MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard for 7x GPUs

22 Mar

We got a tip about a motherboard that should be capable of driving seven video cards for mining, namely the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon, so we got one to give it a try. It is a Z170A Intel chipset motherboard for Socket 1151 processors (there are cheap Celerons available for it) and it uses the newer DDR4 memory. The motherboard is even packed with some fancy extras that are of no use for the purpose of mining, but they do increase the price of the product. Also do note that even if a motherboard has 7x PCI-E slots that does not mean that it will be able to work with 7 video cards connected with x1 to x16 PCI-E risers, it only means that there is a chance that it might work. Unfortunately there are actually not that much such motherboards available and the only few are usually high-end boards with a higher price tag and that is making them not so attractive for miners, especially compared to the use of the popular AsRock H81 Pro BTC motherboard for 6x GPU mining rigs.

The first thing you need to do with this motherboard, prior to attaching any external video card, is to make sure it is running the latest BIOS and if not to update it to version 1.7. This motherboard BIOS is just a few months old and is apparently what allows the particular motherboard to be able to run up to 7 video cards, so make sure you have it flashed before continuing.

The next step is to set some things in the motherboard BIOS. You need to go to the Settings \ Advanced \ PCI Subsystem Settings and switch the PEG0 and PEG1 Max Link Speed to Gen1 as well as set the Above 4G Decoding option to Enabled. These are pretty much the only settings you need to set in order to be able to run 7x GPUs, just make sure you set them in the BIOS before you start connecting the video cards otherwise you may experience instability of the system or it even not properly booting and allowing you to enter the BIOS. So set them first and then everything should be working fine, or almost.

You can see that Windows 10 properly sees 6x R9 390 video cards and a single RX 480 GPU connected in the device manager with the video driver installed and working properly. We actually have a weird issue with this motherboard as after setting up what is needed for it to work with 7x GPUs we are not able to properly get inside the BIOS of the motherboard. If at boot we press F9 to enter the BIOS the system just freezes and needs a restart, if we don’t press the F9 BIOS key it boost into the operating system and works just fine with seven video cards mining or whatever. In order to get inside the BIOS of the motherboard however we’ve had to clear the CMOS memory and redo the settings each time. We thought that it might be a KVM issue, but even with direct PS2 and USB keyboard connection we had the strange F9 freezing issue most of the time, even though a few times it worked just fine actually loading the BIOS and not freezing the system.

Anyway, while we are not entirely sure what is causing the BIOS freezing issue when you try to get inside with F9 after you set the required options to make the motherboard work with 7x GPUs everything else seems to work just fine. The system boots and sees all 7 video cards, even if they are different ones like in out 6+1 configuration, and you can run a miner that will see and start using all 7 video cards. So the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon motherboard apparently works, though there are still some glitches that may need fixing. The only issue with this motherboard is the higher price and that may be enough of a reason to make you stick with the more affordable and problem free use of AsRock H81 Pro BTC for 6x GPUs instead. Still if you already have a 6x or even less GPUs on some mining rigs and you have a suitable power supply an upgrade to a 7x GPU motherboard might be an interesting choice. Then again you would need to replace not only the motherboard, but also the CPU and the RAM as well, because of the newer chipset used by the MSI motherboard.

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35 Responses to MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard for 7x GPUs


March 23rd, 2017 at 14:08

MSI Z710A? Is not it MSI Z170A or I’m wrong?


March 23rd, 2017 at 14:34

Z170A is the correct one, a typo, thanks for pointing it out.

Marcos Tabata

March 23rd, 2017 at 21:19

I had hopes that that motherboard would work. The Z97 gaming 5 or gaming 7 I get it in any store. Do you know another motherboard for 7 GPUs that you can recommend?

Marcos Tabata

March 23rd, 2017 at 21:19

I have read of many people who following this do not achieve 7 gpus


March 24th, 2017 at 07:19

This works….MSI Z170a gaming pro carbon motherboard……
But only thing is…..your windows 10 installation should be in uefi or it should support uefi in bios not legacy……windows hardrive should be in gpt format…..other wise the above 4g setting won’t work and u will get a black screen when u try to boot in to windows 10…….I used 16.9.1 driver for my amd Rx 480 nitro+oc cards


March 24th, 2017 at 07:23

My setup is
MSI z170a gaming pro carbon motherboard
Rx 480 8gb nitro+oc graphics cards
Usb powered risers 1x to 16x for graphics card
I5 processor(a cheap one)
Ram Kingston hyper 16 GB 8×2
Kingston 120 GB SSD
Thermal take 1200 watt power supply


April 2nd, 2017 at 09:44

Hi Gemini, do yo use 7 gpus on your thermaltake 1200w, is it enought?
Did you check total power on wall ?
I’m surprise about price cause it is around 40% most cheap about evga or seasonic.

About cpu why you used i5 and not more cheap pentium and also ram why 16gb instead 8 gb?


