Reiteration: What is the best motherboard in 2016 for 6+ GPU mining?

rmcgowenrmcgowen Member Posts: 8
edited July 2016 in Mining
You heard it boys, what is the best motherboard in 2016 for 6+ GPU mining?

From my knowledge the most popular and stable motherboards for this use right now are the H81 and H97 chipsets.

What is your favorite motherboard and why? I want to achieve 7 GPUs on one motherboard safely and easily.
«1

Comments

  • barklembarklem Member Posts: 4
    Hi @rmcgowen,

    I would also love to know. I am late to the game, but I am planning to build a mining unit asap. I am searching amazon for prices and comparing performances.

    For motherboard I have speculated that
    ASRock B85 Anniversary @ 68euros is the best of the bunch.

    Still looking at GPUs and advice is most welcomed.
  • rmcgowenrmcgowen Member Posts: 8
    barklem said:

    Hi @rmcgowen,

    I would also love to know. I am late to the game, but I am planning to build a mining unit asap. I am searching amazon for prices and comparing performances.

    For motherboard I have speculated that
    ASRock B85 Anniversary @ 68euros is the best of the bunch.

    Still looking at GPUs and advice is most welcomed.

    I think the B85 chipset is a little older than H81. Not saying it is a bad thing though! Whatever works goes.

    Just trying to find newer chipsets and motherboards that are more recent to keep up with the technological advances of computer hardware. B)
  • rmcgowenrmcgowen Member Posts: 8
    I am going to try out the ASRock Z97 Anniversary board. Looks like it will do the job for six cards.
  • rmcgowenrmcgowen Member Posts: 8
    "From an official chipset perspective, there are only two differences between Z97 and H97 chipsets. The first is the fact that the Z97 chipset supports CPU overclocking, while the H97 chipset does not. Secondly, the Z97 chipset has the ability to split up the 16 PCI-E lanes from the CPU which allows for SLI/Crossfire video card configurations."
    https://pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Z97-vs-H97---What-is-the-Difference-562/

    This should allow for better PCI-E lane power distribution. I am guessing though.
  • dlehenkydlehenky Member Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭
    @rmcgowen If you're running 6 GPUs, you're using risers. The best risers to use are the powered USB type. In that case, PCIe power distribution doesn't matter, since the GPUs are getting their bus power via direct PSU connections (Molex/Sata). A huge number of miners run 6 GPUs with either the H81 or H97 MBs. And SLI/Crossfire has no value for mining ETH; the miner will simply see each GPU individually. I'm not saying the Z97 won't work, I'm just saying there's no intrinsic advantage to using it over the H97/H81.
  • rmcgowenrmcgowen Member Posts: 8
    dlehenky said:

    @rmcgowen If you're running 6 GPUs, you're using risers. The best risers to use are the powered USB type. In that case, PCIe power distribution doesn't matter, since the GPUs are getting their bus power via direct PSU connections (Molex/Sata). A huge number of miners run 6 GPUs with either the H81 or H97 MBs. And SLI/Crossfire has no value for mining ETH; the miner will simply see each GPU individually. I'm not saying the Z97 won't work, I'm just saying there's no intrinsic advantage to using it over the H97/H81.

    I use all powered USB risers and I still cannot achieve more than 4 GPUs on the MSI Z170-A Pro motherboard.

    Have read all over that some motherboards can not handle more than 4 GPUs because of the power distribution between the PCI-E lanes and other buses. Also have zero interest in SLI/Crossfire, mainly just aiming to hit a rig with 6 or 7 GPUs while keeping up with the latest advances in motherboard technology, such as DDR4 ram usage.

    There is no doubt that some motherboards can not support more than four GPUs even with powered risers.

    Will be posting my results with the ASRock Z97 chipset motherboard.
  • dlehenkydlehenky Member Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭
    @rmcgowen Ummm ... you never mentioned the Z170 MB in your previous posts. The comment was in regard to Z97/H97/H81. The problem with the Z190 is close to common knowledge, at this point.
  • workwork Member Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2016
    It has nothing to do with power distribution... it is about PCI-E lanes and how many can operate at the same time and on which ports. Motherboards handle this differently, and only a rare few are actually made to run 6+ 1x devices at the same time.

