Motherboards for assembling GPU mining rigs in 2019
- Created: Thursday, 15 August 2019 02:23
When assembling GPU mining rigs, the selection of components is important for reliable and stable operation of the entire system under increased load during mining 24/7. Motherboard -one of these main components that require special attention when choosing. On which the number of installed video cards, the amount of memory, the processor and the overall stability of the entire system will depend. In addition, mining motherboards must withstand increased current loads so that the power paths on the board itself do not burn out. In order to simplify the choice for miners of components for their GPU rigs, manufacturers began to produce motherboard models specifically designed for mining, i.e. under the requirements of highly loaded systems, plus the possibility of connecting a large number of GPUs is provided
Initially, all motherboards can be divided into 4 categories:
- Low Cost Mining Motherboards
- Gaming (for enthusiasts) motherboards
- Modified mining motherboards
- Specialized mining motherboards
Using budget motherboards for mining
Budget motherboards can be used to build GPU mining rigs, only the number of video card slots on such motherboards usually does not exceed 4 pieces. But even with so many video cards in the system, budget motherboards can fail due to burnout of power connectors, burnout of tracks, as initially not designed to build "powerful" configurations.
In older models of budget motherboards, there was often a restriction on the number of available PCI-express lines through which CPUs and GPUs exchange information and they were often not enough for even PCI-express connectors that were already soldered on the board. With new models, such restrictions are no longer encountered, but we still do not recommend installing more than 4 video cards in budget motherboards, especially if these video cards are top-level and consume a lot of electricity (more than 200W).
In the lowest price category, motherboards have recently begun to appear, which developers also position for working in cryptocurrency mining, in which they increase the number of PCI express connectors and strengthen the power supply circuits. If reinforced power circuits reduce the risk of destruction of such a motherboard, then the absence of additional power connectors on the motherboard on the 12V line can easily destroy the main 24-pin connector on the motherboard, especially if you use loop risers without additional power.
When buying new budget motherboards, we recommend that you take a closer look at the models designed for mining with at least 4 pieces of PCI express connectors.
Examples of modern budget mining motherboards:
- MSI H310-A PRO (LGA1151v2 2xDDR4 7xPCIe)
- MSI B360-A PRO (LGA1151v2 4xDDR4 6xPCIe 1xM.2)
- MSI B450-A PRO (AM4 4xDDR4 6xPCIe 1xM.2)
- Gigabyte B360 HD3 (LGA1151v2 4xDDR4 6xPCIe 2xM.2)
- Asrock AB350 PRO4 (AM4 4xDDR4 6xPCIe 2xM.2)
- Asrock B450 Pro4 (AM4 4xDDR4 6xPCIe 2xM.2)
- Asrock H370 PRO4 (LGA1151v2 4xDDR4 5xPCIe 2xM.2)
Using standard expensive (for game and overclocking enthusiasts) motherboards in cryptocurrency mining.
To build GPU mining rigs, expensive motherboards, which are usually used for powerful gaming systems or for extreme overclocking, may also seem to be ideal for miners, as can support the installation of 6 or more video cards (taking into account the use of adapters from M2 to PCIex x4) and have enhanced power circuits. But at the same time, they also have many functions that miners do not need (backlight, expensive design, good sound, additional controllers for peripherals, advanced functions for monitoring and overclocking), which significantly increase the price. Examples of modern standard expensive motherboards:
- MSI H370 Gaming Plus (LGA1151v2 4xDDR4 6xPCIex 1xM.2)
- Asrock X370 Killer SLI (AM4 4xDDR4 6xPCIe 2xM.2)
- Asrock X470 Killer SLI (AM4 4xDDR4 6xPCIe 2xM.2)
- Asus Prime Z370-P (LGA1151v2 4xDDR4 6xPCIex 2xM.2)
- Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X (LGA1151v2 4xDDR4 6xPCIex 2xM.2)
Using modified motherboards for mining
Modified motherboards for mining have the same as standard forms size, but they are designed for high loads and connecting up to 20 video cards and several power supplies or Molex connectors to reduce the load on the main 24-pin motherboard connector. Often, the PCI express slots in such motherboards are designed to immediately connect USB risers, i.e. made in the form of PCIe-x1 or USB ports.
