ASUS unveiled a motherboard aimed at cryptocurrency miners last year, dubbed the B250 Mining Expert. The motherboard was notable for having 18 GPU expansion slots, and for 2018 the company is doing one better by rolling out the H370 Mining Master, which has 20 GPU slots.
The key change from last year is that the PCIe 1x slots are making way for 20 PCIe-over-USB ports, which gives system builders the ability to plug riser cables directly into the motherboard. As mining doesn't require a lot of interface bandwidth, the board has PCIe x1 slots that are routed over USB 3.0. The board also comes with specific UEFI tweaks enabled out of the box designed to facilitate mining.
As the name suggests, the H370 Mining Master is built on Intel's H370 platform, and has an LGA1151 socket for eighth-gen Core/Pentium/Celeron chipsets. ASUS is also rolling out a suite of diagnostic features that give you an easy overview of all the cards connected to the board.
There's a new State Detection feature that scans the system at boot and analyzes whether any cards connected to a riser port is malfunctioning. Each slot has an alphanumeric identifier code, and ASUS will include matching alphanumeric labels in the box that you can stick on corresponding video cards. The goal here is to quickly identify any issues with a malfunctioning card and swap it out.
The motherboard has two slots for memory modules, and can accommodate up to 32GB of RAM (DDR4 up to 2666MHz), six USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, two SATA 6GB/s connectors, one Intel Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 2.0 ports, and a single PCIe x16 slot. Installing a video card in the x16 slot on the board blocks one of the riser ports, so the maximum number of cards you'll be able to run on the board is still 20. Guess we'll have to wait another year to get a board with 21 expansion slots.
The board also comes with three 24-pin power connectors, allowing you to connect three PSUs simultaneously. Each PSU controls a specific section of riser ports, so you have the option of scaling up as needed.
ASUS is touting six-figure sales for last year's B250 board, so there's clearly a considerable amount of interest in a motherboard aimed at industrial-scale mining. ASUS is showcasing the H370 Mining Master hooked up to 12 Radeon RX 470 and eight NVIDIA P104 cards at Computex 2018, and the board will go up for sale in North America from Q3 2018.
There's no information on what it'll cost, but we should know more closer to launch. Who's eyeing the H370 Mining Master?