    As for the original subject: ASRock H97 Anniversary is the 2016 board for miners. Pretty much no question, if you ask me. Don't buy the Z97 Anniversary - it only has 4x PCIe slots (and 2x PCI slots, which are useless to us).
  • ShajirrShajirr Member Posts: 11
    What's the difference between H97 Anniversary and H81 Pro BTC?
    They cost pretty much the same, both support 6 graphics cards, both have same CPU slot.
  • dlehenkydlehenky Member Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭
    @Shajirr The H97 is a newer design, with USB3, HDMI, double the memory slots, 2 more sata connectors, etc. Also, if you use the x16 slot of a card on the H81, it blocks a x1 slot, but the H97 doesn't.
  • ShajirrShajirr Member Posts: 11
    ok, no reason to get H81 then, H97 Anniversary it is!

    what CPU do people usually get for it?
  • dlehenkydlehenky Member Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭
    @Shajirr Most go with a 2-core pentium. I use a 2-core, 2-thread i3, mostly because it's more generally useful for other tasks besides mining.
  • workwork Member Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭✭
    Indeed, I just use the cheapest LGA1150 CPU available. e.g. celeron G1840 or pentium G3250.

    To do it again, I think I would have followed @dlehenky and used i3 CPUs, but with on-GPU DAG generation the celerons are fine.
  • rmcgowenrmcgowen Member Posts: 8
    Ah I did not notice that on the Z97, good eye!

    Will continue looking, there has good to be a better option than the H97. Not that it is needed though...
  • workwork Member Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭✭
    @rmcgowen price plays a big role here. There are fancier boards, but for a mining rig you'll just be paying for more features you won't use. This is why H97 Anniversary are the "best" board for miners. Cheap and does what we need (run 6 cards).

    You can easily pay triple or more for a motherboard capable of running 6 GPUs.
  • dlehenkydlehenky Member Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭
    @HoangCruze If you want to listen to music. :)
  • indytimindytim Member Posts: 123
    edited July 2016
    I have not been able to get any of my Asrock H81BTC Pro mobos to support more than 4 cards. I haven't given up, but it's been a frustrating battle. That said, I haven't found any better options unless I spend $300+ for a Supermicro.


    EDIT: Thanks to @work for making me go recheck - the H81 does have Power On after AC restore. It's in the Advanced Chipset settings.
    -----------------------------------
    Other that Asrock's dubious quality, the biggest complaint I have is that the H81 does not offer a Power on when AC power is restored after an outage. It would be nice to have it come back up and start mining.

    Does the H97 have this feature?
    Post edited by indytim on
  • dlehenkydlehenky Member Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭
    @indytim Yes, the H97 has that feature. Are You using powered risers on the H81? Also, you need to have an active monitor or a dummy video plug (HDMI, etc.) connected to the GPU on the x16 slot to boot reliably on the H81.
  • indytimindytim Member Posts: 123
    dlehenky said:

    @indytim Yes, the H97 has that feature. Are You using powered risers on the H81? Also, you need to have an active monitor or a dummy video plug (HDMI, etc.) connected to the GPU on the x16 slot to boot reliably on the H81.

    Yes, I am using powered risers, and an active monitor. The best I've gotten is four GPU's, but Claymore could not get fan speed for GPU4, so I'm back to three GPUs on each of two rigs. I had planned for 6 each. I have not been successful with a riser in the 16x slot - I have riser cards in slots 1,3, and 4 on each system, currently.
  • workwork Member Posts: 2,084 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 2016
    The ASRock H81 Pro BTC definitely has power-on with AC? I use it and it works fine. You running the latest BIOS?

    I have no problems with 5 or 6 GPUs on the H81 boards. And the 16x slots work fine.

