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Antminer S9 Hydro Review – Is it Profitable ?

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About a week ago, a new Antminer for Bitcoin has appeared on Bitmain’s Chinese website. Yesterday, it has finally made its way to their English website too, allowing anyone to preorder the new miner – shipment should start September 11. The announced cost is 745 USD + 129 USD for the radiator and accessories + 92 USD for the PSU, making a total of $ 966 USD per unit (shipment or VAT not included)

If we take shipment and taxes into account, the S9 Hydro costs about 1200 Euros for a customer living in the EU.

Several cryptocurrency-related websites have called this new ASIC “a new interesting addition”, or even “a game changer”, though my question is – what kind of profits can we really expect from this miner?

Antminer S9 Hydro Specs

  • Hashrate: 18 THS SHA256
  • Power Usage: 1728 W
  • Power Efficiency: 96J / THs
  • Noise Level: 45dBA @ 25°C (max: 58 dBA, min: 26 dBA)

As the name suggests, the S9 Hydro is basically an Antminer S9 (13.5 TH) with an additional hashing board, which translates into more hashrate with proportionally higher power consumption. The S9 Hydro does not seem to feature any new technologies.

The cooling system requires a constant flow of fresh water. In exchange, the noise produced by the S9 Hydro is considerably lower compared to any other modern Bitman ASIC.

Antminer S9 Hydro Profitability

Talking about profitability, the miner can get you up to 0.0007 BTC a day. This translates into 0,25 BTC a year (current difficulty 6,727,225.469722.0). If we have free electricity and no difficulty adjustments , this miner looks pretty decent.

If we do have to pay $ 0.1 USD/KWh (which is below the average electricity price in the States), then we get a profit of merely $ 300 USD a year (current Bitcoin price $7,290), meaning that the miner will pay off in about 5 to 6 years. I would say that those of us who have to pay for the electricity should not consider this miner at all. Those of you who do have free electricity will have your money back in ~9 months.

This constant decrease in mining efficiency means that the S9 Hydro will more likely not pay itself off in 9 months. It might take about 2 to 3 years for it to start making any sort of profit, though let’s not forget that by 2020 the miner will probably be mining around 0.05 BTC a year. Far from everyone wants to freeze 1300 Euros for 2-3 years just to see a profit of 0.05 BTC a year that will be decreasing 3 times every following year. Especially if you have access to free electricity – there are way more profitable options than the S9 Hydro.

There is also the kind of people who call this miner “a home heater with leftovers”. The only issue I see here is that the S9 Hydro costs 1300 Euros while a 1500W heater can be purchased for $29 USD on Amazon. I really hope whoever said that was being sarcastic (though one can never be sure).

Where to buy

Pros

  • Way less noisier compared to the Antminer S9
  • Shipment starts in less than two weeks

Cons

  • High entry price
  • There is a big chance the miner will never pay itself off, even with free electricity

In Conclusion

Do I recommend this miner? I do not. There have been people adding water cooling to their S9 miners for a while now, so the S9 Hydro does not really adds any value to the community.

Personally, I believe that Bitmain is about to release a new Sha-256 miner based on new technology (whether it’s 10nm or 7nm), so they are trying to empty their stock of 16nm chips before they do that. Canaan and GMO already offer 7nm based ASICs, and I expect Bitmain to not be too far behind them.

Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.

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