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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.

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

  • 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.

    • 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 ;).

  • 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 ;).

  • 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

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