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ASUS B250 Expert Mining Motherboard Review – Pros and Cons

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You probably heard rumors about the new motherboard that can handle up to 19 GPUs. In this article, I am going to give an in-depth review to the Asus B250 Expert Mining. While this new addition by Asus has a variety of nice features to offer, it comes with some downsides, too.

ASUS B250 Expert Mining Specs

The B250 is just like any other modern motherboard with the exception that it comes with one PCIE x16 and 18 PCIE x1 slots. It is based on the B250 chipset and it supports 6 and 7 generation Intel processors.

Memory-wise, the board features two slots that can hold up to 32 GB of DDR4 memory clocked at 2400 MHz. As you could expect, the mobo has four SATA 3 ports and six USB 3.1 ports.

Besides that, there are some mining-specific features worth mentioning:

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  • Triple ATX 12V power delivery

Situated on the right side of the board, the three ATX power ports allow you to avoid using multiple molex connectors, thus making PSU connection easier and less cumbersome. It also improves stability and reduces risks of damage to your GPUs. The board comes with three additional molex connectors.

As you can see on the picture, each ATX power slot powers its own set of PCIE ports. The color scheme on this picture helps us determine how the power distribution works.

  • PCIE Slot state detection

This tool is rather unique since it allows you to check which PCIE slots are used and which ones are not. In addition to that, there is a third state that is called “error”, which means that the GPU is connected to the PCIE slot, but there is no usual interaction with the card. You can access this status window directly from the BIOS.

  • Voltage stabilization capacitors

Each of the 19 PCIE slots comes with a Japanese high-end capacitor that stabilizes power coming from the power supply. This feature might save your GPUs in case of a faulty PSU and will definitely improve GPU stability.

  • Mining mode BIOS optimization

Asus proudly announced that their new motherboard features a mining mode, which allows miners to “start mining right out of the box”. I am however uncertain about what does this mining mode do exactly.

Pricing and Release Date

According to ASUS, the card will hit the shelves somewhere in October. The estimated price is $140 per unit, which means that the B250 got quite good $ per PCIE slot.

Downsides

If you are not new to mining, you probably already spotted some downsides of having 19 GPUs installed on one single motherboard. While the motherboard par se will more likely be able to handle the GPUs, there are side effects to having so many cards in one single rig. Let me list the most obvious ones:

GPU Availability: You saw this one coming. Mining motherboards are available again thanks to the efforts of Asus, Gigabyte and Asrock, yet mining GPUs are still in shortage. If you’re like most of the miners, you’re probably having a hard time getting any GPUs for your rig. This is why most of us operate small rigs. Now, getting this motherboard for a 6-8 GPU mining rig might be a bit of a waste.

PSU Problems: unless you’re mining with potatoes, 19 GPUs require somewhere between 2.5 and 3 KW of power. Even if the motherboard is designed to be powered by three PSUs, you’d still have to get your hand on three 1.3 kW PSU, which are rather scarce and pricey. For instance, a 500 W power supply costs $ 40 USD, while a 1500 W one costs about $ 430.

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Frame: a 19 GPU mining rig requires a custom frame, one you probably won’t be able to buy anywhere. This translates to extra costs and time.

Downtime Issues: Bugs happen. There are many things that cause a rig to stop working for some time. It takes time to troubleshoot and fix the issue and you are losing money every minute of downtime. We all agree that there is huge difference between 8 and 19 idle GPUs. Having three 6-GPU mining rigs instead of a 19-GPU one might notably reduce GPU idle time in case of bugs (which inevitably happen from time to time)

Overclocking: Past weeks, I was busy trying to make my 13 GPU rig work. I’m certainly not new to mining, however it took me a ridiculously huge amount of time to overclock each of the GPUs and make them work together on my ethos system. The amount of crashes I was getting in the process of overclocking is rather frustrating. I can only speculate on how much of a hassle it will be to overclock a 19 GPU rig.

Where to buy

In Conclusion

While the idea of having a rig of 19 GPUs might sound cool, you probably agree that in reality it is not. Considering the situation we are facing with GPU deficit, it might be a wise idea to opt for smaller motherboards.

