Why it matters: Bitmain, the Chinese crypto mining company, has teased its upcoming Antminer E9 Ethereum mining box. Not only is this welcome news for miners, it could potentially benefit PC gamers as the machine can mine at a hash rate equivalent to 32 GeForce RTX 3080s working simultaneously.
As reported by Tom's Hardware, the Antminer E9 has a rate of 3 GH/s, making it faster than the Linzhi's Phoenix Ethash ASIC miner that manages up to 2,600 MH/s. Additionally, Bitmain's offering uses less power---2,556W---than the Linzhi machine's 3,000W.
For comparison, we recently saw what will reportedly be the RTX 3080 Ti's Ethereum mining performance (without the limiter, presumably): 118.9 MH/s, putting it ahead of the RTX 3080's 95 MH/s and just under the RTX 3090's 120 MH/s to 125 MH/s.
An ASIC miner with the mining power of multiple RTX 3080 cards is going to have a price tag to match, of course. Speculation puts its anywhere between $20,000 and $40,000, but with the RTX 3080's eBay price averaging around $2,000-$2,500, 32 of the cards would set you back $64,000 - $80,000. Linzhi's Phoenix miner sells for between $11,300 and $13,700.
Hopefully, the Antminer E9's arrival will give Ethereum miners less reason to snap up what few RTX 3000-series cards are available. However, there's a caveat beyond just the price: the global chip shortage will doubtlessly ensure Bitmain's rig can't be produced in numbers large enough to meet demand, as is the case with every other ASIC miner right now. Moreover, miners are only a small part of the availability problem. Still, every little helps.