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PCI-Express 1 to 3 PCI-e 1x Slots Riser Card: Is It Worth It?


Even before the MSI Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon Motherboard was released, people found ways to connect up to eight GPUs to a motherboard for their mining rigs. The trick is in using a PCI-Express 1 to 3 PCIe 1x slot splitter.

While there is an amount of controversy about this kind of splitters, they still work for some people under certain conditions.

In this short article I will review the PCIe 1 to 3 Port 1x GPU Slot Splitter and then give you some tips on how you can make it work for you.

What is a PCIe 1 to 3 Port 1x GPU slot splitter?

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The adapter usually consists of two small boards. One is connected to the motherboard PCI-E slot and it serves as a bridge to the second board, which outputs three downstream 1x PCI-E buses. In other words, you end up having two more PCI-E x1 slots to use for your GPUs.

This allows your modern motherboard (ATX, mini ATX, etc.) to accept up to 8 GPUs. Or, if you have older motherboard models, you can go from 4 to 6 GPUs by using the PCIe extender.

Now, this works for certain people only. If you decide to try this kind of risers, the first thing you’d want to do is to try it with different ports. Some PCI-E ports work with it, others don’t. This is due to internal motherboard architecture, so unless you’re an engineer you might want to simply do the trial and error method.

Ideally, the PCIe port multiplier should allow all the three cards to work perfectly (hash-wise). However, sometimes only one or two out of the three will work.

Another thing you should keep in mind is the power supply. You might want to install an additional power supply to make the rig function properly. According to experts, your power supply should be able to generate 30% more Watts than the rig requires. Otherwise, your rig might start experiencing bugs.

Also, when installing a bigger power supply, make sure you don’t exceed the power limits of your home wiring.

Where to Buy

PCI-e Express 1 To 3 Port 1X Riser

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In Conclusion

The takeaway from this is that you probably should not expect the splitter to get the job done. It might work, or it might not. It does work for thousands people, but that does not mean that it will necessarily work for you too. If it does – great, if it doesn’t, then there’s little you can do about it.

Consequently, it is always advisable to try to make the splitter work with your existing rig setup first (whether you got 4 or 6 GPUs), and only then purchase two additional GPUs.

The good thing about this kind of adapters is that they are relatively cheap, especially when purchased directly from China. This means that you won’t risk a lot if you decide to try this kind of 1x to 3x expansion adapter.

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

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