Bitmain, who recently released the Antminer S9 in true Antminer form has released the R4, a $1395 miner that is geared for the hobbyist miner.

Boasting an 8.6 TH/D with an 845 Watt power consumption (you'll need another $300 to grab a power supply from Bitmain) it's impressive as far as efficiency but at $1400 this isn't going to make you any money at all unless your electricity bill doesn't exist and even then its a stretch, but you may break even in about 6 months. 

Depending on your country, this is feasible, but likely not in the United States. The average is around 7 cents per KW. 

Bitmain's BM1387 chip is built using TSMC's 16nm FinFET technology and, delivering a record-breaking 0.098 J/GHs, is the world's most efficient bitcoin mining chip in the consumer market. Each Antminer R4 employs 126 such chips to deliver more hashrate and efficiency than any bitcoin miner except the Antminer S9.

The specs are as follows and we've included the S9 specification for review as a comparison:

Specification Antminer R4 Antminer S9
Hash Rate:  8.6TH/s (Variation of ±5% is expected) 12.93TH/s ±5%
Power Consumption:  845W +9% at the wall* 1275W + 7%
Power Efficiency:  0.1 J/GH +9% at the wall* 0.098 J/GH + 7%
Noise level:  52dB (at an ambient temperature of 35°C) Who cares?
Chip quantity per unit:  126 x BM1387 11.60 ~13.00V
Rated Voltage:  11.60 ~13.00V 189x BM1387
Product size:  515mm (L) x 100mm (W) x 222mm (H) 350mm(L)*135mm(W)*158mm(H)
Operating Temp:  0°C to 40°C 0 °C to 40 °C
Network Connection:  Ethernet Ethernet 
* Specification is dependant on APW5 PSU, 93% efficiency, 25°C ambient temp

Bitmain states this is the second best consumer (hobbyist) miner on the market, the S9 which was released just before the halving being numero uno.
Antminer R4 is not only the world's second most powerful bitcoin miner but also the most silent bitcoin miner since the existence of 1TH/s bitcoin miners. 

The unit is out of "AntMiner" form factor like the S2 and S4 which were never really all that popular. Then again, anyone remember the C1? That was in the small black box we're used to and ended up more of an example of how not to liquid cool things. Still ... there's something to be said for the form factor we all know.

Whereas this is not the S9 it's closer than anything else out there right now and worth a look, but at the wallet draining amount of $1395 USD with little hope of any ROI it's tough to praise the unit beyond simple support of the blockchain.

Although, this is exactly who they are aiming for. The hobbyist. They state this themselves. Which might explain one peculiar feature of the R4... the not so ear-blasting fan.

The Quiet Fan

Why the quiet fan? At first glance, the ultra attention to the quiet fan seems a bit absurd. Sure, the quietness is neat and all, but honestly who cares?

Mining takes up space, generates heat, and makes noise. This we know. That's fantastic there's a quiet fan on this unit but I get the feeling that $1400 price tag has something to do with this fan and to put it bluntly who the hell needs this? Let the damn thing make noise. Just make it fast and lean.

Note, I am not saying this is making it more expensive but it (the fan) certainly looks expensive and all in all the fan doesn't really make a whole hell of lot of sense... or does it?

To put this mystery fan into perspective, if you're going to sponge electricity at work by stuffing a miner under your desk, the R4's quiet fan sure would come in rather handy now wouldn't it? I think we have a winner.

Not that we condone that type of thing...

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Image source: dinbits staff

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