The Definitive Guide to Antminer S19 Series Bitcoin Miners

By Spencer Sherwood

Introduction

First released in May 2020, the Antminer S19 and its various submodels likely account for more of the Bitcoin network’s total hashrate than any other mining rig on the market today. Large publicly traded mining companies like Marathon Digital Holdings, Riot Blockchain, and Argo Blockchain have each purchased tens of thousands of S19’s from Bitmain, and they’ve also been very popular among our Mining Store clients and more retail miners in Europe and North America.

Here, we’ll provide a breakdown of the different mining rig models in the S19-series, their performance, and recent price trends. For a more comprehensive overview of all ASIC hardware, see our guide to Understanding the Bitcoin Mining Rig Market.

The Definitive Guide to Antminer S19 Series Bitcoin Miners

Overview of the Antminer S19-series

To date, the Bitmain Antminer S19-series includes 5 submodels, with more expected to be released publicly in the following months.

The new-generation Bitmain mining machines already on the market today are:

  • Antminer S19 (95TH/s; 3250W; 34W/TH)
  • Antminer S19 Pro (110TH/s; 3250W; 29.5W/TH)
  • Antminer S19j (90 TH/s; 3250W; 36W/TH)
  • Antminer S19j Pro (96 / 100 / 104TH/s; 2832 / 3050 / 3082W; 29.5W/TH)
  • Antminer T19 (84 / 88TH/s; 3150 / 3344W; 38W/TH)

In presentations at cryptocurrency mining conferences in 2021, Bitmain has alluded to a water-cooled Antminer S19 Hydro, but more details are yet to be released on that model. Bitmain also recently announced the Antminer S19 XP to begin shipping in Q3 2022, with impressive specs of 140 TH/s and efficiency of 21.5 W/TH. 

The Antminer S19 base model was the first to hit the market in 2020, followed shortly thereafter by the Antminer S19 Pro and Antminer T19. The Antminer S19j and S19j Pro have been the top sellers of 2021, with several hundred thousand ordered by publicly traded mining companies alone.

In general, the Bitmain S19-series has been seen as a great success after the extremely high failure rates (20-30%) of their S17-series mining machines. Hardware efficiency improved from 40+ W/TH with Antminer S17’s to as low as 29.5 W/TH with the S19 generation, while failure rates for S19’s are reportedly below 2% and they come with 365-day warranties if new from the manufacturer.

Prices of Antminer S19-Series Mining Rigs

According to the SHA-256 Mining Rig Index on hashrateindex.com, Antminer S19’s were first launched for pre-sale in Q1 2020 at prices below $3k per unit. BTC price was hovering below $10k at the time, which explains why the USD price of the machines was so low.

The Definitive Guide to Antminer S19-Series Bitcoin Miners

As BTC price began to increase rapidly at the end of 2020, so too did the prices of Antminer S19’s, at one point reaching 4x their original price in April 2021 when BTC reached new all-time highs above $60k. Mining rig prices corrected sharply across the board when BTC price dropped mid-year, but have since rebounded.

Now in Q4 2021, average prices of S19-series miners are back above $10k, with the most efficient and highest hashrate models like the S19 Pro and S19j Pro being more expensive ($11k+). We expect that difficulty will continue to adjust upward at a rapid rate as more of these new-generation mining machines get deployed and as Chinese miners continue to relocate their machines to newly-built infrastructure elsewhere in the world. However, BTC price can outpace difficulty growth and put even more pressure on bitcoin ASIC hardware prices, driving them to new all-time highs.

Antminer S19-Series Mining Profitability

The Definitive Guide to Antminer S19-Series Bitcoin Miners

The chart above shows the historical performance of the Antminer S19 since it launched in May 2020. You can see the impact of key events such as the price runup in late 2020 and 2021, as well as the China mining ban and subsequent difficulty drop in June 2021. You can also see the hardware appreciating from $5k at the time it launched to now being valued over $10k in the ASIC market.

This gives you an idea of how price, difficulty, and transaction fees impact bitcoin mining profitability and the volatility involved in the real world. In order to make decisions about buying bitcoin mining hardware, you should also look at projections of mining rig profitability in the following years. You can do this by using a mining profitability calculator that enables you to adjust BTC price and difficulty over time. For example, the chart below shows the projected 3-year profitability of one Antminer S19 Pro when network difficulty increases by 4% per month and BTC price is constant.

The Definitive Guide to Antminer S19-Series Bitcoin Miners

You’ll notice that monthly revenue and profit abruptly drop in Month 31. This is due to the halving which will occur at Block #840,000, decreasing the block reward from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC per block. Nonetheless, the Antminer S19 Pro remains profitable for all 36 months even as difficulty is increasing and price is not.

While the above projections give us an extremely conservative case, it isn’t all that realistic unless you’re bearish on BTC. For the bitcoin bulls, it’s worth also looking at potential mining profitability for bitcoin machines if BTC price increases over time, as shown below.

The Definitive Guide to Antminer S19-Series Bitcoin Miners

Now we see the real reason that Antminer S19-series miners are currently selling for over $10k per unit. A single S19 Pro generates an Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 700% with BTC price increasing by 5% per month and the miner holding 50% of their profits in BTC. This is with difficulty increasing faster than price at 6% per month, so it’s still not the most bullish scenario for bitcoin mining profitability in the coming years. If BTC price were to increase beyond $200k in 2022, difficulty wouldn’t keep up with that pace and the profitability of all bitcoin mining

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