Bitmain is a leading name in the world of mining hardware. Their reputation as a manufacturer of digital currency mining servers is renowned, with both home miners and industrial scale operations relying on their Antminer brand to ensure the profitability, efficiency and computational infrastructure that ensures success. Bitmain operates in more than 100 countries and regions to deliver its solutions to the global blockchain network and, needless to say, they’ve come a long way since the introduction of their very first BTC miner, the Antminer S1.
More recently, Bitmain has been developing a series of hydro cooling miners and containers, with the Bitmain S19 Hydro in particular making waves throughout the industry. In this article, we delve deeper into the Bitmain S19 Hydro and the cutting edge cooling technology that’s set to transform the way Bitcoin is mined for good.
Bitmain S19 Hydro specifications
Officially released in 2022, the Bitmain S19 Hydro miner offers an impressive list of specifications. Like both the Antminer S19 Pro and S19j Pro, the 208-A model is designed and developed to target the SHA-256 algorithm, enabling it to mine LitecoinCash, BitcoinCash, Bitcoin, DGB-SHA, Peercoin and Myriad-SHA.
The hash rate however is another story, with an impressive 158Th/s up for grabs. The power consumption of the Bitmain S19 Hydro is 5,451 watts, but with a power efficiency on wall of 34.5 J/T, there are still savings to be made.
The Bitmain S19 Hydro and the new S19 Pro+ Hydro still rely on the 7nm chips. The more recently released miner is even able to clock up a hash rate of 198Th/s as a result if the design is able to overclock hash boards to maximise power and hash rate.
How is the Bitmain S19 Hydro different?
Alongside its great specification, the Bitmain S19 Hydro has grabbed the headlines thanks to its ultra-efficient liquid cooling capabilities. This innovative technology is offering a new way for miners to cool their rigs, with higher hash rates and better performance going hand-in-hand with greater efficiency thanks to the Bitmain S19 Hydro and other liquid-cooled mining models.
The Bitmain S19 Hydro has paved the way, and is one of the very first mining machines to use this type of cooling technology effectively. Unlike immersion mining (more on that later!), liquid- or water-cooled mining rigs operate a closed system to allow the free flow of water through the necessary parts of the machine. This cools the metal components to unlock several perks for miners looking to put efficiency first and cut energy costs in the process.
Is liquid cooling better than immersion mining?
The water-cooled system that the Bitmain S19 Hydro miner uses is often compared to the traditional immersion mining that the market is more familiar with. Unlike the Bitmain S19 Hydro, immersion miners use non-conductive oil to keep the components within cool as well as prevent component damage and shorting electrical current. Immersion cooling builds are however particularly complex, with several components required to ensure an efficient setup, and these go far beyond the engineered non-conductive oil that will circulate the system.
Alongside your non-conductive oil (often referred to as dielectric coolant), you’ll need an ASIC tank, brazed plate heat exchanger, water to air heat exchanger, pump, and a single or double loop depending on which type of system is compatible with your miner. The setup of an immersion cooling system also requires a certain amount of preparation, with all components needing to be compatible with the dielectric coolant.
The cooling system found in the Bitmain S19 Hydro is different. While, the immersion system is difficult to set up, the Bitmain S19 Hydro is easy to use and maintain. The use of water, instead of non-conductive oil, also makes maintenance far less messy and much more convenient. The cost of managing the Bitmain S19 Hydro is also lower, with the water needed to cool the system easy to access and affordable. The immersion liquid is expensive, greasy and hard to handle in comparison.
What about air cooling?
Hydro and air-cooled mining models sit side by side in the Antminer range, and both offer their pros and cons, especially when it comes to their overall efficiency. Hydro miners, such as the Bitmain S19 Hydro, have the edge, with increased power and lower operational costs making them the better choice when compared to air-cooled alternatives.
The initial outlay associated with the Bitmain S19 Hydro and similar models however levels the playing field somewhat. Hydro miners – like the Bitmain S19 Hydro – need specialist infrastructure, with cooling towers among the additional equipment required to operate a liquid cooled system and reap all the rewards mentioned above.
In terms of efficiency, existing hydro and air-cooled miners are similar in spec, but the soon to be released Bitmain S21 Series is all set to change this. Overall, the Bitmain S19 Hydro and other hydro miners have the means to generate higher hash rates, processing more watts through the chip.
I operate in colder conditions, which is suitable for me?
It is important to note that some mining conditions are better suited to the Bitmain S19 Hydro than others. A fact that makes considering your environmental conditions as well as your budget and the scale of your mining operation vital to deciphering whether a hydro or air-cooled system is the right fit for you.
Miners operating in cooler conditions should analyse the specification of their shortlisted miners carefully. Some hydro miners, including the Bitmain S19 Hydro, are after all not suited to below freezing temperatures, with miners in these climates finding more success with an air-cooled alternative. Those operating in warmer climates however will find greater consistency with the Bitmain S19 Hydro.
For miners who find the Bitmain S19 Hydro unlocks more positives than an air-cooled system, setting up your Bitmain S19 Hydro in an Antspace HK3 container comes recommended, with this addition ensuring a good circulation of water, proper dispersal of heat and improved efficiency, especially in hotter climates.