I was able to get a sample 1 th/s Bitmine SHA-256 Bitcoin miner to review. I got the miner from BitTech.hk. They are a new company on the Bitcoin mining scene and active on BitcoinTalk.
The new CoinCraft A1 chips are powering the miner. They have been popping up in several different 1 th/s miners the last few months.
These are the specs on the Bitmine:
CASE SIZE: 43.5*44.1*16.2cm
WEIGHT: 33.1 lbs
POWER: 1300 watt PSU – 1TH off the wall 1080watt
QUANTITY: 32 CoinCraft Chips /4 Blade Modules
Typical: 25-26 GH/s
Controler Unit: Raspberry Pi Model B w/ 8gb SD Card
*This unit has a 1100 watt Gamezone PSU 80 Gold Rated. It had been purchased before the upgrade to a 1300 watt PSU.
My unit arrived fast and shipped securely. DHL once again beat up the package, yet inside it was in good condition. It has a great looking Blue case with plenty of airflow.
Note: The unit shipped with a European power cable. You will need to get a heavy duty ATX power cable if you live in North America.
Due to the rough handling of the box I opened the cover to check cables and connections. When I powered on the unit, it did not boot the OS. I double checked all the connections and though it powered up, the OS did not boot. The Bitmine uses a Raspberry Pi to operate it. Knowing that the OS on the SD card may not have survived a customs’ “inspection”, I went looking for a replacement. I was able to find a generic CoinCraft miner image with the help of HolyScott of BitcoinTalk, and this ended up working OK for me.
I asked Ali of BitTech about image availability, and he said
factory images will be available on the website very soon
Once I had the generic image on a new SD card I plugged it into the Pi the system and the OS booted properly.
Your router or network setup needs to use the Gateway IP of 192.168.1.1 to access the Bitmine. My unit was on 192.168.1.111. If you do not find your miner use the AngryIP scanner or some other network scanner to find its address. The IP scanner will allow you to find it in case it has an IP in the higher registers that doesn’t always show up on some routers.
Once you have your miner’s IP, just type it into your browser and the web interface opens up. I recommend using Chrome or Firefox as you can have them auto translate to English in case your image is in Chinese. Newer images that are coming out will be in English.
The interface is simple; you can put in your pool and worker info, change the chip frequency and even the miners name. If you want to change the IP address, you are also able to do so easily.
Once you have added your pool information make sure the box at the bottom says start and hit confirm.
Mining will start on your pool now. It will take up to 10 minutes for the stats page to show current mining speed. It can take up to 1/2 to 45 minutes to fully show your speed at the pool. On BTCGuild, it took about 30.
With the chip frequency set to 1000 the miner shows 1.02 th/s on the unit stats screen and usually runs in the 880 to 960 gh/s range at the pool. The HW error rate stays around 10% at that frequency. A frequency of 950 lowers the HW rate to less than 3% and the miner runs at 950 gh/s on the stats page and 840 to 870 gh/s at the pool.
First and foremost, this miner is loud. The Antminer S2 at it’s loudest speed is not this loud. The Avalon Gen 1 three module miner was not even this loud at its highest speed.
The Bitmine at 67 to 83 dB 8 feet away is way too loud. The fans just howl at high speed all the time. They are 100 CFM fans; I am going to switch them out with some new Cooler Master JetFlo 120 case fans. They move 95cfm at 36 dB which will be a nice improvement noise wise.
The miner consistently uses 1020 watts at a chip frequency of 1000. With the fans at full speed the entire time the unit stays a nice 56c cool at ambient temp of 68f. It does not have any major temp swings.
The miner is very easy to setup and run. It does run below spec, but I suspect it is a PSU issue as the supplied PSU is an 1100 watt unit. I think with a more powerful PSU the HW error rate will drop, and the variance in speed will close to a smaller range.
If I get a Corsair 1200 watt digital platinum PSU, I will test it with that. BitTech has already upgraded the recommendation to a 1300 watt PSU at the time of this article. You are able to add a second PSU to the system. The controller board and case support a second PSU. Many of the first 1 th/s miners that came out were dual PSU units. Doing this addition may help, you get more out if it at a consistent rate.
The case is very easy to use and has lots of room inside. Cabling is easy to route. The Rasberry Pi is a versatile controller for the Bitminer that can be programmed in many ways. There are reports that you can even use MinePeon to run it. I may test this out in the future, and I will post an update if I do. I will also be trying the factory image as soon as BitTech gets it to me.
The Bitmine is a solid Bitcoin miner. It under performs yet runs stable. With the improvements that BitTech has been making to their design, the Bitmine miner will continue to improve. Despite the loud fans, the case is nice and the setup simple. Customer service is good and BitTech answers questions in a timely manner. You can get a hold of BitTech either on their website or their BitcoinTalk thread. I would feel comfortable purchasing one from BitTech.
I spoke with Ali from BitTech he and his partners are a diverse group and very focused on making mining equipment. They are already hard at work on making improvements to the Bitmine and working on other offerings from their fledgeling company. I will be interviewing him in a few days as he had a very interesting story that I want to share with you all.