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Author Topic: Motherboards: What Works w/Four or More GPUs? List Them  (Read 48754 times)
mikeo
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August 18, 2011, 12:23:08 PM
 #1

OK, catfish and I have had some bad experiences (read expensive) with motherboards that fail to support four or more GPUs even though they have five or even six PCIe slots. We want this to be a single thread info source on motherboards that have been proven to fully function with four or more cards (and those that don't).

PLEASE, use the following format:

WHAT WORKS
Motherboard Brand:
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots:
Power Supply Brand & Model:
Number & Model GPUs:
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?:

WHAT DOESN'T WORK
Motherboard Brand:
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots:
Power Supply Brand & Model:
Number & Model GPUs:
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?:

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kripz
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August 18, 2011, 12:29:13 PM
 #2

WHAT WORKS
Motherboard Brand: Gigabyte
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: GA-H61M-D2H-B3 1x PCIE16x, 3x PCIE1x.
Power Supply Brand & Model: Thermaltake 775W Tough Power
Number & Model GPUs: 4x Sapphire 5850 Extreme
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: Using Risers WITHOUT molex power

WHAT DOESNT WORK
Motherboard Brand: Gigabyte
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: GA-H61M-D2H-B3 1x PCIE16x, 3x PCIE1x.
Power Supply Brand & Model: Thermaltake 700w Lite Power
Number & Model GPUs: 4x Sapphire 5850 Extreme
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: Using Risers WITHOUT molex power

700w Lite Power cannot output more than 550w, computer will hard reset.

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mikeo
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August 18, 2011, 12:32:23 PM
 #3

WHAT DOESN'T WORK
Motherboard Brand: MSI
Motherboard Model & PCIe slots: 890FXA-GD65, 2 x16, 4 x1
Power Supply Brand & Model: Antec HCP 1200 Gold
Number & Model GPUs: 3 5850, 2 5830
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: 2 extenders w/molex, 3 extenders without

RMA'd this board as defective even though it WOULD support 3 GPUs with stable hashrate.

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catfish
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August 18, 2011, 12:58:34 PM
 #4

WHAT SEMI-WORKS (you need Voodoo)
Motherboard Brand: Asus
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: P8Z68-V, 3 x16, 2 x1
Power Supply Brand & Model: Corsair GS800Cooler Master SilentPro 1000W
Number & Model GPUs: 2x 5850, 1 2x 5830, 1x 5770
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: All x1->x16 unpowered extenders apart from single x16->x16 unpowered extender in the second (grey) x16 slot. Weird but works

This board has 5 PCIe slots, however I can't get all five recognised even with the 'X1' setting in the BIOS. Four works, and is completely stable. There is a possibility that five would work if a Molex-augmented extender is used, assuming the problem is total PCIe slot power consumption
NOTE - all 5 are now working, powered extenders are not the problem. Instead, the second x16 slot (grey) seems to *require* a full-width x16->x16 extender cable, whereas all the other slots are happy with x1->x16 extenders. Weird, since this requirement doesn't extend to the other TWO full-width x16 slots. It's sold as a 'tri-fire' capable board, but the second (middle, grey) slot seems to be 'special'... Anyway, all slots now feed cards and are mining, flat out & overclocked - and seems to be stable. I'll edit this again if I start seeing instability or frequent lockups / crashes, or the whole thing catches fire Smiley
Incidentally... there may be a way to get the magick grey slot to recognise a card in an x1->x16 extender using that 1-18 (or whatever it is) presence pin short trick. I haven't tried, mainly due to fear of shorting the wrong pins, but would make good research... bloody freakoid Asus

EDITED AGAIN - a change of PSU and shuffling around of GPUs resulted in the board not recognising some of the GPUs again. Worse still, it wasted an hour of my time by failing the POST and giving the 'no memory installed' error, when there were two sticks of RAM installed. After trying all possibilities of RAM slots, including using new RAM, it turned out to be a GPU that had failed and the RAM was fine. The board gives false error reports. I'd avoid this board at ALL COSTS, it's not worth the hassle. I've taken the CPU out and put it in another one of the boards below, which work perfectly.