April 2nd, 2017 at 19:39

thanks for this post…it inspired me to fiddle with BIOS settings and it worked. Now I can use my
6x GPUs rig on Windows 10. Motherboard is Asus STRIX Z270E Gaming. It is expensive but if you already have one
for gaming or for whatever reason and you want to convert it to a mining rig…it can be done playing
with the BIOS. Disable everything you don’t use, set PCI-e to x1 and enable “above 4G decoding”.

All 6 cards will be detected and active.

I use 6x rx 480. This mobo has 7 PCI-e slot so maybe you can run a 7x GPUs rig but I don’t have a 7th card at the moment to try.

James Applebottom

April 3rd, 2017 at 00:58

I am unable to properly boot and recognize more than two Saphhire Fury Nitros at the same time. Adding the third card causes it to automatically black/grey screen and won’t install drivers. Bios 1.7 and all above settings have be tried.


April 3rd, 2017 at 06:19

I bought this motherboard but I was unable to get more than 5 gpus working. I did all the settings listed in the original post plus the things Gemini suggested here in the comments. When I tried to get 6 working it would bsod and give me a memory usage error. Im assuming this has to do with TOLUD but after hours and Im not exaggerating hours of looking online, searching the bios I could no find how to lower the TOLUD. If someone is willing to help me with this I swear on my kids I will send you $20 right away.
The motherboard is this one MSI Z170A Pro Carbon, 6 ASUS ROG STRIX Radeon Rx 470 8GB OC. 4gb DDR 4 memory, CPU: Pentium Processor G4400 3.3 GHz FCLGA1151, power supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2, 80+ PLATINUM 1000W

Mind you this is my first mining rig and I’m not very skilled at coding etc. I did see one website where it said how to lower the TOLUD with about 15+ steps all of which I didn’t understand. I can use cmd promt and follow directions well but the websites instructions was not for your average joe. So if anyone has this MB and can tell me where the TOLUD setting is I will send you $20 to paypal or an exhange of yours.
Thank you!


April 3rd, 2017 at 08:48

Kevin, you need to get into the motherboard’s BIOS to change the settings as shown in picture in the post.


April 3rd, 2017 at 15:06

Does it work with 7*gtx 1070?


April 3rd, 2017 at 16:57

Dr_Victor, it should work, but we have not tried with 1070 in particular.


April 3rd, 2017 at 18:35

I read some people using mod bios to run until 8 gpu, but i don’t understand how is it possible if it have 7 pcie and not 8. Maybe i miss something.


April 3rd, 2017 at 19:14

There are 1 to 3 PCI-E slot splitters available, but they are expensive and do not seem to work on all motherboards.


April 3rd, 2017 at 21:14

Thank you for responding. I assure I did every step in the bios you posted online. I updated the bios, I set peg 0 and peg 1 to Gen1, I enabled 4G decoding. Windows will load and show all 6 gpus with 3 showing the yellow caution sign on them and then after a few minutes I get Blue Screen. I uploaded two pictures for you to review. One of the bios settings and the other is the bsod I get.

Thank you for the help..


April 3rd, 2017 at 23:20

Kevin, have you tried with less GPUs… there could be a problematic extender or GPU, you can try disconnecting cards one by one to see if the problem will continue with 5 cards and if one in particular is causing it. Also a clean Windows install may help… sometimes video drivers gets messed up.


April 12th, 2017 at 07:00

with same bios settings msi c236a ws work with 7*1070(6*pcie+1*m2)

some amd new x370 mb with default settings most 8 gpus(asrock x370 gaming k4,6*pcie,2*m2)

use the m2 slots u could run 1 or 2 more cards…

only problem is the m2 external GPU device is a bit expensive ,now m2 a key set(with 220w psu) 368RMB about 53$,m2 m key set(with 220w psu) 668RMB about 97$…


April 15th, 2017 at 17:34

Hello Guys,
Thanks for the board recommendation:
But I’m having trouble booting with the “Above 4G Decoding” mode activated.
My Boot drive is GPT and the BIOS is set to UEFI mode
Im just getting a black screen.
Without the setting Im only able to get up to 6 RX480s to work..
Can someone help me?

Best regards

Dragos Cojoaca

April 29th, 2017 at 13:44

Hey David shoot add me on skype,dragos.cojoaca.


May 10th, 2017 at 04:11

Kindly help me how to enable 7 gpu on my below configuration:

Motherboard: MSI Z170A GAMING M7
CPU: Intel i3 6098P
PSU: Corsair AX1500i
SSD: Samsung 750 EVO 120GB

I’m tired of searching online for the solution to enable 6 or 7 GPUs. I am not succeeded. Kindly help me how to enable.

If I just purchase this suggested MSI Z170A GAMING PRO CARBON then does it help me run 6 or 7 GPUs?


May 10th, 2017 at 04:13

PEGO is available but PEG1 not available on mm y current MSI Z170A GAMING M7 motherboard

Patrick Little

May 13th, 2017 at 00:23

December 19 2016 MSI BIOS Update 7977v1d 7977IMS.1D0 file for Z170A Gaming M5 is critical to using slot 1 and 2 at the same time. Before the update enumeration of the ports was prioritized to slot 2, slot 5 and slot 7 and no support for USB 3.1 risers. I had been very frustrated and always had to plug a 16x card in either Slot 2 or slot 5 to use and additional slot enumerated as 4 in any of the remaining slots. I confirm Gen1 is required for PEG1 and PEG2 as well as 96 clock cycles for the PCI Latency setting.

