We have seen several new Bitcoin/SHA-256 miners come out as well as announcements of plenty more to come as well. One miner that has come out recently is the RockMiner R-Box. It is a 32+ gh/s miner built using ASICMiner’s Gen 3 40nm BE200 chip in a small Orb type package. This smaller unit is an exciting development as the original Block Eruptor was a large, power sucking space heater. The original Block eruptor worked well, but this is an excellent improvement in both power consumption, performance and relative heat generation.
Hash Rate: 32-37GH/S
Power consumption: 40-50W Note it uses a 2.5mm 12V power connection
Chip: ASICMiner’s Gen 3 40nm BE200
Miner Dimensions: 90mm(L)x90mm(W)x70mm(H)
My luck is holding in the shipment department. For this review, I purchased two units from ASICPuppy.com website run by the Bitcoin community’s own CrazyGuy from BitcoinTalk. I also after trying to buy more from RockMiner’s website ended up in contact with Alex of RockMiner who had Matt from
Minersource send me two more. Both shipments arrived quickly and in great shape. Nothing was beaten up or broken. I want to thank all of them as the community has gotten behind their projects, and Rockminer, Minersource have gotten behind the community. Also, I want to thank them for making this review possible. I have an interview with CrazyGuy that will be found in this review as well. Matt and Dan from Minersource.net have an interview that will be published at the beginning of July.
The R-Box is about the size of a 5 chip Gridseed Orb miner. The R-Box is so small you could fit a couple of them in an old Block eruptor case with room for a Raspberry Pi to run them. The fans on the unit are very quiet and less noisy than a Gridseed unit. Initially, you had to use a custom cgminer to run them. GrazyGuy has a great optimized version to use that he made. It has a simple installer for windows that will help many people new to mining. At this time though BFGMiner, MultiMiner and the main branch of cgminer all support the R-Box.
Setup is quick and simple. If using MultiMiner with BFGMiner, it uses the default Sil-Labs drivers. If using cgminer just use zadig to install the driver.
I must say here during my initial setup I had a massive problem getting my units to run. The problem turned out to be my power connection not seating correctly. CrazyGuy is extremely helpful checking a slew of things it could be with me before I found the loose pin on my ATX power cable (LOL).
The miners quickly come up to speed and run around 29 to 34 gh/s on default frequency settings. In testing, I used BTCGuild. The R-Box runs at default frequency at 33 gh/s poolside. MultiMiner detected the R-Box very easily, and I chose to mine Bitcoin. At first I had some problems with the miners stopping mining. I used the restart suspect miners function built into MultiMiner, and they behave properly.
With each R-Box only drawing 40 watts at 33 gh/s, there is plenty of room to push them higher. Temps were low enough that at full speed they are only warm in the hand. The best orientation for them is on their side it lowers the temps by about 8 degrees c. A BlackArrow ATX-DC breakout board can
power up to ten of the R-Boxes. Strongbow custom cases make them safe to handle by covering the exposed sharp pins that normally could cause a jolt. I normally do not mention the breakout boards due to the open pins. With this case I am able to mention it as it makes it much safer for people to use. Thanks MStrongbow for addressing this issue with your line of cases.
The R-Boxes are even less noisy than the 5 chip Gridseed Orbs were. The lower noise and low heat output is a nice change as the original 30 gh/s Block Eruptor was a hot, noisy mess that at times was a fire hazard.
I was able to speak with CrazyGuy of ASICPuppy about the R-Box as well. Because the R-Box from Rockminer is a new manufacturer the community really stepped to the plate to help get them out to the mining community.
Could you tell me if you know about choosing AMT chips and how the design and integration of the board went beyond what I could find in the thread?
CG: I can’t speak to Rockminer’s decision making process, but I can say that Rockxie was one of AMs top distributors in China. Friedcat is a bit of a mysterious fellow, yet he was always honest about delivery dates and specs. It’s no surprise to me that Rockxie would continue this relationship as he moved into the manufacturing business.
Your group buy has been going quite well from the looks of it. How difficult has price pressure been with price drops happening fairly quickly?
CG: Bitcoin mining hardware depreciates in value faster than any other electronic device on the planet. Every day not mining is a payout missed, and consumers realize this. Competition is harsh, and reselling mining hardware can be stressful at times, but I aim to provide the best experience possible to my customers, and I hope that separates me from my competitors.
The R-Box is a great miner to help introduce people to mining. What other advantages do you see it having?
CG: I think the R-BOX is a great device for those learning about mining and wanting something more than a 2-3gh/s usb stick. Not everyone is interested in having a bunch of high powered machines making noise around their house.
My hope is that some buyers are solo mining with their R-BOX. 5k R-BOX units spread across the world are a healthy alternative to one individual running 150 th/s in an abandoned warehouse.
I completely agree that mining should be more decentralized and back in more hands instead of those of a few. Solo mining should be a fun endeavor on the R-Box that is for sure.
How has Bitcoin changed your life?
CG: The world is filled with opportunity, and sometimes it takes a revolutionary medium like Bitcoin to expose it. I have never connected with so many people from different walks of life, countries, and cultures. All this has been made possible by a universal currency that makes it extremely easy to exchange goods and services.
What are your plans for your company that you are ready to speak about now? I know you have a new website up. Do you plan on selling other products as well??
CG: I’m in contact with multiple vendors and hope to have new products up for sale soon.
Do you have an idea when the larger versions of these miners will become available? I have seen the Blade type demo.
CG: The Rocket Box is Rockminer’s next device scheduled for late June. The specs are still being worked on, but it is expected to be somewhere between 450 gh/s and around 1.1 watt per gh.
Do you have anything specific you would like to say or add?
CG: Keep up the good work!
Thanks CrazyGuy I appreciate your time and insight.
The R-Box is a great little miner that brings and ease of use with MultiMiner or CrazyGuys custom cgminer software. While only using roughly 40 watts depending on the speed you run them at they are a much more power efficient unit than its predecessor. The R-Box is a great miner to get people into mining. The price could be a bit lower to make the ROI a bit easier. The build quality is excellent with the quiet fan and well setup heatsink design.
I recommend this miner to those looking to start out and learn about mining as well as advanced miners who like to have the newest miners and chips to test out. ASICMiner’s Gen 3 40nm BE200 is fast and reliable. Rockminer has excellent support as well. While ordering from their website, I had a glitch. Alex contacted me immediately and got it fixed the issue as well as answered my questions. I will be following up with an interview of Alex from Rockminer.
Special Thanks to Ralph of BitcoinUpdate for some great images, videos and consulting with me on the R-Box and other miners.
Disclosure: The writer has received sample miners for this review.