WHAT WORKS
Motherboard Brand: Gigabyte
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: GA-H61M-D2-B3, 1 x16, 3 x1
Power Supply Brand & Model: iCute Titanium 900W (yeah, I know...)
Number & Model GPUs: 1x 5830, 3x 5770
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: 5770s on x1->x16 unpowered risers, the 5830 chained on a x1->x1 then x1->x16 !!

This crap PSU auto-trips as soon as power draw from the cable (using a decent mains power analyser) exceeds 750W, so is NOT a 900W supply and is a scam. Hence the use of 5770s - this board was going to have a load of 5830s plugged in. However, this board is recommended since it's micro-ATX and small, but supplies proper power to all 3 of the x1 PCIe slots. All cards are overclocked and the board is completely stable - even with a daisy-chained extender to the 5830!
I've now bought 4 of these boards. They are BRILLIANT and work with every combination of GPU and PSU I've tried. My main shelf rig uses three of these logic boards. One has a Corsair 800W PSU and four 5830 GPUs. One has a Cooler Master 850W PSU, three 5850 GPUs and one 5830 GPU. The last has a Cooler Master 1000W PSU and four 6950 GPUs. Everything is rock solid - all GPUs are on extenders, and one even daisy-chains two extenders together. IMO this is the BEST BOARD for bitcoin mining if you're building your own frame rigs.

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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Jazkal
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August 18, 2011, 01:36:32 PM
 #5

WHAT DOESN'T WORK
Motherboard Brand: MSI
Motherboard Model & PCIe slots: 890FXA-GD65, 2 x16, 4 x1
Power Supply Brand & Model: Antec HCP 1200 Gold
Number & Model GPUs: 3 5850, 2 5830
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: 2 extenders w/molex, 3 extenders without

RMA'd this board as defective even though it WOULD support 3 GPUs with stable hashrate.

I was thinking of getting this board to run a 4xGPU system, but it does seem to be tricky. Found this post on this thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=16474.msg264666;topicseen#msg264666

I'm using a GIGABYTE GA-890FXA-UD5 with 4x5830 and I had a fairly fun time getting it to work.  I finally managed, though, and it's running correctly with two cards plugged directly into the mobo and two on x1-to-x16 adapter riser cables (one plugged into an x1 slot on the mobo, another into an x16 slot).  The key break-through I finally had was swapping around the card configurations until all four could be seen in lspci, then running aticonig --initial --adapter=all -f one or two times with intervening reboots.  Eventually all four cards could be seen.

Of course this is in Linux (Linuxcoin booting off a USB drive with persistence, specifically), so I don't know how relevant it is to you in Windows.
mike678
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August 18, 2011, 02:03:51 PM
 #6

WHAT WORKS
Motherboard Brand: MSI
Motherboard Model & PCIe slots: 890FXA-GD70, 5 x16(2 x16, 2 x8, 1 x4), 1 x1
Power Supply Brand & Model: CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200
Number & Model GPUs: 5x5850
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: 5 extenders (x16 to x16) not powered.
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August 18, 2011, 02:08:15 PM
 #7

To be honest - it really looks as if one sure-fire 'good solution' is to build a frame rig for two micro-ATX boards, and then use two of the Gigabyte boards that both myself and kripz have found work perfectly without powered extenders. Mine cost me £60 brand new - that's less than half of the price of ANY of the 'big bang shazam whoopy-doo' gamer boards. Yes, you need twice the number of CPUs, RAM and PSUs, but most 8-card rigs will need two PSUs anyway regardless, and dedicated miners don't need much memory (on Linux, and I'm running the system off USB flashdrives, so any swapping to 'disc' would destroy performance)...

The only additional cost is having to buy two CPUs and maintain two systems. I've cancelled my order for the 890FXA-GD70 board and CPU - I was only expecting to get 6 cards onto that big ATX board, yet for the same money I can have two Gigabyte boards *with* (cheap) CPUs, and space for 8 graphics cards.

