Review: Rockminer R3-Box 470 gh/s+ Bitcoin ASIC Miner

Journalist:
August 5, 2014
Review: Rockminer R3-Box 470 gh/s+ Bitcoin ASIC Miner

Rockminer has been putting out miners at a fast pace first starting with the R- Box a 32 gh/s+ ASIC miner. The R-Box was Rockminer’s entry-level miner which not only helped them break into the market, and is gearing at the causal miner or someone new to mining. Their introduction of the R3-Box brings Rockminer into direct competition with other heavyweights, like Bitmain, in the Bitcoin ASIC miner market. The R3-Box operates at a speed of roughly 479 gh/s and is aiming at a place from enthusiast’s farms to average users who want more power without breaking the bank on power bills. Like the R-Box, the R3-Box uses the ASIC Miner Gen3 chips. The R3-Box also goes for a blade design like the Antminer S3 and forgoes the box design of the original Rocket.

Specifications
Chips: 36x ASICMiner Gen3
HashRate: 450~480GH/S per unit;
Power Consumption: 1W/G
Cooling: Air cooling system
General Size: 400mm x 170mm x 190mm per unit
Blade: 160mm x 170mm
Net Weight: 9.9 lbs
PSU: 4x 6PIN PCI-E
Controller: Raspberry Pi
Noise: 57dB

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Another win in the shipping depth as the R3-Box arrived safe and secure. Like before to save time and funds, Rockminer had Minersource drop shipped the miner to me from Denver. One thing I have noticed is that Rockminer works closely with it’s vendors worldwide to give the best service to it’s customers.

Rockminer Status

The R3-Box looks much like an Antminer S1 in its dual blade design. From there is takes things in a bit different direction. Each blade needs its own USB cable that plugs into a USB Hub provided and mounted on the frame. From the hub and cable goes to the Raspberry Pi that controls the miner. For those who just want a simple plug and play setup this can be a pain in the butt, yet due to the open layout it was a quick and simple connection setup for all of them. The R3-Box also comes with a cable that plugs into a blade and then the Raspberry Pi to give it power. This arrangement cuts down on the power bricks that normally power the RPIs (RPI=Raspberry Pi), there is also a mounting setup for the Pi keeping it all nice and tidy. The cables can all be routed into the frame holes and such, so there is not a snake’s nest. As I said, it may look like a big pain in the butt yet was very easy and well thought out for having the extra wiring.

For this review, I used an EVGA Supernova 1300 watt PSU and also tested with a Corsair 750-watt PSU. Both PSUs are gold rated 80 as they can handle the sustained power draw without rapid failure.

R3-Box Wiring and Pi Setup

Once powered on you access the R3-Box through the default IP address of 192.168.1.254 through your browser. Typing in the IP will bring you to the GUI console. Everything is easily laid out and simple to use. I suggest changing the IP address if you are going to add more of the R3-Boxes to your mining farm to ensure there will not be any IP issues as they all start out defaulted to this IP.
The GUI is easy to navigate and strikes the right balance between being simple to use and to having most of the features that you want in your mining GUI. The GUI that ships with the miner is v 0.91, and they do have a newer version you can flash and run that is now up to v 1.3.0. You can either upgrade it through SSH or by downloading and flashing the image to your RPI SD card. I would like to see it upgradable from the GUI to help people who are not used to making images or SSH’ing into their RPIs upgrade more easily. They are actively working on the software which is nice and shows dedication.

The miner’s control panel shows a hashrate of 514gh/s average with a 10% to 11% reject rate. These figures translate poolside to 478 gh/s average for me on BTCGuild. I set the difficulty to 256 on BTCG for the R3-Box. I will follow up in the comments section as I try updated firmware sets to see if I can get the reject rate to go lower. I would like to see it sub-3%, and it may get there as they keep tweaking and working on it. Temps average 47C and with the front fan blowing air over the long blade setup it does not do too bad. I would add a 2nd fan to the rear pulling air as well to even out the cooling on the blades.

The R3-Box pulls on average 496 watts for me consistently. As I stated earlier, I had two different PSUs that I tested with both had the same power draw and the same average reject rate. Some people have reported reboots on the R3-Box, but I have not had that issue. It has been solid for me and relatively maintenance free.

BTC Guild Stats For R3-Box

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The R3-Box is a solid 3rd entry into the Bitcoin ASIC miner market for Rockminer. It is close in price to an Antminer S3 and performs very close as well using a bit more power to so.

Rockminer is already working hard on the R4 and changing up the design a bit for better cooling and connectivity. I will be sure to keep you posted when they arrive. The software while good can be better, and they are working steadily on it to address the reject issues and refine it more. I recommend these for serious miners as well as new miners as things work well yet have enough features to help new miners learn. With Rockminer selling these in-hand as well it makes for fast shipping and no waits another strong draw for buying them. Rockminer has been fast to answer my questions as well which is another plus.

Rockminer has impressed me with the speed of their miner evolution and how hard they are working to get miners in the hands of customers. They have taken the mining community seriously when criticisms arise as well which is why the R3-Box is so much more evolved than the Rocket Box that was a square miner that made for difficulty in stacking and also for cable management. The work on the GUI controller software is nice to see as well.
A worthy addition to your miner collection or mining farm.

Review: Rockminer R3-Box 470 gh/s+ Bitcoin ASIC Miner
Rockminer Status
R3-Box Wiring and Pi Setup
Safely Packaged R3-Box and Accessories
R3-Box Wiring and Pi Controller
R3-Box USB Hub
R3-Box RPI Mount
R3-Box Pool Tab

Disclosure: I purchased this miner for review.

Last modified (UTC): August 5, 2014 18:51

Scott Fargo @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.