Litecoin Mining Hardware – Antminer L3+ Review

By: Steven Hay | Last updated: 11/14/19

As Litecoin becomes more and more popular, many people are looking for the most suitable miner to mine it. In this post I will review Bitmain’s Antminer L3+, the world’s most popular Scrypt miner, so read on.

Note: A newer version, the L3++ was released by Bitmain on May 2018, however, it is very hard to obtain. Additionally, from mixed user reviews it seems that it is no more than a firmware upgrade for the L3+.

Antminer L3+ Review Summary

Litecoin ASIC miners are hardware components dedicated to mining the Scrypt algorithm. Based on the BM1485 chip is Bitmain’s Antminer L3+,  a newer version of the Antminer L3. The Antminer L3+ is way ahead of the competition when it comes to hashrate VS power draw and price.

If you already own an Antminer L3 you can read here our beginner’s guide on how to mine Litecoin.

Last, before buying your mining hardware, make sure you use a Litecoin profit calculator to see if overall you can make money mining Litecoin.

That the Antminer L3+ in a nutshell. For a more detailed review keep on reading, here’s what I’ll cover:

  1. Antminer L3 / L3+ Overview
  2. Antminer L3+ Efficiency
  3. Antminer L3+ Weight and Size
  4. LTC Mining Hardware Profitability
  5. Conclusion

1. Antminer L3 / L3+ overview

The Antminer L3 Scrypt miner was the first Bitmain ASIC miner dedicated to Litecoin mining. Its release into the market dealt a deadly blow to the competition, Innosilicon’s A4 The Dominator.

However, the L3 was quickly sold out on Bitmain’s store and today there are very slim chances you will be able to get your hands on one (your best chances are looking for used ones on eBay).

The Antminer L3+ is essentially an L3 with twice the hash rate and twice the power draw;

Both L3 types use the same BM1485 chips, so the L3+ is essentially two L3’s boxed together. In the following chapters I will review the Antminer L3+ by comparing it to older models and competing products.

Antminer L3 plus


2. Antminer L3+ Efficiency

The most important comparison criteria for a miner is efficiency, which measures the miner’s hashrate VS. its power draw. Greater hashrate will get you more return but entails more power costs, which can end up eating your earnings.

An efficient miner gets you better hashrate for less power.

The Antminer L3+ boasts in a hashrate of ~504 MH/s for a power consumption of 800W. For comparison, its retired competitor, the A4 Dominator by Innosilicon was able to deliver a hashrate of 250 MH/s for 1050 watts, which is half the hashrate for %30 more power draw.

Interestingly enough, the A4+ “LTCMaster”, Innosilicon’s latest Scrypt mining ASIC, performs better than the L3+, with a hashrate of 620MH/s for a power consumption of 750W.

However, the LTCMaster’s price is at least 4 times the price of the L3+, so it might take you a significant amount of time before you’ll get a positive ROI over it.

Bottom line –  raw hashrate doesn’t tell the full story, you need to seek efficiency. All things considered, the L3+ has an advantage compared to other Scrypt miners.


3. Antminer L3+ Weight and Size

The L3+ shipping weight is ~5 kgs, making it fairly chunky compared to the A4+’s ~4 kgs. This difference might not look like much when sitting on the rack, however, when calculating shipping costs (especially for multiple items) this makes the L3+ significantly more expensive.

The L3+ is a bit bigger (352mm*130mm*187.5mm) than the LTCMaster (350mm*125mm*155mm). This is another thing to consider when deciding how to stack your rack.

Still, when taking into consideration the very uncompetitive price difference, the L3+ is still the leading choice.


4. LTC mining hardware profitability

A very important step before you decide if it’s a good time to buy your miner is to test it for profitability. To do that, you can use our a Litecoin mining calculator:

Difficulty Factor
Hash Rate
LTC/USD Exchange Rate
LTC/Block Reward
Pool Fees %
Hardware Cost (USD)
Power (Watts)
Power Cost (USD/kWh)

Just fill in the data for you hardware’s price, electricity costs and the miner’s specs as they appear on the manufacturer’s page. The outcome of your possible return per these parameters will appear below the calculator.

Is Litecoin Mining Profitable?

When using updated stats to July 2019 with a power cost of 10 cent per KW, you’ll find that you’ll actually be losing money. This means that if you don’t have access to extremely cheap electricity and a cool environment, Litecoin mining is probably not profitable for you.

When considering the outcome, it’s important to remember that:

  • Both the difficulty and the price (in USD) can and will change over time. While the price can go both ways, from past experience it is highly probable that the difficulty will mostly go up over time. Basically, this means that the profitability projection is only true to the moment of calculation.
  • The costs of additional essential mining gear e.g. cooling equipment and PSUs are not included in this calculation

5. Conclusion – Should I get the Antminer L3+?

The Antminer L3+ is a very solid all-round performer. In terms of efficiency, it’s nearly identical to the newer, more powerful Innosilicon’s A4+ LTCMaster .

With the price difference at the time of writing (pre-owned L3+ can be found at as low as $190 while the A4+ doesn’t go lower than $1,100 on Amazon), it’s quite clear that the L3+ is still the “best cash for hash” miner out there.

On May 2018 Bitmain released the Antminer l3++, their most advanced Scrypt miner up-to-date. However, most reviews of this model are mixed, with the main complaint being that this is just a new firmware for the L3+ rather than an actual new model.

Since the hardware is virtually identical to the L3+, this may well be the case.

A final word of advice – before spending all your hard earned money on mining hardware, make sure to run the numbers on a Litecoin mining profitability calculator. Mining is a risky business, it involves a significant initial investment. Don’t invest more than you can afford to lose.

Antminer L3+

8.7

Power consumption

9.1/10

Hash rate

9.2/10

Noisiness

8.1/10

Size

8.3/10

Pros

  • Great miner efficiency

Cons

  • Not the most efficient miner
  • Currently not profitable for most people

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Heekmat
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Heekmat

Which is the best coin that by using antminerl3+ we get high returns in shirt time. Ex: ethereum, dash or litecoin.

Anil
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Anil

Can it mine bitcoins too?

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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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

Paul Pritsis
Member
Paul Pritsis

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.