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Author Topic: [Review] Bitmain Antminer S5 - A wonderfully modable and well performing miner  (Read 17345 times)
Xian01
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December 31, 2014, 09:48:14 PM
 #1

NOTE: In this review, I play around with swapping out the stock fan for quieter ones. After ~24 hours of tinkering or so, I've concluded that it's best to leave the stock fan on if you are running default 350MHz clocks and above. Adding a pull fan makes little to no difference with the stock push fan. These units appear to perform best when run at a board temperature below 60C.

---

Full Disclosure: I was offered a preview unit but did not feel right accepting one as I have been critical of the S3 launch. I purchased two Batch 1 units with the aim of replacing two older A1 28nm rigs, and hopefully getting it quiet and cool enough to run in a bedroom (tl;dr: Not likely even at 54dBA with quieter fans in push/pull)

Background: I’ve been involved in home mining in since May of 2011. CPU mined my first block as a curiosity in August of 2010.

Started with a dual AMD 7970 rig in 2011 and grew my farm out from there after learning of the Bitcointalk forums. Have been practically living in the Hardware section ever since, trying to keep up with the shifting landscape of mining hardware suitable for use in North American homes running on standard 115VAC residential circuits.

My farm today: I’m practically at the limits of what my home is able to reasonably power, which gives me an approximate hash rate of about 12THs spread across Bitmain S2’s, Bitmain S3’s, A1 Clones, and SPTech SP20E's.

---

Unboxing photos.











Stock fans are indeed loud. Way too loud to be near a bedroom (Measuring ~74dBA)


Off to experiment with some other fans.



---

Yep, that's better. Still too loud to be in a bedroom, IMO, but quiet enough to put in the living room.



591W at the wall





---

Much better with some different fans with manually adjustable flows. Have it set up nicely in a push/pull configuration.



Board temperatures have settled at 63/58 at room temp of 25C pulling 592W from the wall using a Corsair TX750M Bronze power supply.

---

Initial Thoughts:  Lots of room for improvement making the units quieter, but it performs to spec, and has lots of room for modding and tweaking.

Will update this thread as I play with them more. Will definitely be looking to acquire a few more of these.

Bitmain has another winner on their hands, and looks like the production issues faced with the initial S3 batches have been largely resolved if we take other reviews into consideration.

Cheers, Bitmain !

Other reviews:

philipma1957 - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=907219.0
klondike_bar - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=908494.0
bgibso01 - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=908483.0
Syke - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=908126.0
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Biodom
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December 31, 2014, 09:53:41 PM
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Great review!
Care to mention what fans did you use. One looks like Cooler master, but which model?
In addition, how do you power them up. It looks like you don't power them off the miner connector itself.
Xian01
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December 31, 2014, 09:56:03 PM
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Great review!
Care to mention what fans did you use. One looks like Cooler master, but which model?
In addition, how do you power them up. It looks like you don't power them off the miner connector itself.
Using a Thermaltake for push, and an Antec for pull (the Thermaltake fans rub up against the mounting screws when used for pull).

The Thermaltake fan has an adjustable RPM knob, and the Antec is a 3 speed adjustable fan.

Powering them via Molex adapters - Not connected to the S5 controller at all.

Antec pull fan : http://www.amazon.com/Antec-TriCool-LED-Cooling-3-Speed/dp/B00066FHEW/
Thermaltake push fan : http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Blue-Eye-Adjustable-Control-AF0026/dp/B003IWN23O/
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December 31, 2014, 10:02:31 PM
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Great review. It would be nice if Bitmain made note of these mod's and incorporated them into future products so that they have the best miner on the market out of the box.
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January 01, 2015, 01:28:25 AM
 #5

The SP20 design is ideal since it can stack in any direction as all ports are on the front, and the unit is a long 120mm tube. By replicating the S1/S3 board design Bitmain has somewhat limited themselves, and ideally the next revision will include a 4" PCIe extension to allow plugging power in the front side.

as for noise, try the stock fan at 5V. it pushes a lot of air but becomes reasonable volume (still quite loud though)

24" PCI-E cables with 16AWG wires and stripped ends - great for server PSU mods, best prices https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=563461
No longer a wannabe - now an ASIC owner!
Xian01
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January 01, 2015, 11:58:39 AM
 #6

as for noise, try the stock fan at 5V. it pushes a lot of air but becomes reasonable volume (still quite loud though)

How do I adjust the stock fans to operate this way ?

dogie
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January 01, 2015, 12:22:50 PM
 #7

as for noise, try the stock fan at 5V. it pushes a lot of air but becomes reasonable volume (still quite loud though)

How do I adjust the stock fans to operate this way ?

