Antminer L3 / L3+ Scrypt Miner Review – Is It the Best Litecoin Mining Rig?

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Bitmain are (in)famous in the Bitcoin world, not only for producing the fastest available ASIC miners but for their AsicBoost and Antbleed scandals. With the powerful L3 Scrypt miner, Bitmain have expanded into Litecoin mining. Once again, their products supply the most hash for your cash… But as the L3 was quickly sold out on Bitmain’s store, should you try to buy it elsewhere or opt instead for Bitmain’s improved model, the L3+?

Antminer L3
A rare L3, being sold on eBay. Note the single-fan design and exposed boards. It weighs 2.5 kg.

Both L3 types use the same BM1485 chips; only their number differs. The Antminer L3+ is essentially an L3 with twice the hash rate and twice the power draw. Nevertheless, deciding on the right model and buying from the right seller is still a pretty tough call!

If you’re interested in serious Scrypt mining, this review aims to give you enough information to come to an informed decision between the various L3(+) options.

Antminer L3 plus
The dual-fan L3+ looks really similar to the SHA256 mining S9 but is about 1 kg heavier.

5 Important Things You Should Know Before Choosing an L3

The Antminer L3 has a Competitive Hashrate

The L3’s hashrate is an impressive ~255 MH/s. This rate is surpassed by the ~504 MH/s of the L3+ and the ~280 MH/s of the A4 Dominator by Innosilicon.

Raw hashrate doesn’t tell the full story however. Whether you go for an L3 or L3+, you’ll have a major efficiency over other miners, like the A4, KnC Titan or any remaining GPU miners. As a result, you should make considerable profits – at least until L3 models become widely distributed… Of course, profitability also depends on getting the L3 at a good price!

According to the mining calculator, at Litecoin’s current price and difficulty and assuming a baseline 10c per kWh for electricity costs, an L3 will produce: 3.5 LTC, worth $165, per week!

In a year, the L3 could make as many as 183 LTC, or $8641 – although achieving such returns is unlikely, as Litecoin’s difficulty will surely rise as more of these products hit the market.

The Antminer L3 Consumes Little Electricity

Working from the above calculations, the Antminer L3’s modest 400W power consumption should amount to only 10% of your profits – $16.80 over a week and $876 over a year.

Comparing the L3 to the A4 Dominator, it’s clear that the L3 is nearly twice as efficient. Whereas the A4 burns around ~1000W to achieve 280MH/s, the L3 manages to get nearly the same hashrate from only ~400W. Over time, the L3’s greater efficiency (1.6 J/MH) will result in an ever-increasing profit differential.

According to Litecoin creator, Charlie Lee, the L3 is 2.5x times as efficient as the A4:

charlie lee antminer l3

The L3+ consumes around 800W to get ~500 MH/s; double the power for double the hashrate. This means that in terms of pure efficiency, there’s very little to choose between an L3 and L3+.

Note: the L3 does not come with a PSU. It’s recommended that you use a good, electrically-efficient power supply unit (PSU) for running an L3. The PSU must have and five 6-pin connectors and should have plenty of spare capacity; between 600W to 750W is recommended. Efficiency also depends on PSU performance.

Antminer L3s are Light

Weighing in at only 2.5 kg (or 3 kg including its packaging), the L3 is a lot lighter than the A4 Dominator, which weighs a hefty 9.2 kg. The L3+ is also fairly chunky, weighing 6.5 kg (packaging included).

The L3 definitely wins here, as its lightweight design keeps the shipping costs down and also allows for the safer stacking / shelving of multiple miners.

Antminer L3s are Relatively Quiet

The L3’s single-fan design produces a minimum of 60dB, whereas the dual-fan L3+ emits from 75 dB to 95 dB, depending on ambient temperature.

The L3 isn’t whispery enough to run in your bedroom but it shouldn’t keep the neighbors awake either.

The Antminer L3 is Very Compact

The L3’s dimensions are a modest 23 cm by 13.5 cm by 16 cm. This compares favorably with the slightly larger A4 Dominator, which is 28 cm by 26 cm by 13 cm. The L3+ is the biggest by far, measuring 35 cm by 13 cm by 19 cm.

Antminer L3s are Scarce and Therefore Often Expensive

For those who didn’t pre-order the Antminer L3 from Bitmain in the run-up to its initial release, it’s now only available on secondary markets, such as eBay, Amazon, AliExpress or dedicated crypto mining distributor sites.

