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Today I will be reviewing and sharing with you my thoughts on the latest ASIC miner from Bitmain, the Antminer A3. As most of you know, I created a post previously on the new miner and set expectations that I would review it with you when I received it. I ordered this a couple of weeks ago during the launch of their 1st batch and expected it to be shipped and arrive after about 10 business days.
The first thing that I admit, is that I was very surprised to get updated tracking information that my package would arrive 3 days earlier than expected. I actually ended up picking the package up at UPS on the 7th day from when I ordered it. The only thing that I wasn't too happy about is that the power supply I ordered along with it would not ship at the same time, and at this time, I am still waiting for it to be delivered. Luckily though, I have an extra Bitmain APW3++ Power supply lying around (taking it from my less profitable Dash D3 miner) to tide me over until the paired one for this unit arrives.
Unfortunately, I don't have an unboxing video for this shipment because I was too in a hurry to set it up and get started on mining in order to maximize the earnings before the huge difficulty increases.
The miner itself is built almost identical to the Antminer D3. It has the same build configuration and chassis and weighs fairly the same. Before I continue with my review and usage of the miner, below are the listed specs from the Bitmain website.
When I first plugged it in, and the fans started powering up, in typical Bitmain fashion - the first thing you will notice is how loud it is. I think this is a continued opportunity for Bitmain and ASICs in general just because these are not home mining friendly. I assume I will probably need to build another enclosure like the one I built for my S9 and D3 miners.
My first step is to always identify the most profitable pool or at least one that is highly recommended in order to start mining. I don't know much about Siacoin, but I wanted to make sure I got the most bang for my buck after all the price tag was not cheap at $2375 not including the $150 for shipping.
I chose to go with the siamining.com pool because of several recommendations of fellow miners.
I plugged in my mining pool information and let the miner warm up. As it started warming up and each of the chips started to mine, you could easily hear the fan noise getting louder and louder. I checked and noticed that one of my boards was not working. This, of course, is a nightmare that no miner wants to run into.
looking on various forums, I wasn't the only one experiencing this issue - some people experiencing worse. This of course, is the risk you take in order to be the pioneer of new technology. I let it run a few minutes more to see if the board would activate and thought that it may just need more time.
I powered the unit down and restarted a few times and nothing. 1 hashboard was still not working, which automatically cut my hashrate and earnings by 1/3. I admit this is the first time I have gotten a Bitmain product with issues, so I guess I'm lucky and it was about due. I didn't however, want to give up or just accept defeat because I knew getting an RMA for a replacement board would be a nightmare.
I decided to unplug and reseat every cable and try again. This time when I booted up and let it start hashing all boards started working. It was a relief knowing that something probably just came loose during shipping. The build quality is still solid and similar to the rest of Bitmain's products, however, I still trust the proven build quality of miners that have been around longer (such as the S9) given the number of reported issues and my own experience with this A3 miner.
I have been mining with the A3 for a little over a week now. Initially, the figures below were the expected earnings on the day that I purchased the unit.
The difference between then and now is drastically different (as expected) with earnings today looking more like below
I did, however, make a little over a quarter of my money back and expect to ROI, but as you can see from above nowhere close to what I had originally expected to make per miner per day/week/month. Current earnings also reflect the huge drop in prices and increase in network hashrate we are currently experiencing, so my plan is to hold and sell as more batches of miners are released which will hopefully provide an uplift to the overall price of the coin.
Below are the current stats for my miner from siamining.com
Which, as you can see are a lot different from my stats during my first week of mining below
If you aren't investing money you are willing to lose, this miner is not for you. My faith is that this is a temporary low, and that earnings will eventually increase. The miner itself, minus a few initial hiccups, is working great and seems to be another fairly good product from Bitmain. I think Siacoin has a pretty bright future, but only time will tell.
I hope you enjoyed my review of the Bitmain Antminer A3. I would only recommend that you consider purchasing one If you enjoy mining and playing around with new technology. If you can't stomach the volatility and the potential losss of your investment, then I would steer away from this product. If you have any questions, inputs, or feedback, please feel free to post a comment below. I would also appreciate support in the form of Upvoting, Following, and Re-steeming my post if you found it informative.
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