As price drops and hashrate climbs, Bitmain has released specifications for a new water-cooled miner said to drastically increase power and efficiency over previous models.
Here are the details on the Hydro and what this could mean for mining going forward.
Although still 7 nanomater (nm), Bitmain’s new S19 Pro+ Hydro clocks in at a 198 Th/s hashrate. The increase in hashrate is dependent on the design's ability to overclock hashboards, wherein a computer runs at higher power to squeeze out more hashrate.
Read: What is overclocking?
According to Bitmain, the minimum order quantity is 190 units. So, the use case right now seems to be industrial- or medium-scale with shipping starting in May 2022.
Bitmain also recommends setting the Hydro up with the Antspace HK3. The system is built into the container with cooling vent systems on top to disperse heat and keep the cool water circulating. The container can hold up to 210 units, according to Bitmain.
The ASIC itself is a bit different than previous models and has much more equipment to work with, possibly making it a harder sell as there are more moving parts.
Previous ASIC comparisons
With 58 TH/s more power, the Hydro is 41% more powerful than the S19 XP, a next generation ASIC due to premiere in July 2022.
The Hydro is not Bitmain’s first foray into water-cooling technology. In 2018, the company came out with the Antminer S9 Hydro, a 18Th/s machine.
Water cooling vs. immersion
The Hydro uses a water-cooling system that is much different than immersion mining. The immersion mining that people are familiar with uses non-conductive oil so that components are not affected or shorted by electrical current. Water cooling, on the other hand, is a closed system within the computer that is sealed. It cools metal components as water flows through the machine.
Water cooling has some benefits over immersion, namely ease of use. Working with water-cooled systems is less messy and allows people to use something they already have access to: water. Immersion liquid is expensive and greasy and can be difficult to set up.
Currently, the Hydro seems to be an industrial application, with large purchase orders and heavy secondary equipment to run alongside it. But this does not mean sometime in the future this could be purchased secondhand as a stand-alone unit.
Home miners will most likely find creative ways to build their own setups outside what Bitmain recommends. Although the Hydro is power-demanding at 415 volts (V), home miners have found interesting manners of integrating ASICs to date. Additionally, since this device streamlines the water-cooling process, it could open the door for odd and innovative designs yet unknown.
Home miners are already finding it easy to heat their houses with air-cooled devices. Water-cooling devices could one day supplement the home water heaters, such as in a radiant flooring system. Indeed, businesses may pop up in the near future integrating Bitcoin mining into home construction and maintenance in ones yet unimaginable.
Correction: A prior version of this story incorrectly stated the Hyrdo was more efficient than the S19 XP. The Hydro is slightly less effficient than the S19 XP. Additionaly, context was added to the "Home mining?" section.