Every mining rig build starts from the ground – and the ground level for a computer is the motherboard. It’s the board that connects everything else together.
If you’ve built computers before, you need to change your mindset a little bit. Typically, specs you look for in a motherboard are things like speed, processor chipset, and things that affect the performance of your overall computer build. With a gpu mining motherboard, there are only a few factors that matter.
Mining Motherboard Specs to Consider
- Number of PCI-Express slots – The more slots you have, the more GPUs you can connect to a single motherboard which helps cut down on overall cost per GPU. These can be PCI-Express x16 slots or PCI-Express x1 slots, but they need to be PCI-Express 3.0 slots (this may not be true, but there seems to be lots of opinions on it and since this is my first build I’ll just stick with what motherboards people are recommending, and those all come with PCI-Express 3.0 slots)
- Processor style – This dictates the age/style of processor you can plug in, and typically we want something that handles an older/cheaper processor since mining does not require a lot of processor power.
- Cost – This is of course related to the number of PCI slots and can get a little sticky, but the lower the cost the less your mining rig will cost and the less time it will take to make your money back while mining Ethereum. If you are only ever going to buy 4 GPUs, then get a cheaper motherboard. However, in a couple months when that is paid off maybe you’ll wish you had bought a motherboard that handled more GPUs? I will be starting with just 2 GPUs, but I am looking for a 6 or 7 PCI slot motherboard so that once I am up and running and I can see how fast my payback period will be, I can buy more GPUs without any additional costs to the mining rig build besides the cost of the GPUs.
Best Ethereum Mining Motherboard
Gigabyte LGA1151 Z170 ATX Motherboard
It seems like every motherboard manufacturer comes out with a competing product – strange I know! This one from Gigabyte takes on the Asus and MSI models head to head. It’s the same LGA1151 CPU socket that supports 6th generation Intel processors. And, the same as the competition, this board comes with 7 GPU slots ready to make a top-dollar-earning ethereum mining rig, although the configuration of the slots is different. Instead of having 3x PCI-Express 3.0 16x slots, it has one – and the other 2 slots are PCI-Express 3.0 x8 and PCI-Express 3.0 x4. It does have the same 4x PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots as the Asus and MSI Z170A models.
ASUS Prime Z270-A Motherboard
The Asus PRIME Z270A motherboard supports up to 7 GPUs for mining, which makes it one of the top choices for building an ethereum mining rig. It supports the more current LGA1151 CPU socket for using the 6th generation Intel processors. It has 4x PCI-Express x1 slots and 3x PCI-Express x16 slots just like the Z170A from MSI. We’d recommend either one depending on price and availability. Right now they are pretty much the same price.
Biostar TB250-BTC Motherboard for Mining
The Biostar Mining motherboard has 6 slots ready to take your 6 GPUs. This motherboard supports the 6th generation Intel chips with the CPU socket LGA1151. This motherboard is a good choice since it has the newer CPU socket, it just doesn’t support the 7 GPUs that some of the other boards do. It does seem to be in stock more than the 7 GPU options.
ASRock H81 Pro BTC R2.0 Motherboard
The ASRock motherboard is another good choice, from a different manufacturer. It’s an older board, it supports the 4th generation Intel chip. Also, it supports 6 GPUs while some of the newer boards can support 7.
MSI Z170A Gaming M5 Motherboard
Last updated July, 2017
The Z170A M5 motherboard from MSI supports the 6th generation Intel Core processors. With 3x PCI-Express 3.0 x16 slots and 4x PCI-Express 3.0 x1 slots, this motherboard supports up to 7 GPUs to allow the most mining bang for your buck from a single rig. In the past the Z170A series motherboard has received negative reviews from miners because it had trouble running more than 4 cards – which was disappointing when trying to build a mining rig that produces top return-on-investment. However, with the new BIOS settings that the more recent boards are shipping with, and by using Windows 10, the problem has been fixed.