That being said, I really like the idea of having three ATX connectors on one mobo. I might consider the idea of using this motherboard on a 12 GPU rig in order to take advantage of the ATX connectors. We will see.

Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.

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  • exxis

    Hey sorry to post it here but i hope i can reach you and maybe find a solution to my problem. Right now i´am building a mining rig, i had some trouble here and there but finally i got into windows with everything setup and ready to go (Currently iam using 4 Saphire RX580 Nitro+ with the bios from your guide).

    I followed your guide and did everything step by step also checked twice so i didn´t miss anything. In windows device manager only 2 RX580 are listed and if i try to start mining (Claymore´s dual minier) the exe crashed. I think this is because the other two cards are not recognised, but how can i fix this?

  • NDioWealthAmp

    Very good read and comments. About the downtown issue, would you avoid 12-13 GPU rigs for the same reason or even favor 6 over 8 GPUs ? It could be calculated prolly. Is it right to consider 20% downtime on average ? More or less from your experience ?

    • 8GPUs are fine 🙂 going higher i think is too much.. also win10 can support up to8 gpus

      • Eurys Gamez

        Will Win 10 ever be able to support more than 8 gpus?

        • NDioWealthAmp

          Right now it supports max 8 of each brand. For instance, you can make 8 AMD with 4+ Nvidia work eventually. Then again, the software miners may run into limitations themselves as well

  • asian_dapper

    I don’t even see the benefit of getting this mobo. As per the list of downsides you mentioned, the only upside would be the “cool factor” and “bragging rights”. Other than that, nothing.

    At the end of the day, uptime and your GPUs mining would be the most important of all, and with this motherboard, it will definitely make it difficult for you to have both.

    • And they wont stop there, someone (not sure who) is planning a 32 board 🙂 and even bigger like x2 , is insane

  • Ahmed Djent

    very informative thanks for covering everything for us cheers 🙂

  • Jack B

    This doesn’t require powered risers though but PCIe extension cables are ok? Also if it’ll be priced at $140 it’ll be cheaper than 13x GPU Asrock H110 Pro BTC+. Sounds like a good deal to me, even if you don’t use all the 19 slots

    • Joeyjoejoeshabadooo

      Biggest drawback of the Asrock board is that the PCIe ports are all so damned close together. Without sanding off the back of the PCIe riser + putting plastic shims between them to prevent potential short circuits, it’s impossible to use all 13 PCIe slots at the same time. That’s what made me return that board

      • Brock Huffaker

        Most of the newer risers have stoppers on the back which will make them not touch on the connections. But I totally agree with you. It was such a pain to deal with and you usually had to buy at least one or two longer USB cables as the ports or span very wide. This board has them all over. I hooked up 12 GPUs with all standard length cables.

    • Web Webprods

      So.Do I need powered riser or not?

      • Brock Huffaker

        Yes. How would you connect the GPU to the 1×16 pcie? The 3 atx ports are just to turn them on for you so you don’t need one of those cheap and dangerous cables or a paper clip.

  • Pet Mey

    you are way overestimating the power required for the GPU’s. Smart miners are undervolting as well as underclocking their GPU”s. My 470/480’s use about 70W each. 3 700W power supplies would be enough and 700W power supplies are a lot cheaper then the 1KW+ ones.

    • Hi, those 70w are the one listed in gpu-z right ?

      • Pet Mey

        yes 70W in GPUZ and about 100W each at the wall. If you figure it is 120 per card then you could still do three 800W power supplies and be fine.

        • 800w for 6x gpus is not enough, if you are going to mine eth only then it may be ok, it’s all about what gpus you use. but if you are going to dual mining recommended psu is 1300w. Recommended to have around 100w – 150w spare power.

          • Pet Mey

            I said three 800W 🙂 3… 1-2-3

          • Spartan

            And if you are using windows and your system defaults, with 700w power supply and 5-6 RX series connected, you can kiss your power supply good bye. Even with ethOS, the power draw is always a lot higher until the bespoke settings kick in. Better to over engineer to compensate for worse case scenario – ie default settings than play risk. And that comes from an electrical engineer……

          • ok, looks like you have a thing for that 🙂 good luck with your 1 2 3 psu of 800w.