For all other technical characteristics, such motherboards repeat the cheap standard models and are not much more expensive. Therefore, such motherboards will be primarily interesting to those miners who plan to install 8 or more video cards on one rig.
Examples of modified motherboards for mining:
- Asus B250 Mining Expert (LGA1151v2 2xDDR4 19xPCIex 6xPower connect)
- Asus H370 Mining Master (LGA1151v2 2xDDR4 1xPCIex 20xPCIex-USB 3xPower connect)
- Biostar TB350-BTC (AM4 2xDDR4 6xPCIe 3xPower connect)
- Gigabyte GA H110 D3A (LGA1151v1 2xDDR4 6xPCIe 3xPower connect) для процессоров Intel Core 6 и 7 поколения
- Gigabyte B250 FinTech (LGA1151v1 2xDDR4 12xPCIe 3xPower connect) для процессоров Intel Core 6 и 7 поколения
- MSI H310-F PRO (LGA1151v2 2xDDR4 13xPCIe 3xPower connect)
- MSI B360-F PRO (LGA1151v2 2xDDR4 18xPCIe 4xPower connect)
- Asrock H110 PRO BTC+ (LGA1151v1 2xDDR4 13xPCIe 3xPower connect) для процессоров Intel Core 6 и 7 поколения
- Colorful C.B250A-BTC V20 (LGA1151v1 2xDDR4 6xPCIe 6xPCIex-USB 3xPower connect) для процессоров Intel Core 6 и 7 поколения
Using specialized motherboard mining
After the mining boom in 2017, motherboards designed from scratch for mining began to appear on sale. First of all, they are distinguished by non-standard sizes and pre-wired CPU and memory. Initially, such developments were intended for the industrial assembly of GPU mining rigs and further sale in the form of a finished device, now you can buy such a rare product in free sale, although such motherboards are produced mainly by little-known Chinese companies.
- Asrock X370 Pro BTC+ (AM4 1xDDR4 8xPCIe 1xM.2 7xPower connect)
- TC IS6C (Celeron 3855U 1xDDR3 SO-DIMM 8xPCIe 5xPower)
- Colorful CJ1900A-BTC PLUS V20 (Celeron J1900 1xDDR3 SO-DIMM 8xPCIe 8xPower)
- Colorful C.B250A-BTC Delux YV20 (LGA1151 1xDDR4 SO-DIMM 8xPCIe 4xPCIe-USB 1xM.2 22xPower) для процессоров Intel Core 6 и 7 поколения
- Colorful C.B250A-BTC PLUS V20 (LGA1151 1xDDR4 SO-DIMM 8xPCIe 1xM.2 16xPower) для процессоров Intel Core 6 и 7 поколения
- Octominer X9PRO (Celeron 3855U 1xDDR3 SO-DIMM 9xPCIe 5xPower)
- Rebtech Blockchain (AMD A6-8500 4GB DDR3 120Gb mSATA 8xPCIe-USB 1xPower 12V)
It’s quite difficult to find such specialized motherboards for sale in computer stores, so it’s better to buy them on Aliexpress.
Conclusion: To build mining rigs based on video cards, you can use any motherboard that supports PCI Express 2.0 or later, i.e. almost any motherboard released in the last 10-15 years. However, with a sufficient budget for the purchase of new modern motherboards, it is better to choose from models specially designed with an eye to cryptocurrency mining. Such motherboards began to appear on sale starting in 2017 and has increased reliability, the number of PCIex slots from 6 or more, as well as additional power connectors. Most miners will use motherboards from the first list with the ability to install up to 8 video cards on one such platform. Motherboards from list 3 and 4 will be more interesting to mining enthusiasts and companies engaged in industrial assembly of mining rigs based on GPU. When choosing motherboards from the production date of which more than 5 years have passed, give preference to motherboards with top-end chipset at that time, which supports more PCI express lines than its younger counterparts. This is necessary so that you do not encounter the problem of a non-working 5 or 6 video card just because of the limited number of PCI express lines. In addition, old top-end motherboards often used dual power paths and more reliable components to ensure extreme overclocking, which now will also be useful, but already work 24/7 in crypto mining.