Hopefully to avoid confusion, and to keep you from purchasing the wrong PCIe riser cables for your mining rig build, here are some quick FAQ style items you should know about USB risers.
- What are they called?
Seriously, I don’t know. They are referred to by many different names, here are a few of the most common ones.
– PCI-E Riser Cables – this is because they extend the PCI-E slots allowing you to raise the position of your GPUs in your mining rig
– USB Risers – same as above, but since they are a USB cable that connects the new PCI-e Socket to the motherboard mounted one, it’s called a USB riser
– GPU Mining Cable – since the cables are mostly used in building mining computers, they are called mining cables. They allow a miner, mining rig builder, to put more GPUs on a single motherboard than would be physically possible because of the space and distance between the PCI-e slots. With the mining/riser cables, you can fit as many cards as your motherboard can handle, and you can space them apart for better airflow and cooling too!
- Are they all the same?
Other than the difference in naming (as explained in item #1 above), they are basically all the same. One major difference is whether or not they are powered. Video cards are designed to be connected directly to your motherboard, and receive power from your motherboard. However, when connecting many GPUs for an ethereum mining computer, instead of using the motherboard’s power supply, powered PCI-e risers will bring power to your mining GPU directly from the power supply.
- Do I need risers?
If you are only connecting a few GPUs to start with (like me – I’m going to run a few GPUs and make sure I can get everything working before buying more and expanding my mining computer build), then you won’t need risers at all. If your GPUs don’t physically fit on the motherboard, then you’ll need risers to separate them apart. Again, I wouldn’t bother with powered risers until you are adding more GPUs to your system. At the same time, however, if you are going to buy risers, buy them in the cheapest multi-pack form you can find assuming that you will indeed purchase more of the best GPUs for mining later.
- Are they hard to install?
No. It is simple to install a riser cable. Just ensure that your system is powered off, and the your correctly, and firmly, plug the riser connectors into the motherboard and into the GPU mining cards. There is also no software that needs to be installed, simply plug-and-play and power up your unit.
Here are some of the top rated GPU riser cable for mining rig builds:
MintCell 6-Pack PCIe 16x to 1x Powered Riser Adapter GPU Riser
Mintcell is as close as you’ll get to a name-brand in the riser cable world. Their Amazon listing has a specific warning to make sure that you are buying directly from them, and not some ‘other’ supplier.
These riser kits are the perfect solution for setting up a crypto mining rig like Ethereum mining rigs.
There are 3 high quality capacitors on each riser for safe and reliable delivery of power to your GPU. The USB cable is 60cm long, and the SATA 15-pin connector has a molex plug on the GPU riser side, meaning you could use a molex power supply cable and bring power to the riser and GPU directly from your power supply unit, rather than having the power going through your mining motherboard (this is especially important when multiple GPUs are pulling high power and can cause your motherboard to burn out!). For my build, I am using GTX 1060 series cards that will be detuned to run as low noise/heat/power as possible so I will not be using as much power as some other GPUs would.