          • Brock Huffaker

            I dual mine ETH+SC on GTX 1060s. I have 12 GPUs and the total rig draw from the wall is under 1000W. If I only mine ETH it is like 800W.

    • Joeyjoejoeshabadooo

      19 Vega 56 GPUs draw 190W+ each, so 3610W at 100% efficiency, 3923W at 92% platinum efficiency. ~589MH/s on one system? Yes please. The biggest downside of this board hasn’t been mentioned in this review, but is glossed over on the Asus product page – max 8 NVIDIA and 8 AMD GPUs addressible by the system today. Full 19 card GPU support PLANNED for a future BIOS update in “Q4 2017” i.e. early 2018 ;).

      • Brock Huffaker

        I’m running 12 NVIDIAs without a glitch. I think you are referring to the limitations of Windows not the mobo. Use SMOS! It is a piece of cake and no need for messing with drivers. Setup is takes 1/4 the time. Web console for monitoring stats and reboots… Makes total sense!

    • Brock Huffaker

      I picked up 4 1200W EVGA Platinum+ PSUs for under $250 a piece. I agree, way over estimate on the needed wattage and price. What are you mining to get 70W? My RX580 8gb rig pulls 1500W (8xGPUS) dual mining ETH+SC.

      • hey, 1500w for 8 gpus is a bit too much :/

        • Brock Huffaker

          I can not get it to run lower and be stable while dual mining. This is why it was my first and last AMD build. I’m team green now 🙂

          • Why last? Make sure everything is set correctly, this should run smooth 🙂 wanna me take a look ?

          • Brock Huffaker

            If you wouldn’t mind. How do we connect?

          • teamviewer..

          • Brock Huffaker

            Sounds good. PM me

          • Brock Huffaker

            Just realized that you can’t PM me via this chat. Please reach out to me via email or google chat. miningmadeasy at gmail dot com

  • Jason Dela Cruz

    Hi @@ciprianpt:disqus i wonder if you are using ethOS or Simplemining. that would be a great Tutorial as well… currently, my 2 rigs are under WINDOWS 10. looking forward to see a tutorial for this two mining OS 🙂 youtube is availble, but sometimes step by step guide would be best.

    • Hi @disqus_L1zyzFOWdA:disqus , my first tutorial was with ethOS, pretty much the settings remains same, but i will post soon a tutorial for 13 gpu rig where ill be using ethos with some new features. Simplemining planning to test is soon with a new rig.

  • Joeyjoejoeshabadooo

    The biggest downside of this board hasn’t been mentioned in this review, but is glossed over on the Asus product page – max 8 NVIDIA and 8 AMD GPUs addressible by the system today. Full 19 card GPU support PLANNED for a future BIOS update in “Q4 2017” i.e. early 2018 ;).

    • Spartan

      I managed to get 13 GPU working no issues, I can get 15 working through a hack on ethOs, but not ideal

      • Home Boy

        PLease share that hack. I am in same boat. Do I have to go buy less-effective P106s to make this system work. And even IF I did no mining OS supports 19GPUs. Hear that EthOS…get us a fix and you will make $$$!

  • Joeyjoejoeshabadooo

    ANOTHER CON: Compared to some mining boards (Asrock H110 BTC+) the Asus board does not have integrated power/reset switches, and you’ll need to buy these to use with the front panel connector. Annoying, but the asrock board has many more drawbacks which is why I returned it

    • vpntutorials

      Can you tell me more about the drawbacks on the asrock board?

  • Eliot Mason

    I am having a hard time understanding the point of 3 ATX connectors. Are all 3 required to power on the GPU’s? Isn’t everyone using powered risers so you wouldn’t need this many ATX connectors?