A resistor cable is the simplest. I'm not sure what this one is rated at, but they usually step down to 9V, 7V or 5V. Also be careful that they can take the current especially with these big boy fans.

Next step up is a fan controller, can get some pretty cheap/small ones but again make sure its rated high enough to take the current. Fan controllers have the benefit that they're variable voltage.

Both of these waste some energy. [No affiliate links]

SargeR33
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January 01, 2015, 12:56:36 PM
 #8

Thanks for the review. I've sold one of my miners and now looking to get something more efficient and juggling between the SP20 and this. Seems both are very loud, both require a PSU but each has its own other pro and con.

In regards to fans, are they just standard 120mm fans you can use? Do you think if you shield the top and bottom of the unit that a push and pull approach will greater improve heat displacement considering the air will be channeled in a streamline fashion?

I'm interested to see how these will treat a 240v PSU.

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January 01, 2015, 01:57:22 PM
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Thanks for the review. Have you try to clock it up yet and see how those fans do?
Xian01
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January 01, 2015, 03:27:41 PM
 #10

Thanks for the review. Have you try to clock it up yet and see how those fans do?
Here's the cooler of the two units overclocked after 10 hours



One unit is running hotter than the other with identical fans at the default 350 clock. Might just slap the stock fan back on that hotter unit and see if that doesn't help things. If I get some time, I might decide to re-paste that one hotter unit as well.
Biodom
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January 01, 2015, 05:45:16 PM
 #11

Great review!
Care to mention what fans did you use. One looks like Cooler master, but which model?
In addition, how do you power them up. It looks like you don't power them off the miner connector itself.
Powering them via Molex adapters - Not connected to the S5 controller at all.

Antec pull fan : http://www.amazon.com/Antec-TriCool-LED-Cooling-3-Speed/dp/B00066FHEW/
Thermaltake push fan : http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Blue-Eye-Adjustable-Control-AF0026/dp/B003IWN23O/


Sorry, I was never involved in computer modding before bitcoin, hence molex adapters are unfamiliar to me.
Do you mean molex to SATA like radioshack ones below?
http://www.radioshack.com/radioshack-molex-to-sata-power-cable/2780030.html
Thanks
Xian01
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January 01, 2015, 06:56:52 PM
 #12

You better hope you don't get a DOA like I did, there are NO RETURNS from bitmain. They will just try to bandaid the defective unit.
I've not yet had to deal with returns or warranty issues (I say this right as one of my B1 S3's has decided to fail hashing above 420GHs @ the default 218.75 clocks. All chips appear to be fine with no x's showing..)

What methods have you tried to get this issue resolved ? It was to my understanding that Bitmain's warranty coverage and DOA policy was fairly decent, so I'm concerned by your report.

I ended up slapping the stock push fan back on the hotter of the two units (left the Antec pull fan on for shits and giggles) and the unit is running ~7-10 degrees cooler without the Thermaltake push fan. Will monitor throughout the day.

It appears that keeping the S5's under 60C board temperature is ideal.
Swimmer63
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January 01, 2015, 07:04:43 PM
 #13

Great review!
Care to mention what fans did you use. One looks like Cooler master, but which model?
In addition, how do you power them up. It looks like you don't power them off the miner connector itself.
Using a Thermaltake for push, and an Antec for pull (the Thermaltake fans rub up against the mounting screws when used for pull).

The Thermaltake fan has an adjustable RPM knob, and the Antec is a 3 speed adjustable fan.

Powering them via Molex adapters - Not connected to the S5 controller at all.

Antec pull fan : http://www.amazon.com/Antec-TriCool-LED-Cooling-3-Speed/dp/B00066FHEW/
Thermaltake push fan : http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Blue-Eye-Adjustable-Control-AF0026/dp/B003IWN23O/

Thanks for this Xian01.  We have had similar mining hobby tracks and I have always kept an eye on your posts for up to date info.
I ordered 4 of these but given the noise I'm sending two into my datacenter cabinet and will play with the other two in my office.  I ordered two of each of your fan recommendations.  I love philipma1957's tinkering, but trying to pull the best single solution out his review is challenging.
I am glad to hear from everyone that the first batch appears solid from a performance spec standpoint.  I'm in batch three and hoping for an ontime ship date of 1/4.
Xian01
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January 01, 2015, 07:10:52 PM
 #14

