ASUS new mainboard can handle 20 GPUs at once but what good is it on your Windows 10 PC?
ASUS H370 Mining Master has joined the ranks of ridiculously over-the-top specialized hardware, with on-board support for up to 20 graphic cards, using PCIe-over-USB ports.
The mainboard supports Intel 8-gen Core processors, and it is the successor of last year’s ASUS B250, Mining Expert, which, conversely, offered room for up to 19 Intel CPUs via the same PCIe-over-USB connection method used in the H370.
Obviously, the H370 is not a mainboard meant to run on any average desktop PC, as any system supporting more than two GPUs is grossly unnecessary even to hardcore gamers, and the “Mining” in the name provides a strong clue on its target application, which is to mine cryptocurrency, by harnessing the collective power of 20 GPUs at once.
To put things in perspective, while the mainboard itself may not be out of reach of the average consumer, the cost of adding 20 GPUs, combined with the cost of additional hardware and cooling systems, may set the deepest-pocketed cryptominers back between $30,000 and $100,000, without taking into consideration the massive amount of electricity required to run what is essentially a miniature supercomputer.
The H370 makes it relatively easy to manage connected peripherals, with LEDs that alerts of problems with any component, including memory and processor, aside from each GPU slot.
It goes without saying that the “USB” in PCIe-over-USB, does not mean that GPUs are going to be hot-swappable. It simply means that the connector on the mainboard allows for a faster access of GPU resources, so if you are serious about investing your 401K into setting up a cryptomining monster, remember the golden rule: do not yank anything off of a powered mainboard.
It’s not surprising that ASUS is manufacturing more crypto-mining specialized hardware, especially in the wake of NVIDIA struggling to keep up with demand for its higher-end GPUs, to a point where for a brief period of time, the company had to restrict sales of its GTX 1080 to one per customer. The restriction has long been lifted, and crypto-miners looking to maximize their chances to refill their digital wallets will have a better chance to do so.