Chinese mining firm Bitmain has released a teaser of the company’s upcoming Antminer E9 Ethereum miner. The company stated that the Antminer E9 would launch very soon, although it didn’t commit to a specific date.
The Antminer E9 could be the answer to gamers’ prayers. If cryptocurrency miners jump on this new ASIC miner, they could forgo buying Nvidia’s Ampere offerings, and maybe, just maybe, gamers will finally be able to pick up a gaming graphics card. The shelves won’t magically fill themselves since cryptocurrency miners aren’t the sole cause of the graphics card shortage; we can also blame the pandemic for that as well. Perhaps we could see more stock on the market, though.
The Antminer E9 reportedly delivers an Ethereum hash rate up to 3 GH/s, equivalent to 32 Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 (Ampere) graphics cards mining in unison. If Bitmain delivers on its promise, the Antminer E9 will be the fastest ASIC miner available and even outperform Linzhi’s Phoenix Ethash ASIC miner that delivers up to 2,600 MH/s.
Bitmain didn’t reveal too many details about the Antminer E9 except that it draws up to 2,556W and flaunts a power efficiency of 0.85 J/M. Therefore, the Antminer E9 isn’t just faster than the Phoenix miner but also more energy-efficient. For comparison, the Phoenix miner pulls 3,000W, meaning the Antminer E9 has 14.8% lower power consumption.
Obviously, an ASIC miner of the caliber of 32 GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards will not come cheap. The current speculation on Twitter is that the Antminer E9 could sell for over $20,000 easily. Linzhi’s Phoenix miner sells for between $11,300 and $13,700. Even at that $30,000, the Antminer E9 could be a very attractive option for mining farms since GeForce RTX 3080 graphics cards start at $2,500 nowadays, and purchasing 32 of them comes down to a whopping $80,000.
On the other hand, Nvidia probably won’t be too pleased with the news of the Antminer E9 since the chipmaker’s Ampere graphics cards are selling like hotcakes. Let’s not forget that between $100 to $300 million of Nvidia’s Q4 revenue originated from cryptomining sales alone.
On top of that, Nvidia recently rolled out its Cryptocurrency Mining Processor (CMP) products that focus on Ethereum mining. A little over a week ago, Nvidia updated its Q1 forecast for CMP sales to peak at $150 million, three times higher than its original estimate.
The Antminer E9 probably won’t put a dent in Nvidia’s cryptomining business unless Bitmain can produce the Ethereum miner on a large scale. It will certainly be a challenge given the global electronic component shortage that’s hitting every industry.