Best Dash Mining Hardware – Antminer D3 Review

Last updated on February 26th, 2018 at 04:16 pm

Evan Duffield, creator of Dash (formerly known as Darkcoin, and XCoin before that) stated that Dash’s X11 proof-of-work algorithm was intended to reproduce Bitcoin’s mining development curve. Its controversial 32% premine scam aside, Dash mining has indeed progressed through the familiar phases established by Bitcoin: CPU mining, GPU mining, and now ASIC mining.

Antminer D3

The Antminer D3 from Bitmain is the currently the most efficient ASIC miner for Dash. The D3’s first production run began shipping in mid-2017 and quickly sold out, as it offered a major performance advantage over the competing ASIC and GPU miners.

As with Bitcoin and Litecoin ASICs, Bitmain wasn’t first to market with a Dash miner; that honor belongs to the iBeLink DM384M, which was released in 1Q16. However, as with Bitcoin and Litecoin ASICs, Bitmain’s product offers peak electrical efficiency. Duffield’s intention to mirror Bitcoin’s mining progression was certainly fulfilled!

The Antminer D3’s Hashrate Compared

The D3 achieves an impressive hashrate of 15 GH/s while consuming 1200W of electricity. It realizes an efficiency rate of 1.6 J/MH. This contrasts very favorably with the iBeLink DM384M, which produces only 384 MH/s. To put this into perspective, the D3 gets nearly 40 times the hashrate for only about 1.7 times the power consumption.

For a fairer comparison, consider the Baikal Giant-A900 X11 ASIC. The Giant, the former leader of the X11 mining field, hashes at 900 MH/s for only 216W. However, the D3 gets over 15 times this hashrate for less than six times the power consumption. The A900 does, however, have the advantage of being able to mine five more algorithms in addition to Dash’s X11.

Finally, iBeLink’s latest offering, the DM11G, achieves 11 GH/s and draws 810W. This means that it gets 73% of the D3’s hashrate for 67.5% of the energy! The only downside is the DM11G’s steep upfront cost—more than double the D3’s. If you’re able to get one at a better price, you should certainly consider it as a strong contender to the D3.

D3 and PSU Costs

Bitmain sells the D3 for around $2,700, minus shipping costs and a power supply. However, the September batch quickly sold out, and the next possible batch will available in November for $1,450. Bitmain’s recommended APW3++ power supply adds another $105. You can, however, use any ATX PSU with the correct power rating and connectors.

Even at $2,700, the D3 is the clear leader in terms of value. Its nearest rival, the DM11G, costs a whopping $6,000 for iBeLink. Baikal’s Giant is currently not available except from resellers and second-hand, where it generally sells for about $2,200. However, the superior performance of the D3 means it will pay for itself a lot sooner (assuming Dash mining remains profitable).

D3 Weight and Size

To let you know what to expect in terms of shipping charges, the D3 weighs 5.5 kg, and the PSU weighs 3 kg. The D3 measures 320 x 130 x 190 mm. Its low weight and small size compare favorably with other X11 miners; the DM11G, for example, weighs 21 kg and measures 490 x 350 x 180 mm.

X11 Mining Considerations

Dash’s USD price has been rising lately, ensuring that the coin remains profitable to mine. However, Bitcoin’s recent price hike has greatly outperformed Dash’s:

Dash price compared to Bitcoin

Dash is doing well in US dollars, but its performance is mediocre when priced in bitcoins.

According to Coinwarz.com, it was 128% more profitable to mine Dash than it was to mine Bitcoin in August 2017. However, this was only half the two-week average of 227%. This declining profitability is due to two factors:

1) Bitcoin’s greater appreciation:

Dash mining

Out of over a thousand altcoins, 15th place is pretty darn good.

2) Dash’s rapidly rising difficulty rate as high-powered ASICs become widespread:

Dash Difficulty

Bitinfocharts.com shows Dash difficulty spiking since X11 ASICs became available in early 2016.

Is the D3 Profitable?

If you want to get an idea of your potential returns from a D3, the CoinWarz Dash mining calculator is helpful. Bear in mind, however, that difficulty is almost certain to continue rising, and Dash’s price may well fall. However, based on a static price and difficulty, the profitability picture is as follows:

Dash mining calculator

According to the calculator, with the approximate US average electricity cost of $0.10/kWh, the D3 can pay for itself in less than three weeks! (Note: This was true for the time of writing this post. Please check for updated stats on Coinwarz’s website).

That’s incredibly fast—the latest Bitcoin miners from Bitmain can take a year or longer. The projected annual profits of nearly $50k are likely highly unrealistic. Nevertheless, the D3 appears to be a good investment on paper.

How to Buy the D3

Like any other miner from Bitmain, The Antminer D3 sells in batches. Every few months, a new batch comes out. It’s worth taking a look at Bitmain’s D3 page to see when the next batch will ship. Also, Bitmain’s Twitter profile has useful information about upcoming releases.

Note that the D3 is also available second-hand or via preorder from various resellers. While certain dedicated ASIC suppliers may offer fair deals, most resellers on eBay or Amazon will charge a premium for getting this “money printing machine” ahead of the next batch.

