GPU prices may be coming down, but Asus doesn’t think the cryptomining craze is over yet. The company today introduced the H370 Mining Master cryptocurrency mining motherboard, which supports up to 20 graphics cards.
Last September, Asus jumped into the cryptocurrency mining craze with the Asus B250 Mining Expert motherboard, which offers 19 PCIe slots for mining cards. Asus’ mining board must have struck the right chord with miners, because it far exceeded the company’s sales expectations.
Following the success of the B250 Mining Expert, Asus is back with a new product that improves on the last one. When Asus jumped into the crypto-mining hardware market, it didn’t know what miners really needed. Now that the company’s gotten involved in the scene, it better understands the needs of the mining community, and the new H370 Mining Master is supposed to meet all of those requirements.
The previous board featured a single full-length PCIe slot along with 18 1x PCIe slots for riser cards. For the new board, Asus took a different approach, which netted space for an additional graphics card interface. The riser cards for crypto mining usually consist of three parts: a full-length PCIe x16 slot on a small PCB with a USB port and Molex or SATA power plug that goes into the GPU; an x1 PCIe card with a USB port that plugs into the motherboard; and a USB cable to connect the two boards.
Asus’ new motherboard allows you to toss the x1 PCIe cards, which simplifies setup and eliminates one point of potential failure. Asus installed an array of USB-over-PCIe ports on the motherboard instead of a series of x1 PCIe slots. The H370 Mining Master’s layout features five rows of four USB ports, which take up less space than 18 x1 PCIe slots. Asus even left space to install a dual slot graphics card directly on the motherboard without interfering with the riser ports. We count 21 slots for GPUs, but Asus said the board supports up to 20 for mining.
Asus eliminated the need for the x1 riser cards to reduce the potential failure points of mining rigs, but it didn’t stop there. The company also engineered a handful of diagnostic features for the H370 Mining Master motherboard, including GPU State Detection, which checks the status of each riser port to determine whether they have functional or malfunctioning GPUs, or none, plugged in. The motherboard also includes an updated State Detection GUI that identifies each port with a unique alphanumeric ID to easily trace a problematic card or riser board. The board also includes debug LEDs to help identify issues with primary components such as the CPU or memory.
Tweaked For Mining At The Factory
Asus H370 Mining Master also comes from the factory with mining specific firmware tweaks enabled by default, which means less time messing with the UEFI settings and more time mining.
Asus didn’t reveal the price of the H370 Mining Master, and it hasn’t yet revealed the release date, though it said the board would be available in Q3 2018. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about the board soon. Asus plans to demonstrate a 20-GPU mining rig built on the H370 Mining Master at Computex in early June.
|Specifications||H370 Mining Master Motherboard|
|Chipset||Intel H370 Chipset|
|Socket||LGA 1151 for Intel 8th Gen Core / Pentium / Celeron processors|
|Memory||2 x DIMMs (max. 32GB)|
DDR4 2,666 / 2,400 / 2,133MHz
Non-ECC, unbuffered memory
|PCIe||1 x PCIe x16 slot|
|Storage||2 x Serial ATA 6.0 Gb/s connectors|
|Networking||1 x Intel Gb LAN|
|USB GPU Riser Ports||20 x Vertical USB-over-PCIe ports|
|USB Ports||6 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 4 x USB 2.0 / 1.1 ports|
|Other Ports||1 x COM header|
|Size||ATX, 12 x 9.1”|