On Thursday, Bitmain announced its new Antminer Z9 Mini, an ASIC that would be able to mine any cryptocurrency running the Equihash algorithm. This would include Bitcoin Gold, Zcash, Komodo, ZClassic, ZenCash, Hush, and a few others.
Though the combined market capitalization of all of these coins put together don’t reach nearly as high as giants like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, or even EOS, some of their novel concepts might make them profitable over the long run to mine, nonetheless.
The Antminer Z9 Mini is dear at $1999, when compared to the others that typically go for anywhere between $500 and $700. It comes closest to the Ethereum-mining E3, which sells for $2150.
What buyers get for this steep price, however, is interesting. Whereas an Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti GPU could provide roughly 735 solutions per second on Equihash coins, the Antminer Z9 Mini blows all of that out of the water with 10,000 solutions per second. For Zcash enthusiasts to mine at that rate with GPUs, they would have to purchase 14 GTX 1080 Ti units, each of them running a price of over $600 per unit.
The gap gets even more impressive when comparing power consumption. A typical high-performance GPU will run at around 250 to 300 watts on full load. The Antminer Z9 runs at 300 watts by itself, completely outclassing GPUs as a mining medium for Zcash and Bitcoin Gold.
Equihash boasts ASIC resistance, but it only does this by rewarding miners with more RAM in their systems so that specialized chips wouldn’t have to be made. We suspect that Bitmain’s Antminer Z9 is simply a powerful rig with tons of RAM in it.