A preorder with Bitmain is probably the safest way to purchase the D3. While local resellers will ship it to you more quickly and allow you to dodge import duties, you should be aware that many scam resellers exist and may take advantage of the demand for new mining equipment. If you buy via a reseller, ensure that they’re reputable first. We personally got burned by such a scammer on Amazon as well.

Shipping costs and times from China must also be taken into consideration. Certain resellers promise fast delivery times and cheap shipping within the United States (and some other regions). Long shipping delays eat into expected profits; as others receive their D3s and begin mining, mining difficulty rises accordingly. Note that unlike Bitcoin’s two-week delay, Dash’s difficulty retargets roughly every two minutes and forty seconds, or with each new block found.

The Bottom Line: Is the Antminer D3 Worth It?

Although other manufacturers are working on new Dash ASICs, right now the Antminer D3 is the best available X11 miner. Your options are to watch and wait for a better miner or to purchase the D3 as soon as possible.

Antminer D3

$1450
Antminer D3
8.5

Efficiency

9.1 /10

Profitability

8.8 /10

Weight and Dimensions

7.8 /10

Price

8.2 /10

Pros

  • Should break even within months
  • Best X11 miner overall

Cons

  • Very limited availability

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16 Comments

    • Hey SX Ruffin,

      If you mean that the A3 will be very profitable for early owners then rapdily become less profitable as the increasing supply of ASIC miners ramps up SIAcoin’s difficulty, then yes, I think that’s very likely. The Obelisk SC1 miner is expected to come out mid-year so that will only exacerbate this trend. Still, if you can get in on the current batch of A3s, before difficulty gets crazy, you might do well. Of course, it also depends on price… Like most investments in crypto, it’s a gamble – but it’s often better to gamble small early than to gamble big late.

    • Hi Cryptomania,

      Yep, that’s always the risk of ordering ASICs. By the time the thing arrives, difficulty may be through the roof and you might struggle to break even. Bitmain does indeed use the devices themselves while the profit potential is really high.

      I also dislike the fact that Bitmain are now asking for Bcash for their products; artificially propping up the value of their forkcoin (which they likely mine with ASICboost…). I can’t wait for good alternatives to Bitmain miners to appear!

    • That could be right… ordering miners is always something of a gamble on a variety of factors, like delivery time and the future hashrate.

  1. There is no point in Antminer as a company. I have looked at their products many times. BUT they don’t deliver for 3 months plus so any benefit from their machines is lost to improving tech. You will never make much without building your own rig. If Antminer did same day delivery they might be close to being useful but they are just selling the tech they have used to it’s technical limit. Great business model but really just a scam on less tech savvy miners!!!!

    • Yes, I’ve been doing a bit of research and it seems most of these can only be had with a certain amount of certainty using pre-orders, 2-3 months away, at which point the processing speed has been surpassed.

      I have been looking at building my own rig. Jeremy, any suggestions for starting points? At this I’m debating about spending a few hundred on a 3 vid card GPU behemoth to do the X11 processing.

      Thank you

      • Using GPUs is basically worthless these days. i tried GPU and CPU mining when i started out. Of course, you will end up with some nice GPUs when you are done trying it…Even using an ASIC to mine Bitcoin i am only netting $4.50 per day. (after power cost)

  2. Hi Steve,
    you say ‘…if you buy via a reseller, ensure that they’re reputable first. We personally got burned by such a scammer on Amazon as well.’

    How did you get burned? Doesn’t amazon reimburse you 100% if you don’t get the product? Just curious as to your experience before I hit the “buy” button. Thanks!

    • Hi E C,

      The line “We personally got burned by such a scammer on Amazon as well,” was added by Ofir to this article. I’ll have to contact Ofir and enquire about the details as I’m not aware of exactly what happened there.

      Yes, It’s true that Amazon will reimburse you if the product is faulty or undelivered. However, you’ll still have to absorb a big opportunity cost.

      Waiting for a miner which never arrives will waste day, weeks or even months. The refund process will waste even more time, although I’m not sure how long Amazon usually takes to resolve such things. You’ll then need to order a new miner from a different seller, and again wait for delivery.

      While all this time passes, the many customers of legit resellers (or the manufacturer) will be mining with their new, powerful devices and driving up difficulty. By the time you get your refund and new miner, difficulty is likely to have risen substantially which will make your mining less profitable.

      Any edge is quickly lost in mining, so it’s really important to get the best hardware as quickly as possible. Dodgy resellers will cause you a lot of headaches and lost mining revenue, so be really careful who you buy from!

  3. Shubham Tatvamasi on

    Hi I have a few questions regarding Bitcoin Mining.

    1. What are the best machines to mine Bitcoin?
    2. What new machines are coming for Bitcoin mining?
    3. Is it profitable to mine Bitcoin at this stage?
    4. Should I mine Ethereum?
    5. In how much time I will recover my money back?

    Please give me your best suggestions I am new in cryptocurrency world.

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