Difference between Antminer S9, S9i and S9j
In May 2018, Bitmain added a new ASIC miner on their website called the 'Antminer S9i', then in August 2018 they added one called the 'Antminer S9j'.
This caused a lot of confusion as they seem to be very similar to the 'Antminer S9', a miner they released back in February 2017. In this guide we go through the differences between Bitmain's Antminer S9, S9i and S9j.
Antminer S9 vs S9i vs S9j Specs
There are several versions of both the S9 and S9i, each with varying power usage and hashpower. We'll compare each of these, listing how much power each one uses per TH of hashpower (the lower this value the better). There's currently only one version of the Antminer S9j:
14.5TH: 1350W, 93.10W per 1TH/s
Based on this comparison, each version of the S9i is more efficient than the S9 equivalent, and the S9j is more efficient than all of the S9i's. The S9i and S9j also seem to be quieter than the S9, running at around 76db vs the S9's 85db (perhaps because the fans run at a more stable speed).
See this guide if you'd like a detailed beginner-friendly summary of the S9i or S9j's specs.
Is the Antminer S9i or S9j worth buying?
On paper the S9i and S9j are definitely more efficient than the S9, but only slightly. Competing companies to Bitmain like GMO have started to offer Bitcoin ASIC miners like the GMO B3 with significantly better efficiency than even the S9j, with the B3 running at 81W per 1TH/s, 12.1W less than the S9j.
Importantly the GMO B3 is a 7nm architecture miner, and all of the Antminers are 16nm architecture miners. In general, the lower this number the higher the potential efficiency, so given the S9j is already fairly competitive, if Bitmain release a new 7nm Bitcoin miner it could be drastically more efficient than any other Bitcoin ASIC on the market. Below we expand on this and list several other arguments for and against buying the Antminer S9i or S9j.
Arguments against buying the S9i or S9j:
- It's only slightly more efficient than the S9, so it's worth buying an S9 from a re-seller at a lower cost.
- Next generation miners like the GMO B3 will push the S9i's profitability down.
- Bitmain may be releasing their own next generation Bitcoin miner, potentially the Antminer S11, within a few months, and if it runs on 7nm it could be much more efficient than any existing ASIC miner (even the GMO B3, because Bitmain have had more time to maximise efficiency). Some rumours online suggest that the S9i and S9j were only released because Bitmain wanted to get rid of old stock, and a next generation miner may be coming in August 2018 or Nov/Dec 2018.
Arguments for buying the S9i or S9j:
- You can currently buy it from the supplier directly, so you don't need to worry about a re-seller scamming you.
- Given there are so many S9's available and this is slightly more efficient, if you have cheap electricity this may continue to be profitable for a while.
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