Evaluation on Bitcoin Miner Antminer S15

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As a scientific company dedicating to high-speed, low-power customized chip design and development, Bitmain has successfully designed and mass-produced multiple models of ASIC customized chips and all-in-one systems. Bitmain was established in 2013 and introduced the first-generation bitcoin miner of Antminer series, Antminer S1, in the same year. With over five years of development, the bitcoin miner of Antminer series has undergone iterations of multiple models of S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S7 and S9. The latest models are S15 and T15, which were on sale on November 8, 2018.

Antminer S15 adopts a brand-new 7nm chip manufacturing technology and the official website evaluates model S15 as Long-term Mining, Energy Efficiency, which emphasizing the features of “high performance with durability and energy efficiency with less power consumption”. According to the parameters on the official website, Antminer S15 has two types of built-in mining modes: High-Performance Mode and Energy-Saving Mode. As per the official parameters, the energy/hash ratio is 57 J/T in High-Performance Mode and 50 J/T in Energy-Saving Mode. Compared to the bitcoin miners on current market, such an energy/hash ratio has set a record high.

 

Parameters of Antminer S15

ModeHigh-Performance ModeEnergy-Saving Mode
Rated Hashrate28TH/s ± 5%15.5TH/s ± 2% – 18TH/s ± 2%
Power Consumption1596W ±7%775W ±7% – 900W ±7%
Power Efficiency57 J/T (25°C condition)50 J/T (25 °C condition)

 

External Appearance of Antminer S15

With brand-new all-in-one and parallel fan design, the packaging case of Antminer S15 has been changed from the previous cuboid to almost the cube compared to previous generations. The packaging material is still the industrial carton marked with manufacturer information, logistic warehousing label, miner specifications and barcode. Outer box size: 486*388*265, weight: about 8.7kg.

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The machine inside is firmly enclosed in the case by two customized EPE foams from the top and the bottom to ensure the safety of the miner during transportation. Around the EPE foams some gaps are reserved for easy access.

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Remove the EPE foam on one side, we can see the main body of the miner wrapped by ESD bag. Compared with the packaging case, the miner seems to be so small and exquisite since it occupies only about half space of the packaging case.

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Different from the single-cylinder and double-fan design of S1-S9 series, Antminer S15 adopts the design of parallel fan with one-side air intake as well as the all-in-one design of miner + power supply, so that the size of whole machine is only 279*175*221 with the weight of only 7.13kg.

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Antminer S15 is small and exquisite. The air inlet and interfaces are designed on the same side. The fans on the air outlet side is canceled and replaced by a honeycomb-shaped baffle.

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The benefit of all-in-one design is the reduction of wire connections so that the external appearance of the miner looks simpler and more elegant with more convenient operation and maintenance. Antminer S15 adopts the clip design for the connection between the miner and the power supply, while the controller and the hashrate board are still connected by cables.

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The miner nameplate is marked with the model number, hashrate and ID barcode. Of course, it will be better if non-slip mats are added on the bottom because it can improve the stability of the miner when being placed horizontally. The machine supports vertical and horizontal installation and the workers can choose the appropriate installation based on the rack sizes of the mining farm.

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Dismantling of Antminer S15

Note: Fragile warning label is stuck on new miner before leaving the factory. Unauthorized dismantling is prohibited, otherwise the warranty will be invalid!

I. Remove fans and connect cables

Antminer S15 adopts two 3.14A fans of model DFB380012000T to provide heat dissipation for the machine. The parallel fan design not only shortens the air cooling path but also reduces the wind resistance with higher heat dissipation efficiency of the miner. Due to the consideration of external appearance, the cables connecting fan power supply and control board are tied up with ribbons, so these connecting wires should also be removed when dismantling the fans, then removed the four connecting cables between control board and hashrate board.

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II. Remove the power supply

First, use hex wrench to remove the connecting piece between the power supply and the miner, then press and hold the iron piece under the power outlet, push forward to remove the power module. Compared to the 6pin interface on previous Antminer series which demand multiple power cables, the all-in-one design provides great convenience for operation and maintenance. S15 is also fixed with a voltage regulating cable on the control board to realize the conversion of high-performance and energy-saving modes.

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Antminer is equipped with Bitman’s first 7nm BM1391 chip, a single chip integrates over 1 billion transistors. Apart from performance improvement, the traditional over-molding plastic package is replaced by the latest Exposed Die package solution, in which the back side of the wafer directly contacts with the heat sink to greatly improve the heat transfer efficiency. From the hashrate board, we can find that the heat sink is only installed on the back side of the chip.

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The biggest advantage of improving heat transfer efficiency of the hashrate board is to reduce the occupied area so that more chips can be placed in unit volume. The reduction of heat sinks also enables the miner to be smaller and lighter. S15 has four built-in hashrate boards, each one integrates 72 BM1391 chips, and 288 chips in total.

