Bitmain Antminer S4 Review: 2 th/s Bitcoin ASIC Miner Needs PSU Replacement

October 16, 2014 01:41 UTC
Antminer S4

Bitmain released the AntMiner S4 recently amid much speculation and the simultaneous release of their HashNest cloud mining service. The S4 is much like the AntMiner S2 in that it is housed in a 3U rack mountable chassis. The AntMiner S4 is a 2 th/s Bitcoin miner that uses the BM1382 chip. Bitmain gets an improvement on the gh/s to watt ratio. Power efficiency is one of the most important things to consider when buying Bitcoin or other Cryptocurrency miners. The faster they are at the lowest power ratio, the better.

The Antminer S4 ships now… which is another thing to consider when purchasing miners. You want to be able to get as much hash power as you can before difficulty increases.

Antminer S4 Status Panel

Specifications:
Hash Rate: 2 th/s
Chip Voltage: 0.72V
Chip Count: 160
Power Efficiency: 0.69Watt/GH/s, 1450 watts at the wall
Form Factor: 3U Rack
Fans: Qty 4, 432mm x 442mm x 133mm
PSU inside: 1400W, 80PLUS gold, C14 input socket, power cable not included 16 amp recommended
Temperature: 40-50 degree Celsius
Fan Speed: 3900RPM
Ethernet connection

Also read: Bitmain New Antminer S2 1th/s

Antminer S4 LCD Readout

Antminer S4 Review

The specs are very solid and in one package: no need to hook up an extra power supply. Now for the specifics of how it runs and more… The shipping gods are fickle, as always. While the box and unit were not damaged, the Beagle Bone Black had jostled partially off the pins causing it not to boot and popping a blade cable loose as well. Once these were secured the S4 powered on with no issues. The LCD tells you the IP address that the miner is on so you can easily navigate to the control panel and add your pool settings and password. As with most Bitmain miners, the initial username and PW is root/root. We highly suggest that you change it to something secure.

The control panel is the same as you are used to with Bitmain miners. Very feature rich and easy to use. The great thing on the S4 that I immediately like is the use of DHCP right out of the box. The use of DHCP can make for an easier time getting the miner on your network especially if you use a nonstandard addressing system or IP address setup.

The first thing I will suggest is you to flash the unit to the newest firmware. The new firmware contains the cgminer 4.6.1 which works much better than the initial firmware. With the shipped firmware on batch one, you will find that many times the hash rate will not report correctly, and poolside will only show up as less than half or less of the total hash rate. Make sure to set the difficulty to 2048 on your pool. Right now BTCGuild works the best. Ghash and eligius work but not up to full speed with the newest firmware. We were not able to get it to work well with P2Pool. NastyPool gave me the best results at roughly 1.3 th/s which is not good for a 2 th/s miner. The driver needs to be fixed to allow better compatibility and currently ckolivas of cgminer is working on better cgminer results but is encouraging Bitmain to fix their driver.

BTCGuild Antminer S4 Stats

The Antminer S4 pulls 1450 watts at the wall while running at 1.96 th/s poolside. The Antminer S4 does not ship with a power cable. Make sure you only use one rated at 16 awg or better that can handle 1400+ watts or more. Lesser cables will melt down and can ruin your miner not to mention your fuse box. The S4 also stays much cooler than the Antminer S2 did using a better fan and blade arrangement. Despite Bitmain’s warning that it was louder, the S4 was not as loud as many miners only coming in at 62 dB at 4 ft. Internal blade temps run between 45 to 49 degrees Celsius at an ambient temp of 39c.

[divider]CCN[/divider]

The Antminer S4 is an excellent Bitcoin ASIC miner, but it is not without flaws. The firmware driver issue limits which pools you can run on with optimal performance. This issue can cause some issues for those running on P2Pool especially. It is best to run it on BTCGuild right now until the issue is cleared up. The ease of updating the firmware though makes this issue easier to deal with when a fix is ready. Simply download the new firmware and navigate to the update option in the control panel. Choose the new firmware and load. The update process is seamless and fast.  There is also currently a PSU replacement going on for all Batch one and some Batch two S4s due to a defect in the PSU. Bitmain is replacing them even if they have not failed yet as a precaution.

Dear customers,

We are sorry to inform you that we do find a critical defect of power supply in the first batch and the first part of batch 2 Antminer S4 shipment, and have issued an official announcement on bitcointalk community regarding power supply replacement for these miners. Please find details in the following link,
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=796839.msg9207574#msg9207574

We assume you might have not came across the failure issues like other customers do as we have not yet received any info from you on the power supply problems. But we do suggest you nip it in the bud and keep an eye on your miners which seems to be running well.

we decide to send you new replacement PSUs, which have been optized and improved from the previous ones and will avoid similar issues as stated in the above-mentioned link.

Now please provide us with the Order Confirmation page from Bitmaintech.com of your B1 or first part of B2 S4 miners and confirm with us your full address, to which we will ship out new replacement PSUs.

Please accept our sincere apology for the inconvenience.

Tim Shao
BITMAIN

Antminer S4 Blade Arrangement

The S4 ships with mounting ears for easy rack mounting. The internal blade layout is horizontal as opposed to the vertical that was the Antminer S2’s point of failure in shipping with blade coming loose in the case. Bitmain worked hard to make sure this did not happen again. The LCD seems to be more robust than the S2 so far as well with no failure as happened with the Antminer S2 with days. If you get one that uses a static IP address, it is usually 192.168.1.99 from there DHCP can be enabled. Only a few from batch one were static.

The Bitmain Antminer S4 uses just a tick more than the Spondoolies-Tech SP30, so power efficiency is among the top in shipping miners. The Antminer S4 is a good buy and currently shipping. With difficulty increases, it will stay profitable longer with its power to gh/s ratio.

Note: As of 10/15/14 Bitmain is replacing the PSUs that came with Batch one and part of Batch two Antminer S4 Bitcoin ASIC Miners.  When the PSU replacement arrives CCN will bring you a guide on how to replace it in your miner.  Here is the link for instructions on what to do. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=796839.msg9207574#msg9207574

Disclosure: Antminer S4 provided by Bitmain and 112bit.com 

 

Antminer S4 Status Panel
Antminer S4 LCD Readout
Antminer S4 Blade Arrangement
BTCGuild Antminer S4 Stats
Antminer S4 Controller Board
Antminer S4
Antminer S4 PSU
S4 Beagle Bone Black Controller

Let us know what you think about the PSU issue and your experience with the Antminer S4

Last modified: October 16, 2014 01:47 UTC

@TalonTech1

I am a disabled former Systems Admin, computer tech, business manager enjoying crytpo currencies. I am deeply involved in the mining ecosystem and physical coins, It fascinates me how it has brought people from all over the world together into a tight knit supportive community with commerce and tech.