What was the Best Bitcoin Mining Hardware in 2017?

There are a range of Bitcoin mining rigs available, and each of them takes a different amount of time to earn your initial money back (break even). This guide gives some estimates of how profitable these are based on the latest Bitcoin difficulty & price in December 2017.

This guide was written in December 2017, see this guide for more accurate and up-to-date data.

Tools to work out profitability

There are lots of tools for working out profitability, and each of these has benefits. Some of the more popular ones:

  • CryptoCompare is good for beginners, but can be misleading. It works it out using the current difficulty, price & block reward; which means in the long-term it can over-estimate profitability.
  • CoinWarz is a better tool as it's much more configurable, but still requires you to guess things like difficulty and Bitcoin price.
  • My Crypto Buddy is a new calculator we've come across that allows you to take into account future difficulty increases, very useful!

One Year Break Even Comparison

Using the CoinWarz calculator above (we work out the potential difficulty increases and use them in this, calculations for this are at the bottom of the guide), we can estimate the profitability of some of the more popular mining hardware to work out which is the best value. As Bitcoin's difficulty and value are so unpredictable, we'll give optimistic and skeptical estimates for each.

The links to Amazon below are affiliates, so we'll get some money if you buy something using these.

Antminer S9 (14TH/s batch)

Purchase cost $1310 direct, ($5,497 on Amazon), power usage 1372W, hashrate 14TH/s.

Optimistic yearly income: $11,792 (US), $10,830 (UK)
Skeptical yearly income: $5,317 (US), $4,356 (UK)

Antminer T9 (more reliable competitor to the S9)

Purchase cost $1250 direct, power usage 1576W, hashrate 12.5TH/s.

Optimistic yearly income: $10,159 (US), $9,055 (UK)
Skeptical yearly income: $4,379 (US), $3,274 (UK)

Antminer R4 (quieter than competitors, designed for home use)

Purchase cost $1132 direct ($5,000 on Amazon), power usage 845W, hashrate 8.7TH/s.

Optimistic yearly income: $7,336 (US), $6,744 (UK)
Skeptical yearly income: $3,312 (US), $2,720 (UK)

Antminer S7 (predecessor to the S9)

Purchase cost $440 direct ($1,205 on Amazon), power usage 1300W, hashrate 4.7TH/s.

Optimistic yearly income: $3,076 (US), $2,165 (UK)
Skeptical yearly income: $903 (US), -$8 (UK)

Assumptions (this is just if you're interested, not required reading):

  1. Block reward of 12.5 (as this won't change until June 2020).
  2. We'll use the average Bitcoin difficulty expected for the next 12 months, estimated by analysing the past difficulty increases. Optimistically this would increase by 20% every 4 months, so hit 2.75T within a year (currently it's 1.59T). Averaging these values every 4 months of 1.59T, 1.91T, 2.29T & 2.75T - we get 2.13T (the increase isn't linear or exponential, so there's a little guess work here). Using the same method, a skeptical increase would be 70% every 4 months with an average difficulty of 4.17T.
  3. The value of Bitcoin in dollars is perhaps the most difficult to estimate. We'll assume it will double between now and this time next year (most likely it will increase by more than this, but let's stay skeptical!). The price has been skyrocketing for the past few days (currently sitting at $16,500), so we'll use $15,000 for the current value, double that is $30,000 - so we'll go with $22,500.
  4. Electricity costs vary massively worldwide. We'll do calculations for the US and UK - which is $0.12 per kWh for the US, and $0.20 for the UK. Countries like China are cheaper, so you'd get a higher return.
  5. The largest mining pool (AntPool) charges 2.5% fees, so we'll use this fee for calculations.

DISCLAIMER: This site cannot substitute for professional investment or financial advice, or independent factual verification. This guide is provided for general informational purposes only. Anything Crypto is UK-based and not regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). The group of individuals writing these guides are cryptocurrency enthusiasts and investors, not financial advisors. The ideas presented are our analysis, learning & opinions on a range of cryptocurrency topics. Trading or mining any form of cryptocurrency is very high risk, so never invest money you can't afford to lose - you should be prepared to sustain a total loss of all invested money.

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April 17th, 2018

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Written by the Anything Crypto team

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