What just happened? The cryptomining boom might be past its peak, meaning that GPU prices are finally on their way down, but that hasn't stopped Asus from bringing out a mining motherboard that supports twenty graphics cards via PCIe-over-USB ports.
Last year, Asus announced the B250 Mining Expert---a cryptomining mobo that supports 19 GPUs. The company said it sold so well that it decided to create a follow up, the H370 Mining Master, which not only adds support for an extra graphics card, bringing the total to twenty, but also includes several improvements.
Instead of featuring a single full-length PCIe slot alongside 18 1 X PCIe slots for riser cards like its predecessor, the H370 features 20 PCIe-over-USB ports, thereby allowing a riser's USB cable to connect directly to the motherboard. Asus says the direct connection is "sturdier than using a PCIe card, with less chance of inadvertent disconnects." There's even room to add a dual slot GPU directly onto the board.
Not only does the H370 simplify the process of connecting multiple graphics cards, but it also comes with a number of diagnostic features, including GPU State Detection, which scans the state of each riser port at boot to determine which GPUs are plugged in and whether they're functioning. There's also a State Detection GUI that assigns each port an alphanumeric ID to make it easier to identify where any issues are originating.
Here is a full list of the H370's specs:
- Size - ATX, 12" x 9.1"
- Socket - LGA 1151 for Intel 8th Gen Core / Pentium / Celeron processors
- Memory - 2 x DIMMs (max. 32GB), DDR4 2666 / 2400 / 2133 MHz, Non-ECC, unbuffered memory
- PCIe - 1 x PCIe x16 slot
- Storage - 2 x Serial ATA 6.0 Gb/s connectors
- Networking - 1 x Intel Gigabit LAN
- USB GPU Riser Ports - 20 x Vertical USB ports over PCIe
- USB Ports - 6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 4 x USB 2.0 / 1.1 ports
- Other Ports - 1 x COM header
Asus is aiming for the H370 to arrive in the US sometime during Q3 2018. No word yet on price, but expect it to be similar or slightly more than the B250, which retails at around $150.