If having two micro-ATX boards isn't a problem, as opposed to one ATX or ATX-XL board, then I think we've already got a winner.

I've got lame 5770s in my Gigabyte board but kripz confirmed that it'd supply a full set of 5850 extremes - off a 775W PSU? That's bloody brilliant, and demonstrates that the board can handle the full power to each of the x1 slots too. No Molex-augmented extenders required either, nor any BIOS voodoo witchcraft - the board must consume low power too. Sounds ideal... may get two in!

kripz - have you had any power issues with all four 5850s using only a 775W PSU? Is the PSU running hot / fan racing? Do you have a wall power measurement? (sorry for any thread derailment)...

...so I give in to the rhythm, the click click clack
I'm too wasted to fight back...


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mikeo
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August 18, 2011, 02:13:27 PM
 #8

WHAT WORKS
Motherboard Brand: MSI
Motherboard Model & PCIe slots: 890FXA-GD70, 5 x16(2 x16, 2 x8, 1 x4), 1 x1
Power Supply Brand & Model: CORSAIR Professional Series Gold AX1200
Number & Model GPUs: 5x5850
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: 5 extenders (x16 to x16)
@mike678,

Are those PCIe extenders molex powered or not?

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mike678
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August 18, 2011, 02:25:44 PM
 #9

@mike678,

Are those PCIe extenders molex powered or not?
not powered I edited my original post as well.
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August 18, 2011, 06:11:10 PM
 #10

WORKS
Motherboard Brand: Biostar
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: A870U3 (2x16, 2x1)
Power Supply Brand & Model: Corsair TX850 (Pulling ~615W at the wall)
Number & Model GPUs: 4x Sapphire 5830 Xtreme (Overclocked & undervolted)
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: No

Motherboard automatically unlocks 2nd core of Sempron 140.

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August 18, 2011, 10:48:58 PM
 #11

i'm just going to be lazy with my post and list which motherboards works with 4+ cards that i've personally tested. if you don't already know the motherboard, you can look up the specs

- MSI Big Bang x58
- MSI 890FXA-GD70
- Asus P7P55 WS SuperComputer
- Asus Rampage Extreme x48

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August 19, 2011, 07:08:04 AM
 #12

WORKS

Motherboard Brand: GIGABYTE
Model: GA-990FXA-UD5 AM3+ AMD 990FX SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX AMD Motherboard
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128509

PCI Express 2.0 x16: 5 (x16, x16, x8, x4, x4)
PCI Express x1: 1

Power Supply Brand & Model: Rosewill BRONZE Series RBR1000-M 1000W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182188

Number & Model GPUs: 4 x Radeon 5830

Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: 4 Extender Cables (x16,x16,x4,x4) w/o molex.


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kripz
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August 19, 2011, 09:23:50 AM
 #13

Quote
kripz - have you had any power issues with all four 5850s using only a 775W PSU? Is the PSU running hot / fan racing? Do you have a wall power measurement? (sorry for any thread derailment)...

No. Cards are at default voltage and 800/300mhz. It pulls 600w at the wall. PSU is fine and all of it is stuffed into a tub with lid with only a 14cm exhaust and intake fan. I'm using 11.6 with linux so i dont have the one core 100% cpu bug, power usage will probably be 50w or so higher with my $70 Intel G620 CPU if i did, though.

WHAT DOESNT WORK
Motherboard Brand: Gigabyte
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: GA-H61M-D2H-B3 1x PCIE16x, 3x PCIE1x.
Power Supply Brand & Model: Thermaltake 700w Lite Power
Number & Model GPUs: 4x Sapphire 5850 Extreme
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: Using Risers WITHOUT molex power

700w Lite Power cannot output more than 550w, computer will hard reset.

 Merged mining, free SMS notifications, PayPal payout and much more.
http://btcstats.net/sig/JZCODg2
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August 19, 2011, 02:10:30 PM
 #14

WHAT WORKS
Motherboard Brand:  ASROCK
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: 970 Extreme (3x16 2x1)
Power Supply Brand & Model: Antec HighPower 750 watt
Number & Model GPUs:4 x HD 6770s (various brands)
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: 1x to 16x Extender, no Molex

Also:

MSI 890FXA-GD70 - already listed above by someone else so I won't go into details.