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Antminer S15 is equipped with a brand-new APW8 power supply with high conversion rate, which can reduce the loss during power conversion to ensure energy efficiency. APW8 power supply provides 16.32-20.04V of output with excellent workmanship and high quality materials. It’s equipped with two 40BH-12E 12V 0.35A fans for power dissipation.

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The control board area of Antminer S15 is further reduced to 115mm*95mm compared to the previous series.

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Overview of Antminer S15 28T Dismantling

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Comparison of Antminer S15 and S9 Hydro

It’s hard to have an intuitive feeling only based on the external appearance and sizes of on Antminer S15, so we’d like to make a simple appearance comparison with Antminer S9 Hydro.

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Size Comparison between Antminer S15 and S9

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Installation and Testing of Antminer S15

The all-in-one design of Antminer 15 eliminates the procedure of power cable plugging. The hardware installation can be completed by simply placing on the rack and connecting the power cord and network cables.

The setting up of Antminer S15 is basiclly the same as other models, please refer to our tutorial General Mining Guide & TroubleShoot for Antminer Models: https://www.eastshore.xyz/tutorial-general-mining-guide-troubleshoot-for-antminer-models/

 

Measured Data of Antminer S15

Antminer S15 has two built-in mining modes: high-performance and energy-saving, so we conducts 24-hour test on both modes. The test environment temperature is about 17℃and the noise value is about 36 dBA.

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After the miner is powered on, the fans run at full speed. The power consumption is about 25W at boot time and increases gradually. The noise value is up to 81.2 dBA.

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Test in High-Performance Mode

Power consumption: When the miner chip is at full operation and the hashrate on control page has reached 28T, the measured power consumption is 1610-1620W, which conforms to the official level of 1596W ±7%.

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Noise: Because of low ambient temperature, the fan speed remains at around 3120 rpm. The measured operating noise value is 76.5 dBA and the measured noise value two meters away from the miner is 67.7 dBA, so the noise is under proper control.

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Temperature: Antminer S15 has four hashrate boards in total and each one integrated with four temperature-sensing modules. The chip temperature ranges from 44℃ to 78℃. Thanks to the Exposed Die package solution, the outlet temperature is about 42℃ and the power outlet temperature is about 28℃.

Antminer S15 28TH 7nm Bitcoin Miner Speed Test

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Since Antminer S15 adopts the all-in-one design, we also conducts test the temperature at the contact of power supply and hashrate board. It can be clearly seen that the temperature values at each point are of difference.

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Hashrate: After 24 hours of testing in the btc.com pool, the measured average 24-hour hashrate of Antminer S15 can reach 28.56 TH/S. Hence, the calculated unit power efficiency is 1620W/28.56≈56.72W/T, which is in line with the official data of 57 J/T.

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Test in Energy-saving Mode

Power consumption: Select and save “Low Power Mode” on pool setup page of Antminer S15, the miner will operate in energy-saving mode. When the hashrate on control page has reached 17T, the measured power consumption is 836.6W, which conforms to the official level of 775W ±7% – 900W ±7%.

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Noise: Because of reduced hashrate and power consumption, the fan speed is basically maintained at 2,400 rpm. The measured operating noise value is 77 dBA and the measured noise value two meters away from the miner is 66 dBA, we can see that the noise level is almost the same with that in High-Performance mode.

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Temperature: The temperature of four hashrate boards ranges from 25℃ to 62℃. The outlet temperature is about 30℃, which is slightly lower than that in high-performance mode, the power outlet temperature is about 20℃.

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Temperature at Contact between Power Supply and Hashrate Board

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Hashrate: After 24 hours of testing in the btc.com pool, the measured average 24-hour hash rate can reach 17.5 TH/S. Hence, the calculated unit power efficiency is 836.6W/17.5≈47.8W/T, which is lower than the official data of 50 J/T.

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Summary

  • Two built-in mining modes, the measured power consumption of unit hashrate in energy-saving mode is lower than 50W/T. That’s very excellent result since the lower power consumption ratio will result in better ROI.
  • All-in-one design reduces cable material consumption to ensure elegance and convenience.
  • Exposed Die package solution improves heat dissipation, increases the chip numbers in unit volume, reduces heat sink numbers and the resulting overall weight
  • Brand-new AWP8 power supply ensures easy dismantling.
  • Overall noise and temperature are lower than other miners.
  • Overall hashrate is stable without big fluctuations.

By the way, unexpected problems may occur if the exposed power connector contacts with the metal parts on the shelf. Hope such defect will be improved.

Antminer series have evolved from S1 to S15 and the hashrate has also been improved from 180G/360W in S1 to 28000G/1600W in S15. It is not just a digital evolution. With the ups and downs of the Bitcoin industry, the miners keep being upgraded and Bitcoin has also achieved great progress. The decade-long development of Bitcoin has left many stories in the chain circles, currency circles and mining circles. In the two-year life cycle of Antminer S9, it has taken the lead far ahead in the miner market share. In current market of increasing difficulty of Bitcoin hashrate, market downturn and appearance of more new miners, will Antminer S15 create a new benchmark for the new-generation bitcoin miners? Time will give us the answer.

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