Taiwanese computer hardware giant Asus has announced a new product that is bound to wow those in the GPU-based crypto mining community. Its new H370 motherboard allows building even more powerful and cost-efficient mining rigs since it supports up to 20 GPUs.
The "H370 Mining Master" is the sequel to Asus' first mining-focused product, the "B250 Mining Expert" motherboard, which was introduced last year, and supported up to 19 GPUs.
You might be wondering why it is important to have as many GPUs as possible in one mining rig besides the obvious benefit of having a more powerful system. Well, as Asus correctly points out:
"Mining is a numbers game; it’s only worthwhile if the value of the cryptocurrency you generate exceeds the cost of producing it. Increasing the number of graphics cards per node is a great way to stack the deck in your favor. This allows you to allocate more of your hardware and power budget to the GPUs that create wealth rather than motherboards, CPUs, and other system components that act as the supporting cast."
However, there is also one important disadvantage to having so many GPUs tied to one rig. If anything goes wrong with the motherboard, none of those GPUs will be working, and so you can lose quite a bit of money for every hour of downtime.
One very interesting feature that is common to both the H370 and the B250 is GPU state detection. This integrated (built into the motherboard firmware) graphical diagnostic tool makes it easy to trouble-shoot your mining rig. In the case of the H370, as the motherboard boots up, the H370 briefly (5 seconds, by default) displays the status of each PCIe-over-USB port, so that you know whether each port is empty, connected to a working graphics card, or experiencing problems.
Here are the main specifications of the H370:
Asus has not announced a price yet for the H370, but the suggested retail price for the B250 was $169.99, and so it would be unlikely for the H370 to be introduced at a price much higher than $199.99. In North America, Asus has said that the H370 will be available from Q3 2018.
Asus has built an "amazing" mining rig consisting of 12 Radeon RX 470 and eight NVIDIA P104 cards tied to a single H370 motherboard -- with the graphics cards mounted to a rack custom built by Cooler Master -- that it plans to demo at the Computex 2018 exhibition, which is being held June 5-9 in Taipei.
Although Bitmain has cornered a large portion of the crypto mining market with its powerful ASIC miners, thankfully for Asus, there are still cryptocurrencies, such as Monero (XMR) and Bitcoin Gold (BTG), whose development teams have promised to stay ASIC-resistant by hard-forking at regular intervals (e.g. every six months) if necessary.