    • Jack B

      I think the point is that you don’t need powered risers but can use PCIe extension ribbons instead. Saves ~$150 and is also faster

      • Brock Huffaker

        You still need powered risers. There is only 1 full size pcie slot. The reason for the three atx connection is so that you don’t have to worry about a cheap 3 x psu connecting cable that could fry your psu and mobo if not hooked up correctly. This makes it quite convenient to be able to just plug in. It only draws power from the mobo from the #1 psu. I purchased this to replace my ASRock H110 and it is much easier to deal with, pcie slots are spaced out better. The power button thing really doesn’t bother me as the ASRock had one but I always hit the CPU fan when trying to press it. They always seem to put them in the most awkward spot. I don’t mind the $2.50 for a power switch cable. Besides the fact, you don’t have to use all 19. At the sub $150 price point it is right there with all the others. Why not just get it so you could expand if you wanted. I don’t see any downside with this board. If it was twice the cost then yeah but it is right there with the Asus Prime Z270A which only has 7 pcie slots.

  • Web Webprods

    I got a problem . Trying fix that playing with MB bios configuration but always got red error that slot 16_1 ( that full one ) not present . Trying test with risers or directly GPU but always showing that full slot is not present. Any help can be great . I’m talking about Asus 250 Miner Expert with 19 slots. Please help . Rig 6x Nvidia 1070 , PSU EVGA 1600 W TITAN plus EVGA 850 P2, SSD 950 GB, CPU KABY LAKE i 7 7700 K , memory DDR 4 16 GB , Windows 10 64

  • Shayan Abbas

    is it possible to run 13 or more RX 470 cards in this mobo?

    • Yes, up to 19 cards

    • Bill Gentry

      Not yet. I guess Asus is planning a bios update for this sometime Q4 of this year.

  • Thomas Xeon

    Will it work if there is only 1 PSU 1200W Platinum are installed and running with 4 GPU?

  • James

    What CPU would you suggest for this type of unit. I notice all the 1151 CPU’s says 16 lanes maximum.

  • Rostik Rusev

    do you know if I can run 12-13gpus MSI GTX 1080ti Gaming X cards with windows on this board?

    • Bill Gentry

      I use Linux, but I think Windows has an 8 card limitation for either Nvidia or AMD.

  • Bill Gentry

    I have 3 of these boards. Two are running 13, 1070 FE cards and the other is running 13, 1080 FE. I orinally had two rigs of 8, 1070s and one of 8, 1080s all on Z270-A and they all ran flawlessly. It made sense in my situation to build my rigs vertically rather than adding additional rigs to the length of my shelves. When I ran 7 cards on each of these B250s I had no issues, but as soon as I added another 6 to each is when I started having issues. Clocking wouldn’t hold/take, GPUs started to get “stuck” and I get occasional reboots (probably due to too many “stuck” cards). Right now, I’d shy away from this motherboard. It appears as though it was rushed through without much testing. I was a little disheartened to find out that it won’t even support the full 19 cards yet (well, unless you want to buy ASUS’s own mining cards..kind of clever of them actually if you ask me). This board need a bios/driver update badly and all I get from ASUS is “coming Q4 of 2017”. I’m using SMOS, my cards on Z270-A were all set for +200 core, +1000 mem, and under powered 20% (150w per card for 1080 and 120w per card for 1070s). Something in this board does not like those settings. I have to reboot the rig with no OC then put it back in and reboot again…SOMETIMES this works, other times it takes a few more reboots. I have all the Molex connections plugged in and my two Supernove 1600 T2s are in the ATX 24-pins. I’m sitting by rigs right now trying a bunch of crap..right now, I’ve removed the Molex and I’ll try to report if that does anything. You can see my rigs on YouTube under Crypto Mang (no, I’m not soliciting followers, just want to get these things working and help others do the same..we can do it!). Peace (through superior firepower!!)

    • And that’s why i dont really recommend this card to run it with full 19 cards (or less), i had problems OCing when i first tested the 13x gpu mobo, i can imagine with more gous. Actually had the same problems as you, oc-ing the cards was too much to handle and system always crashed.

      Isn’t +1000 too much? 🙂 ill lower that a bit..

      • Bill Gentry

        I want to recommend this card, but I can’t either (right now). Is there a board that is solid with 13? Well, my configuration is +1000, since I’m under powering so it’s really not +1000. Worked flawlessly on Z270…

    • Bill Gentry

      Removing Molex doesn’t seem to make any difference. All rigs are stable as of now, but I just hope I don’t want to change the coin or miner, because that would just bring on the headaches. I also want to point out that I use the blower style cards for their airflow..much easier to plan for and stack.

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