The Gekkoscience SHA256 NEWPAC Stick Miner
- Algorithm: SHA256 (Coins Mined: Bitcoin, BitcoinCash, Peercoin, etc.)
- Hashrate: 23 GH/s Stock (Though it can be set to 90+ GH/s according to the website)
- Chip: 2 x 16nm Bitmain BM1387 chips
- Power use: Between 2 and 12 watts depending on setting
For those that have used the original Gekkoscience SHA256 2PAC USB Stick Miner, the NEWPAC should look very familiar, and is just as easy to use. Like before, the miner can run on most versions of Windows, Linux, or Mac, and can also be run off a Raspberry Pi (Which runs Linux). The miner has a large heatsink, features a pair of 16nm Bitmain BM1387 chips, and has a default setting of 23 GH/s, though the creator of the device states that the device can be clocked to over 90 GH/s, and is theoretically able to reach up to 130 GH/s! However, in my personal experience, I was not able to reach and maintain any hashrate of over 115 GH/s, which is not actually that bad for a USB miner!
While this device is absolutely silent as it has no fan, it can get extremely hot just minutes after it starts mining. Hence, I would strongly recommend an external USB fan or something else that can circulate the air around it. Running at extremely high temperatures could damage the miner, and can of course severely burn anyone who touches the device. As it can draw significantly more power than its predecessor, it is recommended to run the device off a powered external USB hub for optimal efficiency.
This miner is also quite stable when mining, and has little fluctuation in hashrate at lower mining speeds. It submits few stale or invalid shares, but at higher speeds, has greater fluctuation and more invalid or stale shares. While this makes a nice tool for someone learning the basics about mining or a fun gift for a cryptocurrency enthusiast, this is not a device I would recommend to anyone who wants to make money off of cryptocurrency mining. While the retail price of about $44.99 US before shipping on sites like eBay is not too extreme (Though I have seen it go for under $40.00 US on occasion), the miner makes just under 13 cents per week, considering you do not have to pay mining pool fees or electricity fees. In other words, it'll take you almost a decade to break even in the case that mining difficulty does not change.
All in all, like almost all other USB miners, the Gekkoscience NEWPAC miner is little more than a learning tool and novelty item. It can teach you about how mining works, and can give you some hands on experience in contributing to a blockchain and making a few cents a week. But if you want to take a shot at profiting from cryptocurrency, I would highly recommend looking at more modern ASIC miners such as Bitmain's Antminer S17 series, or straight up buying and/or trading cryptocurrencies.
I am not in any way affiliated with Bitmain, Gekkoscience, or any other crypto/crypto-related company. I personally have one of these miners purchased from a retailer in 2019. This miner is currently operating on an external powered USB hub, cooled by a small USB fan. It is clocked to about 25GH/s.
Remember, investments in cryptocurrencies are like any other investment: Invest only what you can afford to lose. No investment is a guarantee.