Bitmain is diversifying into GPU powered mining rigs with the Antminer G1 and G2. GPU mining picked up major steam over the last year with altcoins like Ethereum, Monero, Zcash and Zcoin gaining value. This has made demand for GPUs grow to the point AMD and Nvidia are making GPUs directly for mining cryptocurrencies. The G1 is configured with 8x Nvidia 1060 mining GPUs and requires an external PSU. Bitsonline received a G2 to review which is loaded with 8x AMD 570 mining GPUs, in a rack mount case with integrated PSU. Let’s take a look at the full specs.
CPU: Intel Skylake-s G3900-LGA1151, PCH-B150
Memory: 8GB UDIMM, DDR4 -2133
Hard disk: 1 x 2.5inch Sata 128G SSD
Ethernet: 1 x 10M / 100M / 1000Mbps (Intel I210-AT)
USB interface: 2 x USB3.0
Display interface: 1 x VGA
Graphics card: 8 x AMD Radeon RX570, GDDR5
8x GPU backplane
Calculus: ETH Hash Rate: 220MHash ± 10%, Zec 2800h ± 10%
PSU 1600 watt Bitmain PSU
Weight: 15Kg (including power supply)
Antminer G2 Data Center GPU Mining Rig
The Antminer G2 arrived safely packed including handles to be attached for easier maneuvering into network racks. A note here is the G2 is a beast at 33lbs / 15kg; rack mounting is optional if you have it but not required. The Antminer G2 has Centos 7 loaded on the ssd, but it is fully compatible with Windows 10 as well if you prefer. It is recommended that you start it the first time with a monitor, keyboard and mouse to setup your remote login info, secure and get IP. The G2 is very loud with 6x 5in high CFM fans — they are set to run at high speed.
Claymore Eth+ 9.7 came preloaded but a quick download of v10 and it is ready to go. For the review we used stock settings to get a baseline, we will be adding a tuning review in the near future to Bitsonline as well as with other OSs.
Claymore setup is straightforward and more information on it can be found in the official thread on Bitcointalk here. We used Dwarfpool in ETH-only mode, as Claymore Eth miner allows for dual mining a second coin. The Antminer G2 quickly got up to 222 MH/s poolside and sustained it for 24 hours. We then set up dual mining mode, adding Decred at Suprnova pool. ETH mining reached 219 MH/s and Decred 1740 to 1847 MH/s sustained. Dual mining pulled 1284 at the wall using stock settings.
Antminer G2 Mines Any Algorithm, Runs Multiple OSs
Zcash, Monero and other coins can easily be setup with Claymore or other mining clients. The ability to run multiple OSs makes it compatible with any GPU-mineable coin. In our Zcash testing, stock settings averaged 3043h sustained. This baseline testing leads to tweaking your mining client to get the best power to hash ratio. Claymore and XMR-Stak both have lots of options in Linux and Windows to not only increase your hash rate, but also lower power consumption. AMD also released a beta mining driver that allows for better performance.
The Antminer G2 is a well-set up GPU rig that offers the convenience of an all-in-one package that houses 8 GPUs and the PSU. Cabling inside is very clean leaving room for lots of airflow. The AMD 570 4GB mining edition GPUs have large heatsinks and no fans with a much shorter length as well. The backplane eliminates the need for extra risers and the cables with extra PSU connections that go with them. Frankly, it was a breath of fresh air to see the inside of the case so clean that it felt empty despite being packed with 8 GPUs.
As AMD and and Nvidia put out newer versions of the mining edition cards that fit this backplane you will be able to upgrade with ease. The backplane supplies the slots power along with one PCI-e cable per GPU. The backplane also hosts the 2 USB ports and VGA port as well as the fan power for the rear 3 fans while the mini Skylake CPU equipped mainboard runs the front three fans.
AMD Cryptocurrency Mining GPUs
The Antminer G2 is a great GPU miner for data centers with simple deployment and management. The powerful setup and compatibility with Windows 10 and linux OSs allow for a myriad of configurations for running any algorithm. Home users will find this an excellent miner as well but would want to change the fans to high cfm, low db ones, as the G2 is loud at over 76db to 84db when the fans are full out. Bitmain making GPU mining rigs allows it to easily mine any coin and to quickly deploy a ton of hash power to any coin.
While there are not many of these outside of China yet, retail-wise they are deployed alongside Bitmain’s ASICs in data centers worldwide. This is a good thing even for bitcoin in the case of the hard fork to a new algorithm that some developers have called for, as a lot of hash power can be turned to the new algorithm to secure the network. If you want fully built GPU miners the Bitmain Antminer G2 is a great choice.
GPU mining has in many ways stayed the same since first taking over from CPU mining bitcoin and one to a myriad of alts. Yet at the same time AMD and Nvidia making dedicated GPUs and drivers is bringing it mainstream.
As we stated earlier in the review we will be adding to our mining section with miner optimization guides and reviews of mining clients with their settings and benchmarks using the G2 and many other hardware setups. Keep an eye out for our mining portal in the coming weeks as we are just getting started.
What are your thoughts on the Antminer G2? Let us know in the comments section.