For a GPU mining rig, how many PCI-E 16x slots do I need?

High quality graphics processing units (GPUs) require a PCI-e 16x slot on the motherboard. Unfortunately, when using the best gpu for mining, these cards not only use one of the few available PCIe 16x slots on your motherboard, they are also double-thick, which means they will use one slot and often cover the neighboring slot. Even if you could install two mining GPUs right next to each other, it would slow down thec ooling process and cause your GPUs to run hotter (possibly shortening the life of your GPU, lowering the hashrate as well, and using more power as they spin the fans faster to try and maintain a normal operating tempature).

Enter PCI risers. Luckily for us, when using the best GPUs for mining, we don’t require PCI 16x slots. In reality, because of the way the mining calculations work, we only require a PCIe 1x slot. This makes extensions simple and relatively cheap to make. These extensions are called PCI risers, and they plug into the 1x or 16x or 8x PCI-e slots and allow you to move your GPUs away from the motherboard and apart from each other for optimal cooling.

When determining the best motherboard for mining, don’t just count the PCI-e 16x slots, count all of the PCI-e slots and get some risers for your mining rig build.

Below is the PCIe Risers/Converters that I am using on my GPU mining rig:

MintCell 6-Pack PCIe 16x to 1x Powered Riser Adapter GPU Riser

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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.

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