Review: ASICMiner Returns With Prisma 1.4 th/s Bitcoin Miner

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ASICMiner BE200 Chips on Prisma
ASICMiner BE200 Chips on Prisma

ASICMiner recently debuted the Tube Bitcoin ASIC miner which we reviewed at CCN. FriedCat and his team have followed up the Tube with the Prisma. The Prisma is a 1.4 th/s miner based on the ASICMiner Gen 3 BE200 chip that the Tube miner, as well as others like the Rockminer T1 and BTCGarden V1X2, use. The Prisma follows the same design as the Tube except that it is longer, featuring more chips and a lower clock rate. Clocking down and adding more chips is what ZeusMiner did with the Thunder X6 that we reviewed as well.

ASICMiner can bring the total hash rate up to 1.4 th/s and they are keeping it at a very competitive price with some vendors selling at 1.47 BTC at the time of publication. The Prisma is at a good price especially since almost all hardware miners are long on ROI due to the low BTC value right now.

ASICMiner Prisma Specifications:
Chip: 48x ASICMiner Gen 3 BE200
Hash Rate: 1.4 th/s
Power usage: 1200 watts at the wall
Size: 35cm x 12cm x 12cm
Weight: 16.5 lbs
Controller: BE200 Ethernet Controller

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ASICMiner Prisma
ASICMiner Prisma

The Prisma, which uses 48 chips and a lower voltage freq of 240 as opposed to the 270+ used in the Tube, is a miner that pulls just over 1200 watts at the wall. For this review, we used an EVGA 1300 watt Supernova. Gold rated or server PSUs are a must for miners that pull this much power on a 24/7 basis.
The shipping gods were oddly violent and benevolent at the same time. The box was badly squashed yet thankfully ASICMiner packed it with a foam box inside. Even though one of the frame ears was bent the Prisma worked perfectly out of the box. The Prisma is built like a tank just like the Tube.

The Prisma blows air into the heatsink tunnel using a very loud fan. At times, the fan was hitting 80 dB while in a room with an ambient temp of 73-degrees F at 4 feet. When moved to the mining room with an ambient temp of 50-degrees F at 4 feet it quieted to 72 dB. The Prisma is louder than the Spondoolies SP30. We did not see any fan speed control in the firmware of the BE200 controller. The BE200 controller is back on the Prisma with that same firmware. The Prisma should be preset to a freq of 240; if not, make sure that you set it to 240 before connecting the Prisma. That way the Prisma is not damaged by the freq being too high. The BE200 has not been updated officially yet to have failover pools, and the stratum bug is still there from the Tube and the T1 that also shipped with this controller. There is supposed to be an update on the way that will allow for failover pools and better stratum compatibility. There is also a USB adapter on the way so that the Prisma, Tube, and T1 can be used with an RPi or Windows. Once the USB adapter arrives, CCN will bring you an update detailing how well the RPi works with them all.

BTCGuild Poolside Hash Rate
BTCGuild Poolside Hash Rate

For this review, we used BTCGuild as the mining pool. The Prisma ran at 1.4+ th/s using 1218 watts at the wall. The Prisma is very stable and runs great on BTCGuild. You can run a proxy on MultiMiner or using cgminer or BFGMiner on an RPi if you want to use other pools. The Prisma keeps a stable hashrate both poolside and on power consumption running roughly the same on both 110v and 220v with the difference in speed and power consumption being less than 1%.

Prisma Status Panel
Prisma Status Panel

The ASICMiner Prisma is a cheap, fast miner that works well. The controller needs the official update that will address the aforementioned issues. A step in the right direction is the USB adapter and official support for the ASICMiner miners in cgminer and bfgminer that are coming. The addition will allow better control and safety measures like failover pools and generally better pool support. We are looking forward to better P2Pool results as well. Crazy Guy of ASIC Puppy has also said that he created a version of Minera for the RPi, which is great. Minera is a full graphical and command line RPi mining image that supports many different hardware miners. Minera also allows for MultiMiner plugin support for robust monitoring and control. CCN will bring you results when the adapter arrives.

Those new to mining will enjoy the power of the Prisma but will be frustrated getting it to work on some of the pools or trying to set up a proxy. People who are well into mining will like the Prisma as a solid, fast, stable and powerful miner they can put in their data centers or mining farms. The Prisma will just run and run with limited messing around after the initial setup. The drawback are the sheer noise and heat of the Prisma. People will not want to keep this in their homes unless they have a room that can absorb the noise

ASICMiner Prisma 1218 watts for 1.4 th/s
ASICMiner Prisma 1218 watts for 1.4 th/s

and heat. Mining farms and data centers will not have an issue, as they are designed not to. Despite being almost 15″ long, it is easy to install and, like the Tube, is surprisingly easy to setup and install. Hot and Cold isle setups will be a bit tricky due to the exposed chips on the side but not impossible due to the high CFM fan that moves the air efficiently through the heatsinks. The way that the Prisma is assembled makes it a perfect fit for liquid cooling setups as you can take the board out and still link them and immerse them side by side. Power consumption is a bit higher than the Spondoolies SP30 or the Antminer S4 yet the lower price point makes up for that.

The Prisma is a definite winner. FriedCat has more tricks up his sleeve as well with new chips on the way and a new partnership we will report on here in the future.

Tell us at CCN what you think below in our comments section. Also email [email protected] to suggest miners to review.

 

Disclosure: Miner was provided by 112bit.com for testing and review.

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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.