The Thermaltake fan has the molex adapter built in, and the Antec ships with a molex-to-3-pin-adapter as the Antec fan uses a 3 pin adapter at it's base.
klondike_bar
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January 01, 2015, 08:18:26 PM
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for the fan noise - try running the stock fan at 5V using one of these (or wire it yourself)


5V is sufficient for running at 381.25MHz/1255GH/63C/58C when drawing in air thats about 5C. In the same conditions 7V is about 30% louder and brings the temps to 57C/53C.
for room temperaure intake, 5V probably isnt suitable for running above 350MHz

24" PCI-E cables with 16AWG wires and stripped ends - great for server PSU mods, best prices https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=563461
No longer a wannabe - now an ASIC owner!
Biodom
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January 01, 2015, 08:47:13 PM
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for the fan noise - try running the stock fan at 5V using one of these (or wire it yourself)
>snip image<

5V is sufficient for running at 381.25MHz/1255GH/63C/58C when drawing in air thats about 5C. In the same conditions 7V is about 30% louder and brings the temps to 57C/53C.
for room temperaure intake, 5V probably isnt suitable for running above 350MHz

do you have this product link as there are 12 pages related to molex
awesome site!
thanks
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January 01, 2015, 09:29:50 PM
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for the fan noise - try running the stock fan at 5V using one of these (or wire it yourself)
>snip image<

5V is sufficient for running at 381.25MHz/1255GH/63C/58C when drawing in air thats about 5C. In the same conditions 7V is about 30% louder and brings the temps to 57C/53C.
for room temperaure intake, 5V probably isnt suitable for running above 350MHz

do you have this product link as there are 12 pages related to molex
awesome site!
thanks
no clue on a product link, but im sure ebay/google/amazon/newegg would have some viable options. Alternatively you can rewire any old molex adapter if you're half-decent with tinkering, just GND to GND and 12V to 5V

edit: http://www.amazon.com/BitFenix-Alchemy-Multisleeve-Triple-Adapter/dp/B00HVBOW3W/ref=sr_1_2?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1420147992&sr=1-2&keywords=5v+fan+molex
http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812311003&cm_re=5v_fan_molex-_-12-311-003-_-Product
the newegg one could operate multiple fans. Im sure cheaper options are available, maybe even at a local outlet

edit2: http://www.directron.com/zmmc1.html?gsear=1 (thanks IItravel01)

24" PCI-E cables with 16AWG wires and stripped ends - great for server PSU mods, best prices https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=563461
No longer a wannabe - now an ASIC owner!
aarons6
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January 02, 2015, 10:29:39 AM
 #18

has anyone stopped to think about what temps these are going to run at in the summer time??

my s3s are 38c in the winter.. they hit 45-50 in the summer..

the s5s seem to already be at 60+

will i see temps in the 100c in the summer??
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January 02, 2015, 11:39:57 AM
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has anyone stopped to think about what temps these are going to run at in the summer time??

my s3s are 38c in the winter.. they hit 45-50 in the summer..

the s5s seem to already be at 60+

will i see temps in the 100c in the summer??


No because they will shut down at 80c
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January 02, 2015, 12:18:54 PM
 #20

Great review!
Care to mention what fans did you use. One looks like Cooler master, but which model?
In addition, how do you power them up. It looks like you don't power them off the miner connector itself.
Using a Thermaltake for push, and an Antec for pull (the Thermaltake fans rub up against the mounting screws when used for pull).

The Thermaltake fan has an adjustable RPM knob, and the Antec is a 3 speed adjustable fan.

Powering them via Molex adapters - Not connected to the S5 controller at all.

Antec pull fan : http://www.amazon.com/Antec-TriCool-LED-Cooling-3-Speed/dp/B00066FHEW/
Thermaltake push fan : http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-Blue-Eye-Adjustable-Control-AF0026/dp/B003IWN23O/

Thanks for this Xian01.  We have had similar mining hobby tracks and I have always kept an eye on your posts for up to date info.
I ordered 4 of these but given the noise I'm sending two into my datacenter cabinet and will play with the other two in my office.  I ordered two of each of your fan recommendations.  I love philipma1957's tinkering, but trying to pull the best single solution out his review is challenging.
I am glad to hear from everyone that the first batch appears solid from a performance spec standpoint.  I'm in batch three and hoping for an ontime ship date of 1/4.


 I agree with you the review got too long and has more then 25 pages of info.
 I am going to lock it over the weekend.
 Frankly I am still not happy with any set of fans I have used.

these come on monday I suspect they will be the best fix.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/191443200211?

I mine alt coins with https://simplemining.net...
I see BTC as the super highway and alt coins as taxis and trucks needed to move transactions.
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