Intel’s Second-Gen Bitcoin Miner’s Performance and Pricing Listed, Leads the Market

(Image credit: Intel Bonanza Mine Prototype)

Intel’s entrance into the Bitcoin mining hardware market is undoubtedly disruptive, and given new information that has come to light, it now looks like the company’s mining hardware could have the best price-to-performance ratio on the market. Intel recently presented its prototype chip and Bitcoin miner at a recent tech conference, but those models aren’t the ones shipping to customers — the second-gen Bonanza Mine chips that are shipping to customers have remained shrouded in mystery. However, A recent SEC filing by one of Intel’s premier partners has revealed both the pricing and performance of Intel’s second-gen Bonanza Mine (BMZ2) Bitcoin miners.

According to the listing, BMZ2’s performance weighs in at 135 TH/s with 26 J/THs of efficiency. Additionally, the miner is roughly half the cost of a competing Bitmain S19 Pro while being 15% more efficient, rivaling the best hardware on the market from competing companies.

News of Intel’s Bitcoin-mining ‘Bonanza Mine’ chips originally filtered out without much fanfare via a listing for a tech conference presentation. Soon after, the discovery of an IPO filing by GRIID, a Bitcoin mining company that’s among Intel’s first customers, revealed some of the details of Intel’s go-to-market strategy. Intel followed with its official announcement that it had entered the Bitcoin hardware business with three large customers in tow, and then finally showed its prototype Bonzanza Mine system at ISCC. That prototype system isn’t competitive against today’s systems, but now we know that Intel’s shipping products actually either beat or challenge Bitmain and MicroBT, the market leaders.

(Image credit: GRIID)

The new SEC filing by GRIID now tells us the basics of the shipping Bonanza Mine systems (h/t to Hashindex). The slide doesn’t specifically name Intel’s hardware next to the specs. However, all of the details, including fixed pricing, guaranteed chip allocation of 25% of production capacity, and the top-tier US manufacturer details (Intel is the only US-based bitcoin hardware manufacturer), line up perfectly with GRIID’s prior supply agreement disclosures with Intel.

As such, these performance specifications and pricing are assuredly for the second-gen Bonanza Mine systems, but with the caveat that these systems could be tailor-made for GRIID. That means we could see a slight difference in performance/pricing for different custom designs, like those we expect to see from BLOCK. 

Power Efficiency – Joules/Terahash Performance – Terahash/sec Power – Watts
Bitmain Antminer S19j XP 21.5 J/TH 140 TH/s 3010 W
Intel Bonanza Mine 2 (BMZ2) 26 J/TH 135 TH/s 3510 W
Bitmain S19j Pro 29.5 J/TH 110 TH/s 3250 W
MicroBT Whatsminer M30S++ 31 J/TH 112 TH/s 3472 W
Intel Bonanza Mine (BMZ1 – Prototype) 54 – 60 J/TH 34.5 – 47.7 TH/s 1863 – 2849 W
Bitfury Clarke 56 J/TH 120 TH/s ?
Canaan Avalon A9 58 J/TH 20 TH/s 1700 W

The slide lists performance of the new miner at 135 TH/s with 26 J/TH of efficiency, second only to Bitmain’s S19j XP system. The Bonanza Mine-powered system is also 15% more efficient than the next best system on the market, the Bitmain S19j Pro. Peak performance for the BMZ2 system weighs in at a competitive 135 TH/s. A bit of basic math reveals the system runs at approximately 3510W.

We also included Intel’s first-gen prototype, the BMZ1, designed in 2018, for comparison. The new BMZ2-powered system is roughly twice as efficient while offering more than three times the performance of the prototype. However, we still don’t know what process node is used for the second-gen chips (rumored to be TSMC 5nm) or how many chips are in each system (the prototype uses 300).

(Image credit: Tom’s Hardware)

We plotted performance vs efficiency in the chart above, with results in the upper left-hand corner being the most desirable. The BMZ2 chips are clearly far more performant and efficient than the prototype BMZ1 models. Additionally, the BMZ2-powered Intel system only trails Bitmain’s premier Antminer S19j XP by a small margin, but these performance and efficiency metrics are close enough that pricing and supply will be the determining factors for most buyers.

GRIID says the new Intel mining systems cost $5,625 per miner. Given that GRIID has guaranteed access to 25% of Intel’s production capacity, we expect the company to benefit from volume pricing. In either case, that’s roughly half the price of the $10,455 Bitmain S19j Pro, but it’s noteworthy that pricing for the S19j Pro can fluctuate wildly. Bitmain, and other Bitcoin hardware providers, adjust pricing daily based on Bitcoin’s spot valuation and the projected payoff time, thus exposing customers to Bitcoin volatility and exorbitant pricing.

Additionally, the existing mining hardware providers are based in China and suffer from long lead times and severe supply disruptions and shortages due to their lack of supply chain control. These companies also have to deal with the 25% tariffs for products that originate in China and are exposed to the volatility associated with a longer supply chain, which can be especially punishing for equipment bound for the US due to the increased cost of shipping and logistics.

In contrast, Intel sticks to fixed pricing that isn’t based on Bitcoin spot pricing and the company is based in the US, thus avoiding tariffs and other expenses while simplifying support. These are important advantages because China’s ban on mining has made the US the primary destination for cryptocurrency miners. In the end, factoring in Intel’s pricing and logistics advantages, the BMZ2 systems could win over competing miners.

Intel’s first publicly-named customers include BLOCK (formerly known as Square and helmed by CEO Jack Dorsey of Twitter fame), Argo Blockchain, and GRIID Infrastructure. Given the competitive performance, pricing, and advantages of being a US-based supplier, that list will surely grow after Intel’s silicon starts to hit the market in the second half of this year.