*Side note - Has anyone been able to get more than 4 GPUs to work with Windows XP Home 32bit?  I can get them all installed, all recognized by CCC, HWMonitor, and Trixx, even GUIMiner recognizes them, but anytime I click on "Start" for anything over 2 GPUS they never connect.... any combination of the 5 GPUs will work with just 2, but the third fourth and fifth won't show any signs of life.  If I remove any one of the 5 GPUs it will work like a charm and run without problems for weeks.  I've tried both 11.6b, 11.7, and 11.8 and nothing works with more than 4. :/
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August 20, 2011, 06:50:21 PM
 #15

WHAT WORKS
Motherboard Brand: ASROCK
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: 890FX Deluxe4, 3 x16, 2 x1
Power Supply Brand & Model: Antec HCP 1200 Gold
Number & Model GPUs: 4x 5850 5x 5850
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: 1 x16 extender w/o power, 3 4 x1 w/molex power

I have a another 5850 that, although seen by the motherboard as the 5th card, was problematic and caused very unstable hashrates for all cards and several complete lock-ups. I'll revisit trying to use it later.

EDIT 8/23/11: Switched to BAMT software and tried the 5th 5850 GPU -- been working fine with 5 GPUs for 12 hours, pulling 830W and making 1850MH/s. VERY happy with BAMT! Seems one of the GPUs (not the 5th) could not sustain the 900,300 OC the other cards were comfortable with. Set that card at 875,300 and now seems stable. Easy to do with BAMT.

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August 22, 2011, 12:16:34 AM
 #16

WHAT WORKS
Motherboard Brand:  ASROCK
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: 970 Extreme (3x16 2x1) -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157262
Power Supply Brand & Model: 2 x Sunbeam PSU-ECO750-US-BL 750W -> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817709021
Number & Model GPUs: 5 x SAPPHIRE 100297-2L Radeon HD 5830 Xtreme 1GB)
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: 3 x 16x Extenders and 2 x 1x to 16x Extenders

Running BAMT and everything is working better than expected. getting 315Mh/s per GPU at 965/300 with the phatk2 kernel.

This motherboard is a champ, just bought 10 more.  Shocked
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August 22, 2011, 11:27:39 PM
 #17

WORKS
Motherboard Brand: Biostar
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: A870U3 (2x16, 2x1)
Power Supply Brand & Model: Corsair TX850 (Pulling ~615W at the wall)
Number & Model GPUs: 4x Sapphire 5830 Xtreme (Overclocked & undervolted)
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: No

Motherboard automatically unlocks 2nd core of Sempron 140.

I'm trying almost exactly the same configuration, except with 5850's and it's not stable.  Are you using 16x->16x extenders for the two 16x slots?  Have you noticed any stability issues?

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August 23, 2011, 01:14:01 AM
 #18

There no reason why any 1x PCI-e slot wouldn't work.  

You may need to do the pin mod, but other than that.  Anything work.
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August 23, 2011, 03:10:15 AM
 #19

WORKS
Motherboard Brand: Biostar
Motherboard Model & PCIe Slots: A870U3 (2x16, 2x1)
Power Supply Brand & Model: Corsair TX850 (Pulling ~615W at the wall)
Number & Model GPUs: 4x Sapphire 5830 Xtreme (Overclocked & undervolted)
Extender Cables w/Molex Power?: No

Motherboard automatically unlocks 2nd core of Sempron 140.

I'm trying almost exactly the same configuration, except with 5850's and it's not stable.  Are you using 16x->16x extenders for the two 16x slots?  Have you noticed any stability issues?

I have two 16x->16x and two 1x->16x extenders.  No pin-mod for the 1x PCI-e slots.  Rock solid stability.  Using LinuxCoin booted from 4GB USB, running headless.

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August 23, 2011, 10:50:27 PM
 #20

Thank you for this thread.

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