Avalon 6 Review: 3.5 TH/s ASIC Bitcoin Miner Is Stable and Powerful
The Avalon 6 ASIC Bitcoin miner is the latest in Bitcoin hardware from Canaan-Creative/Avalon. Much like the Avalon 4, the new housing makes for a streamlined cooling and setup method. Canaan-Creative, who resurrected the damaged Avalon brand, has worked hard on these next gen ASICs as well as their customer service. This effort has led to the partnership with BlockC.co for distribution. BlockC sent an Avalon 6 for review using their new distribution center in Silicon Valley. Having a US-based distributor allowed for fast shipping and the Avalon 6 (A6) arrived quickly and safely. The specs on the Avalon 6 are very good while keeping a small and quiet form factor. The Avalon 3218 ASIC is a big step over the previous gen. The new efficiency is very welcome with fluctuating bitcoin value and a wide range of power costs around the world.
Avalon 6 Bitcoin Miner Specifications
0.29 Watts/GH at the wall averaged 1080 watts total during testing
12V DC ±0.2V, 1100 Watts Minimum PSU output (use high-quality cables)
* 1200+ Watts recommended. The system draws approximately 1000 Watts.
PCIE-6PIN X 4
ASIC PROCESSOR MODEL:
Avalon A3218 (quantity = 80 chips per miner)
Raspberry Pi, Version B or B+ RPi 2
Each RPi can control 50+ miners
0C to 35C, 10% to 80% relative humidity, non-condensing
354mm x 130mm x 150mm
Disclosure: Avalon 6 provided by BlockC.co to review.
The Avalon 6 arrived very fast and secure. The shipping gods were kind this time. BlockC.co shipped the single unit double boxed which made for a nice and secure miner. Being shipped from the US also had the effect of a faster ship time and lower shipping costs. The Avalon 6 like the Avalon 4 uses an RPi (Raspberry Pi) for the controller software. They have a custom control panel, or you can use the most familiar CGminer panel as well.
Setting up pool and worker info is simply going to the configuration panel. Same for network settings and reaching the advanced settings. The menu layout is easy to use and yet still gives the options more experienced miners need. In the advanced interface, you can get very granular, and access clock speeds settings as well. The Avalon 6 overclocks nicely. The dual panel closed tunnel design leaves some room, so the cooling is robust despite only a single fan.
Frequency settings in the main panel allow for an underclock from 100 to a max of 500 which is the default setting. More advanced users can SSH into the control software and modify the base CGMiner with 3rd party firmware to accept higher freq. (Bitcoinist does not suggest using 3rd party firmware or overclocking do so at your risk). Due to the less dense two board design when the Avalon 6 overclocking it stays cooler allowing for more overhead.
Avalon 6 Large Scale Deployment Made Easy
Deployment with the Avalon 6 is a breeze due to the RPi controller and software. The other big benefit of the RPi control software is that is it can control 40 to 50 miners at once. This ability makes for easier large data center management. Instead of 50 network cables, one for each miner you only need one. This ability cuts down on deployment costs. You connect each miner to the next in this chain even eliminating the need for USB hubs to manage them. Furthering data center management ease is the data center software that Avalon has to manage all the RPi controllers. The software helps you monitor uptime, change settings across the entire data center. Bitcoinist will be reviewing this software and its process shortly.
The Avalon 6 power consumption is solid as well. At an advertised 0.29 Watts/GH the Avalon 6 beats many of the current miners on the market available for purchase. The Avalon 6 we tested was only pulling at the wall an average of 1049 watts while performing at 3.56 th/s solidly. The single fan operates in a pull system within the housing. This airflow method allows for a smooth airflow over the heatsinks and boards. The fan control software allows for you to set manually your temp to fan speed threshold and is very effective. On default settings, the fan runs at an average of 2100 rpm at a data center temp of 55 F while putting out 55 dB at 4ft.
Updating the Avalon firmware is simple as well. The main Avalon control panel has direct links to the DL site. Customer service is excellent as well with BlockC.co handling much of it with worldwide distribution downtime is minimized in case of failure. Build quality is top notch, and extra attention paid to the board design allow for a robust unit.
The Avalon 6 is a solid step forward from the Avalon 4. With Avalon/Canaan-Creative’s deal with BlockC.co for distribution, they are easier to obtain that the Avalon 4s were. The excellent cooling and power to hash rate ratio while allowing for easy deployment and management makes it a good buy. BitFury and Bitmain will be releasing new miners with next gen chips to the public soon but what you can buy now it is hard to beat the Avalon is shipping now. Their next gen chip should also be a cut above if they keep going like this. Avalon has come a long way forward since Canaan-Creative has taken over the IP. That is a good thing for the whole mining industry.
What do you think about the Avalon 6? Let us know in the comments below.
Image Source: Bitcoinist.net