Being a CryptoNight miner, the Antminer X3 was generally dubbed as a “Monero miner” since that is the most popular cryptocurrency which uses the CryptoNight algorithm. Miners on the Monero network were likely overjoyed at having the latest model of a dedicated miner and grimaced due to its high price.
However, Monero ended all the joy and the worries for its miners by rolling out a hard fork which rendered ASIC mining ineffective on the network.
While that led to Monero being hard forked into several new cryptocurrencies that retained the mining algorithm, the update raised a question over the future of Antminer X3, since the development had taken away a large chunk of the Antminer X3’s target market.
Monero’s decision around its hard fork seemed to rally more CryptoNight based cryptocurrencies under the anti-ASIC umbrella, causing coins such as LeviarCoin, Intense Coin, GRAFT and IPBC to go the same route.
That being said, the Antminer X3 is still very much available for other Monero hard forks as well as more stable options which use the CryptoNight algorithm in its original form, and allow ASIC miners to take part in their mining operations. Prime examples of such cryptocurrencies are Electroneum, Bytecoin, and Aeon.
Therefore, if you are still interested in mining a CryptoNight based coin, then the following review of Antminer X3 will come in handy in making a decision whether or not to invest your funds in this particular miner.
Antminer X3 Review: Key Features
Built by Bitmain, which is to cryptocurrency mining what Intel is for processors, the Antminer X3 is certainly a state of the art piece of equipment that surpasses expectations in terms of efficiency.
Currently being sold at $11,999 a piece, the Antminer X3 is a major upgrade from its previous counterparts with a maximum hash rate of 220 KH/s. However, its power consumption (which stands at 550W) does have the potential to put a dent in a miner’s wallet.
The hash rate provided by Antminer X3 points towards its ability to complete up to 220 operations per second, which automatically increases the probability of a miner being able to find the next block.
Looking at the power consumption, even at 550W, the unit remains reasonable seeing the hash rate and the number of possible operations that it can complete.
Antminer X3’s default connection source is an Ethernet cable, which means that it can remain connected without depending on your Wifi. The unit’s official weight has been recorded at 7 kilograms, which makes it easier to move around than some of the more mass-heavy equipment that is available at the moment.
While the unit comes equipped with 2 fans to keep it cool, it is logical to think that it would need more cooling power than that if it keeps running to its full capacity during the majority of the day. The recommended temperature for the mining equipment is touted to be under 104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not that difficult to maintain especially if you have experience with a previous miner.
The dimensions for the complete unit stand at: 334mm (L) x 125mm (W) x 207mm (H). As for the power supply unit, it is recommended to use the APW 3++ PSU which connects to the hashing board seamlessly and powers the unit efficiently.
All in all, the Antminer X3 provides a powerhouse unit to its users, which on paper can definitely benefit from its usage.
That’s All Very Nice, But What’s the Profitability?
Now, this is where it gets interesting. The whole reason why Antminer X3 was equipped with such high-cost materials at the time of its release was that it could provide a high return on investment (ROI) through the mining of Monero, which is one of the most stable and moderately valued cryptocurrencies.
Had Monero still been on the same CryptoNight algorithm as before, then its profitability would have been off the charts. But with Monero now out of the picture and various other hard forks such as Monero Classic taking its place for ASIC mining hopefuls, that profitability scale gets alarmingly unbalanced.
When Antminer X3 was announced on March 15, 2018, 1 Monero was touted to earn miners somewhere around $209 and that was supposed to be the approximate daily earning of a miner who was using the Antminer X3 on the Monero network. After calculating the varied power costs with no pool fees, the projected profit through various sources came to be at least $190 per day.
With that kind of profit, the Antminer was supposed to pay for itself in just a bit over 2 months. However, Monero’s hard fork changed those plans altogether and made Antminer X3 to a large, bulky piece of metal when it comes to mining Monero.
When Antminer X3 turns to mine other cryptocurrencies such as the Monero Classic and Electroneum, the latter of which is also rumored to go anti-ASIC soon, it just does not provide that kind of profitability anymore since Monero Classic is valued at around $8 and Electroneum at around $0.023 at press time.
The current approximate profit one can generate from Antminer X3 on a daily basis is projected at around $20. That’s roughly a 90% decrease from the unit’s original profitability, and thus explains that spending money on the Antminer X3 is not very viable.
People who bought the unit at the original price would have to keep mining for 2 years to break even. That’s not a realistic goal since it’s a very likely possibility that the limited number of cryptocurrencies that are built on the CryptoNight algorithm would mostly move to the anti-ASIC camp.
Rendering the usage of this powerful mining unit to a few choice hard forks which would have to strive hard to get to a profitable value for their miners.
Therefore, those who are looking into investing their funds to not just mine cryptocurrency for the sake of mining it but to generate profits through the operations could do much better in other equipment and mining algorithms, with Bitcoin being the top choice even with all its competition.
To summarize: at its current state, Antminer X3 is, unfortunately, a technology which does wonders on paper, but cannot deliver in the real world when it comes to fulfilling its purpose.