Several offers, particularly from online markets, will absolutely gouge you on price, charging well above Bitmain’s initial price on the L3. Particularly if purchasing from a new, unknown crypto miner site, ensure that you only order from a reputable supplier! Several scam sites have set up in the past, promising – but never delivering – Scrypt ASICs.

As the next batch of L3+s will sell for just under $2000, it wouldn’t make sense to pay much over $1000 for an L3, given their relative power. However, as the L3 may be delayed and will likely take weeks to ship, it might make sense to pay as high as $1500… This is especially true if you’re assured of fast delivery and can get a warranty comparable to Bitmain’s original 180 days (this will also apply to forthcoming L3+ units).

As for pre-ordering the L3+, it should be fairly safe. While crypto mining hardware pre-orders are notoriously dodgy, Bitmain have always held up their side of the bargain thus far.

Run the numbers and assess the risks before making a purchase decision!

Is the Antminer L3 worth the investment?

The Antminer L3 is a very solid all-round performer, with some definite size, weight and noise advantages over the L3+. In terms of efficiency, it’s nearly identical to the L3+. As the ageing A4 Dominator is outclassed on most fronts, your choice of an ASIC Scrypt miner will come down to either the L3 or L3+. Price and availability are likely to be the best determinants.

Steven Hay

I'm a former futures trader. My keen interest in matters financial, economic and political eventually led me to conclude that the current, debt-based fiat system is broken. It was a natural step from there to investing in gold and, in early 2013, Bitcoin. Although I'm not very technical, I've learnt about Bitcoin through study, asking questions, running ecommerce and marketing sites and working as a journalist. I've always loved writing and my current focus is on creating guides which inform others about Bitcoin's advantages.

Antminer L3+

$1370
Antminer L3+
8.675

Power consumption

9/10

    Hash rate

    9/10

      Noisiness

      8/10

        Size

        8/10

          Pros

          • Great value for money
          • The most efficient Scrypt miner today
          • Relatively quite

          Cons

          • Limited supply = High price

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          10 Comments on "Antminer L3 / L3+ Scrypt Miner Review – Is It the Best Litecoin Mining Rig?"

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          Anil
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          Anil

          Can it mine bitcoins too?

          Zsofia Elek
          Admin
          Member
          Zsofia Elek

          Hi Anil, Litecoin and Bitcoins are using different algorithms, although theoretically, you could mine Bitcoins with Antminer L3 but it involves coding and it will not be efficient and profitable. You need a different specialized hardware for Bitcoin mining, you can find an article about this here: https://99bitcoins.com/bitcoin-mining-profitable-beginners-explanation/

          Peter Mach
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          Peter Mach

          tooooo bad

          Alex Gavin
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          Alex Gavin

          The problem with traders today is that they think they are too smart, they know what they are doing reading a bunch of charts watching videos, following news or making a few profit doesn’t make you a pro. Stop overestimating your self and seek proper guidance and good trading strategy in other to trade and recover your lost, and your money that your brokers refuse giving you back, don’t be a dud and lose all your earning before you realized you are in over your head.

          Russell Wallace
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          Russell Wallace

          The only way you will make money from these is if you get them at the retail price from Bitmain as soon as they are available. Given the difficulty increases you will not make any money and get a nil or negative return on investment if you buy them at the extortionist prices that you have to pay from the rip off merchants who are trying to sell L3+ units for 6,000 USD and up.

          Edward
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          Member
          Edward

          these figures about making heaps of money mining … welll its not much really. You could make more mowing lawns or collecting cans , but thanks to those people who devote their time to it

          Jesse
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          Jesse

          I’m curious what you base this comment on? I made over $3,000 this last month after electricity.. For a total of almost $6,000.00 in the last 9 weeks. And my initial investment was $23,000.00.. So, I only have to make $17,000.00 more to pay for everything and reap pure profit. Haven’t mowed lawns in a few years, but I think it would take quite a few to reach that income.

          nass
          Guest
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          nass

          hi
          can you update on how the mining is going on
          thanks

          RadAct
          Guest
          Member
          RadAct
          My L3+ is on it’s way from Bitmain as we speak, got shipped out late last week. I’ll let you know how good it is when I get my hands on it. I’ll try both Litecoin and some Alt-Scrypt coins as a comparison. I’m only spewing cause at the time of the order, nearly 3 months ago when they announced it, BTC price was around $1000 so it cost me 1.05BTC. As they delayed it releasing it, the BTC price has more than doubled, so it would only cost around .05 to buy it now. They still have approx. 3… Read more »
          Emmanuel Blancaver
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          Emmanuel Blancaver

          Great deal.

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