All About BTC, LTC, ETH mining as well as other alternative crypto currencies
With the recent spike of interest in GPU mining thanks mostly to Ether a lot of people are getting back to building GPU mining rigs using more up-to date hardware much like back in the days of the Litecoin and prior to that of the Bitcoin mining boom. Nowadays it is much easier and you have way more options for different motherboards that have the option to work with 4, 5 or even 6 video cards by utilizing not only full width x16 PCI-E slots, but also the multiple available PCI-Express x1 sots with the help of extenders. We have prepared a list of all possible candidates for use as motherboards for multi-GPU mining rigs 4-6 GPU mining from ASRock, the company that has made its name among miners thanks to their dedicated BTC-branded motherboards made especially for GPU mining rigs. Other motherboard manufacturers such as Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and others also have products that might do for a multi-GPU mining rigs, but these are not dedicated for such use and this may cause some problems.
Nowadays ASRock has a lot of BTC-branded motherboards that are designed for use as multi-GPU mining rigs for different processor platforms from both AMD and Intel. There are also quite a few more non-BTC named motherboards that could do the job perfectly and some that might also work fine, but some of the PCI-E slots might not be available for GPU use under specific conditions, so you need to be careful. What is important for a motherboard that will be used with multiple GPUs for mining is for the motherboard to have enough PCI-E slots, to be affordable in terms of price as you don’t need extras targeted at gamers or enthusiasts and to be able to be used with cheap dual-core CPUs. ASRock’s BTC-branded motherboards do come with some extra features that may help by minimizing possible issues such as the fact that they have been designed to provide extra power to GPUs and have dedicated connectors for additional power from the PSU. They do not share PCI-E lanes with external hardware such as network controllers, audio cards, storage controllers or USB controllers that may cause problems if you want to use all of the available PCI-Express lanes for video cards and so on. These motherboards are offering just basic features, but ensure stable and problem free operation even under not so good conditions that often are available with GPU mining rigs that generate a lot of heat an may not be optimally cooled.
The list below covers all possibly suitable ASRock motherboards for 4-6 GPU mining rigs, you should choose to go for the models that do have the BTC in their model nae as they will most likely be the best choice. The next are Anniversary and Pro series and then the others if you have no other choice, but with such a big list you should have a lot of options. Unfortunately the only 6 GPU capable motherboards are for Intel socket 1155 and 1150 CPUs, still no affordable options for the latest Intel 1151 platforms or AMD FM2 sockets. Sure the company has some high-end enthusiast level products that can do 6 GPUs, but these are pointless for use as multi-GPU mining rigs as they will add to much to the price of the setup and you will be better off spending the extra cash for more video cards or more powerful models. After all you need to find the right balance that includes cheap motherboard, cheap processor and powerful GPUs along with some PCI-E extenders (powered preferably) with PCI Express x1-x16 USB 3.0 Extenders being the best choice if available.
Intel Socket 1151 ASRock Motherboards
Intel Socket 1150 ASRock Motherboards
Intel Socket 1155 ASRock Motherboards
AMD FM2/FM2+ ASRock Motherboards
Due to the demand for GPU mining rigs for cryptocurrency generation that are capable of powering more than 2 video cards (what is normally enough for gaming needs) some motherboard manufacturers have come up with specialized products especially for GPU mining needs. One such brand is AsRock that already has two specialized motherboards designed for GPU mining rigs and though the company uses Bitcoin mining all over these products, they are essentially for Litecoin and other scrypt-based alternative cryptos. Nowadays there is no more point in mining for Bitcoin with GPUs, you need to use specialized Bitcoin mining ASIC devices (for other SHA-256 cryptos as well), however scrypt mining and Litecoin in particular is still mineable with GPU. And a lot of people are still building new GPU mining righs with multiple video cards for mining Litecoin, so AsRock’s products can be ideal for these needs.
AsRock offers 2 models of specialized GPU mining rig motherboards, one is the cheaper AsRock H61 Pro BTC, designed for Intel Socket 1155 processors and the other one is AsRock H81 Pro BTC, designed for use with Intel Socket 1150 CPUs. Other than the use of different processors these two motherboards are pretty similar in what they offer – support for up to 6 video cards, though you will need to also use PCI-E x1 extenders to attach all of the video cards to the motherboard and you will also need a special rig designed to contain the 6 video cards. These motherboard also have additional 4-pin molex connectors that you need to connect in order for the motherboard to supply enough power to the video cards over the PCI-E slots.
Also if you plan on using all 6 PCI-E slots with GPUs you may need to be careful what OS you are going to be using in order for the operating system to be able to see and use all of the cards at the same time. Linux is a good option for 6 cards at the same time, and there are specialized Linux distributions available for mining rigs. The problem with Linux however is that the control of voltage of the GPUs may not work with all video cards, in fact with most you my have trouble changing the voltage of the GPU, though the clock frequencies are accessible and you can change them for better performance and higher hashrate. So also do have that in mind when building a GPU mining rig.