By now, most of you are probably aware of the graphics card shortage caused by the current cryptocurrency mining craze. High demand has led to high prices, and things just seem to be getting worse. Now the mining craze has led MSI to release BIOS updates for Intel’s 100-series motherboards to increase their performance by allowing them to support more graphics cards.
Traditionally, cryptocurrency miners use the most economic motherboard available, which until recently were those using the Intel H81 and B85 chipsets. Because most manufacturers no longer produce motherboards based on those chipsets, miners started to switch to Intel's 100-series motherboard offerings.
According to MSI, the problem with that switch is that even though the motherboard would recognize all of the GPUs connected to it, existing 100-series motherboard firmwares do not support mining with more than three or four cards. This meant that even though you had six graphics cards physically connected to your mining rig, less than half would actually work properly.
MSI said in the press release:
Users found a new way out along with the release of the 100-series chipset, yet many of them found that when they attached 6 AMD graphics cards on the 100-series motherboard, even though the board successfully recognized 6 graphics cards, there were always exclamation marks on 3 or 4 graphics cards within device manager in the OS. And, of course, the cards with exclamation marks would not function properly during mining. MSI consistently heard such inquiries from customers.
MSI has resolved this issue by adding a new "above 4G decoding" BIOS option that allows you to utilize up to six graphics cards on a 100-series motherboard. The company has released updated BIOS files that address PCI-E device recognition on several of its motherboards, including the Z170-A Pro, Z170 Krait Gaming , Z170A SLI Plus, Z170A Krait Gaming, Z170A Krait Gaming 3X, Z270-A Pro, and the H270-A Pro.
Once the BIOS is updated, you can then navigate to the Settings\Advanced\PCI Subsystem Setting tab and set the “Above 4G memory / Crypto Currency mining” option to “enabled.”
Given that this issue can be rectified with a BIOS update, we expect other manufacturers to follow MSI’s lead with updates of their own.