We’ve Reviewed the Avalon 721 Bitcoin ASIC Miner
The Avalon 721 (A721) from Canaan is a welcome addition to the Bitcoin mining ecosystem. The 6 TH/s miner comes at a time when Bitmain is the main manufacturer selling to the public, making it a solid choice. Canaan also has another ASIC product — the AvalonMiner 741 operating at 7.3 TH/s — which we will review right after the A721.
The Avalon 721 design follows through with the quality case, cooling and board design people have come to expect from Canaan Creative. This unit runs the A3212 16nm chip. Here are the A721’s specs:
- Hashrate: 6 TH/s
- 72x A3212 16nm chips
- Power Consumption: ≈ 930watts during our testing
- PSU output pins: 8 x 6PIN PCIe power connectors
- Dimensions: 340 mm x 136 mm x 150 mm
- Operating Temperature: -5 °C to 40°C
- Net weight: 4.3 kg
Editor’s Note : The Avalon 721 has had a price cut to $681 currently.
Shipping was uneventful and fast. The A721 showed up packed very carefully, along with a second box that included their new controller. The controller is an RPi 3 b+ with Canaan AvalonMiner Controller Software. If you’re familiar with Canaan’s software, the new version features the simple-to-use interface coupled with the more robust, feature-rich advanced console that pros prefer.
The main page gives the user quick access to current stats, network info, firmware version, hash rate and speed charts. The sidebar gives quick access to settings for pools, network and more.
The advanced setting takes the user into the familiar OpenWrt miner controls. Another feature of the controller software is that it can control up to 20 miners. They do this by stringing 5x A721s together using one AUC3 USB dongle and accompanied connection cable that hooks the five miners together. This feature makes it much easier for a user to monitor their Bitcoin mining farm.
Avalon 721’s Stable Performance
For the testing setup we used both an EVGA 1300 Supernova and a Bitmain APW5. The EVGA we used on 110v and the APW5 on 220v. Stats are the same on both — which is good for both home and data center users, showing a solid stability in both the board design and ASIC design. We also ran the Canaan Avalon 721 in our office and the mining lab to see what differences there would be at varying ambient temps.
The Canaan Avalon 721 was tested on BTC.com pool and averaged 6.2 to 6.4 TH/s. At kano.is pool the 721 averaged similar speeds at 6.3 to 6.4 TH/s. The stability at various ambient temperatures is also on display. The mining lab ambient temp went all the way down to -15 degrees Fahrenheit for just under one week, while the A721 didn’t miss a step and ran at over 6.7 TH/s during that time frame. In the office at an ambient temp of 70F, it ran solidly at up to 6.4 TH/s with the fan running in the 4200 RPM range. The A721 also, while not the quietest miner, still comes in at 49 dB at 4 feet while the fan is running at 4200 RPM — which is not bad.
Solid Design, Good ASIC Miner for Everyone
The A721’s design is quite nice. Like the 4 and 6 before, it comes in an aluminum case and frame that houses the boards and fan. The fan works by pulling the air over the boards, yielding a nice even cooling tunnel. Canaan also has been very good about updating their software regularly. Updating is simple using the advanced mode in the controller. Updates are easy to find at their website: canaan.io.
The Canaan Avalon 721 is an excellent miner all round, providing solid performance and support. Using the 16nm chip process, we eagerly await further optimizations in the future.
Competitively priced and available along with 6.2 to 6.4 TH/s at 930 watts, it’s a good buy if you are looking to get into mining or add to your data center.
Canaan recently introduced the AvalonMiner 741 (A741) which increases the chip density to 88 chips per unit. We’ll be reviewing that in the coming days as well.
What are your thoughts on the Avalon 721 Bitcoin Miner? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images via Talon Media Group