It seems like in recent weeks Scrypt mining has been gaining a lot of attention. Before the A4 dominator, the last powerful Scrypt machines were the A2 Terminator and the KNC Titan. Both machines are still somewhat profitable and Litecoin which is the main Scrypt coin has had a stable difficulty until the A4 dominators came online. Antpool also had a large increase in LTC hashrate, and the Antminer L3 has been unveiled.
It seems like the days of no difficulty jumps in the Scrypt world are over as it seems like you have Bitmain and Innosilicon competing but the Bitmain hardware seems much more efficient than the Innosilicon A4 Dominator.
A comparison of price and hashrate and power consumption:
- KNC Titan – Price: $1200 – $2000 (ignore the crazy ebay prices) Hashrate: 325 MH/s Power Usage: 1200 – 1400 watts at the wall.
- A4 Dominator – Price: $1700 – Has Restart and board issues with little warranty help from the company – 235 MH/s – 1000 watts at the wall.
- Antminer L3 – Price: $1600 – Unknown if any issues present yet – Hashrate: 250MH/s Power Usage: 400 watts at the wall.
If you run the numbers on these, both the KNC Titan and the Antminer L3 are much more profitable than the A4 Dominator, and it is likely that the difficulty jumps will render this hardware obsolete. If your power is cheap enough you may be able to squeeze ROI from a KNC Titan, although if you have one at present you should not worry too much.
The A2 Terminators will not withstand this next difficulty jump unless power is insanely cheap or free. The A4 Dominators coupled with their issue and power consumption problems will not last either. The KNC Titan if you own one should remain profitable for some time as most with KNC Titans already own them.
I would not risk investing in anything like this at present as difficulty is bound to jump, you may be better off buying Litecoins and holding them. The support from Bitmain shows the potential of Litecoin to succeed with a highly secure Blockchain and investment in developing Scrypt mining ASICs, although the risk of centralization of Litecoin hashrate could become a problem.
We will update as more information becomes available, but for now hang fire on any investments, especially the A2 Terminator and A4 Dominator machines, it is unlikely you will ever see ROI in our opinion.