I was sold this puzzle board by gpushack in their 7 card mobo package with ethOS. The ethOS kb is very informative. Although Tahiti cards are a challenge, Dale Chapman sent me e-mail that he had 6 running on this MSI board.


May 18th, 2017 at 02:05

Kevin, try to set Virtual Memory to 16GB, may help.

sonny karan

May 25th, 2017 at 22:07


Did the 6 GPU’s got resolved for you?
Cause I am having the same problem. Windows will load and show all 5 gpus with 3 showing the yellow caution sign on them and then after a few minutes I get Blue Screen?

If solved, please share. thanks in advance.

RX 480 OC 8gb
Kingston SSD 120 GB
Intel G4400 3.3 FCLGA1151
Kingston HyperX Fury 4 GB
EVGA supernova 1200 80+ Platinum

…for the love of god. anyone please, I have been bangin my head for 4 days on this.


May 26th, 2017 at 01:38

please let me know too if you resolved the problem of BOS with 6 GPU ( i have RX 580)


May 26th, 2017 at 13:29

i have 4 rx580 and 1 rx480, when i set this up i have a blackscreen after booting windows…

whats the problem?


May 30th, 2017 at 19:13

I finally solved the problem some of you are having. I have (6) RX 580’s running successfully. I also had the “yellow caution sign” on three of the six GPU’s. I was finally able to boot up with the 4G encoding enabled. It seems if you do not have all drivers correctly installed you will get the black backlit screen when trying to boot with 4G enabled. The trick for me was to remove the cards that wouldn’t install driver. This is what I did…

1) In device manager, uninstall the GPU’s showing yellow and choose delete driver as well.
2) Shutdown computer and remove those same GPU’s from the computer (ie pull the riser connection from the MOBO)…just keep the good ones plugged in.
3) Boot into BIOS and make sure PEG 1 and PEG 2 are set to GEN 1
4) Enable 4G encoding
5) I also enabled the Windows 10 compatibility in BIOS
6) Save and reboot…you should be able to boot into windows now
7) Shut down and add the other cards one at a time…with 4G enabled, Windows booted up fine and installed the driver to new card. I did this three times (each card separate)
8) You should now have all six (or seven) cards installed and working.

Let me know if this works for you. I am running drivers 17.5.1.


June 10th, 2017 at 03:35

Hola buenas noches , alguien pudiera dar la informacion paso a paso desde el inicio de la bios , como entrar a configuracion, si es con F7 o F9 , porque a mi se me congela y sobrepone la pantalla….
ayudeme con eso por favor tengo 4 tarjetas paradas y no se que hacer….

Julio Cardozo

June 10th, 2017 at 21:55


Si la tarjeta es marca MSI, es con el F7. Que plataforma estás usando? Yo uso Ethos. Para mí máquina, yo solo canbie estos parámetros. Cambie la
Opción de “4G Decoding option” a Enabled. Y ahora me funcionan las 6 tarjetas.

Estas opciones Settings \ Advanced \ PCI Subsystem Settings and switch the PEG0 and PEG1, las deje en “Auto.”

If you are running Ethos platform, the only change I did was to change Above 4G Decoding option to Enabled. I now have 6 GPUs running. Prior to the change, only 4 were running. FYI, I am using 6 MSI Armor (4GB) RX 480 GPUs.


June 12th, 2017 at 20:15

Does this also work with Win7?

Nikhil Kalra

June 14th, 2017 at 19:19

Hey guy’s, hope to get an answer or some direction here by some one!
My setup : MSI Z270 A Pro 6 PCIE slots
MSI Radeon Armour RX570’s 4 GBx6
Win10 ENT

I reached to the point where Win10 does see all the 6 GPU’s in device manager- no issues what so ever.
If I run Claymore’s client- may be after 2-3 shares Windows will just crash with a blue screen ‘Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart adi adidiii….

Just to mention- I would rule out hardware here or anything out of sight reason being, last weekend was so much fedup finally sold to Ethos and trust me all 6 GPU’s worked right out of the box with few minor bios changes.

I would like to see Win 10 wokring with my 6 GPU’s… what you guys think where I am kacking behind- let me know in case you want screen shots of the error or like device manager may be.

Thanks in advance!


June 25th, 2017 at 18:01

Gents, need some help, just set this motherboard up to run GTX 1070s, they run on other motherboards at 31 Mh/s (OC’ed), and on this board it runs at 2.5~ Mh/s. Whats going on?


July 14th, 2017 at 00:10

Any luck getting a 7th NVIDIA GTX 1070 running on this board? I can get 6 running no problem but I can’t get the 7th to even show up in Windows 10 Device Manager. Any ideas?


Michael Steven

January 18th, 2018 at 15:52

An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact bought me dinner due to the fact that I found it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending time to discuss this topic here on your website.

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