place again.
Their popular products were the Antminer R4 and S7, but their latest S9 is a one-stop solution for all bitcoin mining difficulties. As a top-of-the-line ASIC miner using 16nm chip technology, the S9 offers a superior hash rate, making it instantly popular in the mining community.
Antminer S9 review
To get the best idea of the Antminer S9’s estimated returns, you should consider each factor – the price of electricity in your region, the mining difficulty of the Bitcoin network, the block reward, the hash rate of your mining rig, and the power consumption.
Currently, the Bitcoin network block reward is 6.25 BTC. Bitcoin network mining difficulty increases by 0.5% per day. This combined with block rewards halving every four years makes Bitcoin mining more competitive.
The Bitmain Antminer S9 has a hashrate of 13 TH/s and mines around 0.0001 BTC daily. As for power consumption, Antminer S9 consumes 1300 watts per hour.
Considering that the average cost of electricity in a US household is 13 cents, Antminer S9 brings you a daily profit of $0.26. This equates to an annual return of just $93.76. Even if you choose the Antminer S9 14 TH/s variant, you will get $0.32 in daily profits, i.e., only $116 in annual profits.
Such low profits make Antminer S9 an unprofitable option for mining as it would take you around 8 years to recoup the miner’s price if you buy a brand-new machine.
The most expensive miner on the market
Due to its fantastic mining abilities, the Antminer S9 is one of the most expensive miners on the market. A mining period of at least 10 months is required to achieve maximum profits, also considering the additional electricity costs.
During the said period, many factors such as mining difficulties and exchange rates can fluctuate, making it difficult to predict the exact length of time before one can expect the investment to break even. However, the price is expected to drop due to competition from smaller mining manufacturers in the market aiming to sell miners at lower prices and with similar characteristics.
Antminer S9 review: Power supply
The Antminer does not support plug-ins and it is necessary to buy a power supply (AC adapter), which can cost an additional $150. The APW3-12 1600W is recommended by the Antminers manufacturer (Bitmain), which can not only be found on their official website but can also be purchased from online retailers such as Amazon or eBay.
You can also use a power supply from an old miner like the EVGA SuperNOVA 1300W. It’s always best to buy the APW3 power supply, which can increase initial investment costs, but it’s in similar ranges to old power supplies, so doesn’t create too much of a cash crunch.
90-day guarantee when purchased from Bitmain
Bitmain offers its customers a 90-day guarantee that comes with certain conditions. The guarantee does not apply if you overclock your miner, ie operate it at a higher speed than the intended and maximum amount, or use an inappropriate power supply.
Several S7 instead of one S9
Miners consider the S7 model as it has almost 33% of the hash power of an S9 and comes at a much lower price. The expected hash rate per S7 is 4.37 TH/s, but if a miner considers using three such devices, the equivalent hash rate of an S9 can achieve. The older model is at a lower price point and not too sought after, so it’s also easily available.
However, the Antminer S7 is less energy efficient than an S9, making it a viable option only for miners with reliable and cheap power sources.
Antminer S9 review: Power consumption
The Antminer is one of the most energy-efficient mining machines on the market. The S9 and its separate power supply work with 220 V electricity. It consumes almost 0.1 joules per gigahash and total power consumption is expected to be around 1350W. The Antminer S9 will generate a lot of heat, so it is important to place it in a separate place.
Not all S9s are equal
Bitmain sells its bitcoin miners in individual batches, with each batch being different from the next, so the customer will likely get a miner with a hash rate of only 11.85 TH/s instead of the promised 12.93 TH /s procured. This makes it imperative that all buyers know the miner’s exact specifications before purchasing them.
The higher-performing batches are likely to sell out quickly, so most websites only offer the miner for sale at 11.85 TH/s. However, online trading platforms like eBay will have people wanting to sell the older and more powerful model. The likelihood of being scammed with higher prices is very unlikely as the 11.85 TH/s version is much cheaper than its more powerful version.
Antminer S9 review: Setup
Setting up the miner is relatively easy. The integrated web wizard offers simplified and easy support for the setup process. Upon receiving the product, be sure to check for any loose heatsinks that may have arisen during shipping and conduct a thorough inspection. The S9 comes with 9 connectors to the miner and one to the board, so first connect the controller board power wire to the hash board wire.
The next step is to connect the power supply cable to the Antminer PCI-e connector on the controller. Go ahead and match the ETH cable to complete the setup. The interface is relatively simple and connecting to bitcoin nodes is an equally easy process.
Antminer S9 alternatives
Antminer S11 has a hashrate of 10.5 Th/s with a power consumption of 1530 watts per hour. If we do the math, mining bitcoins with Antminer S11 gives you $2.33 daily profit, which is an annual return of $850.
On the other hand, Antminer S15 has a maximum hashrate of 28 Th/s. This Antminer model consumes 1596 watts of electricity per hour. Speaking of profitability, mining Bitcoins with Antminer S15 will bring you $5.05 in daily profits, i.e. you will transfer $1,819 worth of profits with Antminer S15 every year.
Advantages of Antminer S9
The hashing capacity of the Antminer ensures good performance. With the right mining pools and minimal electricity costs, the S9 is the most desirable and profitable miner any hobbyist can get their hands on. Thanks to Bitmain’s advanced technology, the S9 considers extremely energy efficient compare to the S7 and every other hardware released before it.
The S9 considers simplify and low maintenance. Whether you are a solo miner or even a hobbyist, the quality of your hardware is a major necessity, even if it may come with a higher cost. Since the S9 is a standalone unit, you will need another computer to access Bitcoin nodes as the machine comes with a built-in port for web management.
It has the highest recorded hash rate of 14 MH/s and is extremely energy efficient at just 0.1 joules per GH/s. The miners are inherently well-built and robust machines and have very few moving parts. They are each accompanied by three hashboards. Bitmain’s engineering team considered the importance of every detail while creating the world’s most powerful miner. They integrated the Antminers control board with the fast dual ARM Cortex A9 microprocessor with CoreSight.
It also supports Gigabit Ethernet to ensure mined blocks will deliver instantly. Each chip of the S9 will attach to a heatsink, which is made of high-quality aluminum alloy. The case of the S9 is also made of the same material. The released hot air will quickly replace with cooler air with the help of computer-controlled fans mounted at both ends.
It is expensive, costing $2100, and the user has to resort to an additional power adapter, which will sell separately.
Antminer S9 is a viable and desirable option that depends on several factors. Your location, available budget and requirements for guaranteed profit protection, and so on. However, Antminer S9 is not a viable option considering that it will bring you very little returns.
Antminer S9 review shows us that S11 and S15 are among the most suitable and profitable options for bitcoin mining.
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