Why We’re Impressed With Canaan Creative’s Avalon 741 Bitcoin ASIC Miner
Soon after releasing the Avalon 721, Canaan released the Avalon 741 with several improvements beyond just a hash rate increase. In fact, our conclusion is the Avalon 741 is one of the Bitcoin ASIC miners currently shipping to everyone. In our mining gear series we will continue to bring you information about up-to-date ASICs, FPGA and GPU gear that is readily available. Let’s start with the specifications before we take a closer look at the new cooling system.
Hashrate: 7.3 TH/s (RTHS)
88 x A3212 16 nm chips
Power Consumption: ≈ (1150W at the wall during testing)
PSU output pins: 6 x 6pin PCIe power connectors.
Dimensions: 320 mm x 136 mm x 150 mm
Gross Dimensions: 400 mm x 210 mm x 220 mm
Air-intake Temperature: -5 °C to 40°C
The Avalon 741 was provided by Canaan Creative for review.
The A741 arrived packed securely and in a custom box to keep it snug. Despite some rough handling in transit, there was not a scratch on the unit and nothing was damaged inside.
The Avalon 741 ships with the USB dongle and link cable. We received this one without the controller that Avalon sells separately, as Canaan also provides the images for the popular Raspberry Pi units for free. So we tried out the process using a RPi3.
At Canaan Support you can find firmware images for RPi 1,2 and 3s. This is a welcome point of support in that many of us have older RPis sitting around doing nothing. Putting the RPis to work again is a good thing.
One of the first things you notice is the cowl on the fan channeling the air of of the back of the unit. This is a change from the normally-standard fan bolted on one side of the miner or the other. When you look at the front grille, you’ll see a contoured heat sink on the PCB boards.
Ease of Use is Key With the A741 Controller Image
The setup is simple. Download the firmware and burn the image to the appropriate SD or Micro SD card. From there, simply plug in the controller to the USB dongle and cables to your A741. Power on the miner and then the controller. You’ll then be able to find the IP address using AngryIP or some other IP search tool. After that you have the familiar Avalon/Canaan software to run your miner.
The Avalon software is simple to use with a graphical interface that many are familiar with — and those who aren’t will still find it easy. Simply click the “configuration” tab and enter your pool info. Save and apply and the A741 starts mining. If you want to go into fine detail mode you can click the “advanced” tab and configure in the Open WRT panels. Canaan offering a robust yet easy way to set up and run your miner is a good thing.
Avalon 741 Uses New Airform Cooling Technology
The Avalon 741, being an update of the Avalon 721, was not expected to be a big deviation from those specs. Instead of 72 chips the A741 packs in 88 chips. The increase in chips would normally mean the current setup would have a harder time cooling them. However the A741 utilizes a new design in cooling for the chips and boards.
Avalon calls it Airforming or Airform Cooling Technology, which it does quite well. The flowing design keeps the air funneled through the unit, gaining size in key areas where heat builds up. This allows the heat to be forced out more efficiently. Both sides of the PCB have heat sinks on them with the enclosure funneling the air efficiently over them.
The new cooling design tapers the heat sink from thin beginnings at the inlet, widening out as the heat sink gets over the actual chips on the board. To increase the surface area for heat to dissipate from, each fin also has grooves in them. This works very well.
The more open front seemingly allows for more air volume to come in and gain speed, before exhausting out the back. The fan is louder than the A721 by a few db, at 56 db from 4ft away. This is not a huge increase, but these are not made to be in your living room either. We have more images of the heat-sink arrangement below.
The Avalon 741 Stability is Top-Notch
When running the A741, it averaged 7.7 to 7.8 th/s on BTC.com and Kano pools. The Avalon 741 is rock solid — as we’ve come to expect with Avalon miners. The ability to chain together at least five A741s per controller makes managing your miner farm easier as well.
While you cannot chain together different miners like the A741 and A721 together on the same controller, being able to chain the same models together works out great. The A741 pulled roughly 1050 watts during the testing while the fan ran at 5400 rpm, keeping the unit running very well and nice and cool. The performance is very big plus with very little deviation in output. The Avalon A741 also handled an ambient temp of 78f with aplomb and no slowdowns or hiccups.
The Avalon 741 build quality is top notch which should ensure longevity of use. Currently we have at Bitsonline Labs an Avalon 6, Avalon 721 and Avalon 741 running side by side. The build quality has improved with each revision. They are a great addition to your large or small data center, or even home mining.
What are your thoughts on the Avalon 741 and the Canaan Creative line of mining equipment?