    I'm running 5x H81 boards I think. Rest are H97s.
  • dlehenkydlehenky Member Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭
    Yep, 6 GPUs on both the H81 and the H97 - 20 total, mostly H97s.
  • indytimindytim Member Posts: 123
    edited July 2016
    work said:

    The ASRock H81 Pro BTC definitely has power-on with AC? I use it and it works fine. You running the latest BIOS?

    I have no problems with 5 or 6 GPUs on the H81 boards. And the 16x slots work fine.

    I'm running 5x H81 boards I think. Rest are H97s.

    Thanks @work. I looked and didn't find it at first, but at the time I was more concerned with other matters. Based on your input, I RTFM again and found it under Advanced Chipset settings. Nice to know, and I've corrected my earlier post.

    .. and @dlehenky, @work Thanks for the comments on the 16x slot. It's been many moons since I built hardware and I've managed to forget a lot. And a few things are new, like PIC/e and powered risers.

    I went back and focused on getting the 16x slot into the mix. As I said, I had slots 1,3,4 working but skipped the 16x due to several issues which I won't cover here.

    On trying this configuration again, I got a successful post (which was progress), but Windows wouldn't fully launch - it would freeze just as it was loading the desktop.

    I went back to check on how I had the risers powered, and found that in mucking about I had daisy chained two risers to the same SATA power cable. After addressing that (putting each riser on its own SATA power cable), I was able to boot successfully. The system seems to be happily running at 98.1 Mh/s with 3 GPUs, and the GPUs are in slots 1,2,3. Yay.

    I have to get another PSU in to try cards 4,5,6 on this rig, since I moved one of my EVGAs from this system over to power a 3-card setup on the second rig. But looking forward to having another go at that.

    Thanks again for your help.
    Post edited by indytim on
  • indytimindytim Member Posts: 123
    edited July 2016
    dlehenky said:

    @Shajirr The H97 is a newer design, with USB3, HDMI, double the memory slots, 2 more sata connectors, etc. Also, if you use the x16 slot of a card on the H81, it blocks a x1 slot, but the H97 doesn't.

    @dlehenky if I interpret your comment correctly, the H81 is limited to 5 GPUs? I.e. if the 16x takes out a 1x, we're down to 5 slots?

  • rmcgowenrmcgowen Member Posts: 8
    indytim said:

    dlehenky said:

    @Shajirr The H97 is a newer design, with USB3, HDMI, double the memory slots, 2 more sata connectors, etc. Also, if you use the x16 slot of a card on the H81, it blocks a x1 slot, but the H97 doesn't.

    @dlehenky if I interpret your comment correctly, the H81 is limited to 5 GPUs? I.e. if the 16x takes out a 1x, we're down to 5 slots?

    I have gotten six GPUs to run on H81 boards.

    Looks like the H97 Anniversary boards are on sale for $52.99 right now.
  • dlehenkydlehenky Member Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭
    indytim said:

    dlehenky said:

    @Shajirr The H97 is a newer design, with USB3, HDMI, double the memory slots, 2 more sata connectors, etc. Also, if you use the x16 slot of a card on the H81, it blocks a x1 slot, but the H97 doesn't.

    @dlehenky if I interpret your comment correctly, the H81 is limited to 5 GPUs? I.e. if the 16x takes out a 1x, we're down to 5 slots?

    No. You can use a x1 riser in the x16 slot - 6 GPUs on risers.
  • testmantestman australiaMember Posts: 30
    edited July 2016
    Hey guys is this the motherboard your all talking about that is the best choice

    http://newegg.com/global/au/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157564&ignorebbr=1


    or this board is reasonably cheap here at $150

    https://msi.com/Motherboard/Z170A-TOMAHAWK.html#hero-specification

    Thanks i am in Australia and you cant get shit here.
  • dlehenkydlehenky Member Posts: 2,249 ✭✭✭✭
    @testman Yes, your newegg link is the H97 MB we've been talking about.
  • testmantestman australiaMember Posts: 30
or to comment.