AsRock is well known for manufacturing some of the most popular mining motherboards. Back in the day, they have started the trend of mining mobos by releasing the AsRock H81 PRO BTC. Several companies have followed their footsteps since then and today we have a wide array of mining boards to choose from.
While the X370 Pro BTC+ is not as revolutionary as its predecessor, it is still quite innovative because it gives the newest AMD CPUs and APUs a spot in the mining scene. Usually, AMD sub-$100 CPUs don’t support enough PCI-e lanes for big mining motherboards, though this motherboard with the new AM4 socket can change this by being compatible with the upcoming cheap Ryzen CPUs that support 28 PCIe lanes.
As its name suggests, the board is based on the X370 AMD chipset that was launched on September 5, 2016. Moreover, the motherboard supports Bristol Ridge and Raven Ridge APUs or the Summit Ridge and Pinnacle Ridge CPUs based on the new Zen Architecture.
What makes this board listed under the ‘mining’ category is the amount of PCI-e slots it comes with. The X370 Pro BTC+ features 8 x PCI Express x16 Slots, one of which is at x4 and the 7 others at x1. In addition to that, it allows you to employ up to 6 of the mining ports through an USB riser kit.
While being able to connect so many GPUs to one single board looks promising, there is also a little detail here. The modern Zen architecture CPUs has got no integrated graphics. This means that in order to configure the rig, we will have to connect the HDMI cable to one of the GPUs. Using an APU on the other hand limits the amount of PCIe lanes we can use – Bristol/Raven Ridge APUs have not been designed to be used on motherboards with so many PCIe slots.
Other than this little nuance, the X370 Pro BTC+ is pretty much a decent addition to the family of AsRock mining motherboards. It is powered by three 24-pin ATX, 8+4 pin EPS, and a number of Molex outputs. By featuring an inbuilt power and reset buttons, the board can be easily controlled without the need to use a case or an external button.
Besides the features, there are also some limitations that make this board meant to be used only in a mining rig. The first limitation is the presence of only one DDR4 DIMM Slot, which means that video editors and hardcore gamers/streamers are not part of the target audience of this product. The second limitation is the size of the board – it does not fit inside a standard case, plus nobody would like to pay for so many PCIe slots if they are not going to use them. The third and last big limitation is the absence of onboard audio.
AsRock X370 Pro BTC+ – Is It a Good Deal in August 2018?
The final price of this board still got to be announced. That being said, no matter how low will AsRock ask for it, many people argue that this board is a waste of money because of the current cryptocurrency market situation. While I do support the idea that mining is worth only when it’s profitable, I’ve also noticed is that people got used to the idea that mining is a way to make a quick buck. It is not.
The recent cryptocurrency market craze made most people raise their expectations too much. Most people still associate cryptocurrencies with the gold rush that has been happening in the end of 2017. However, the times when you could have your investment back in 3 months are over, mostly because crypto mining is not meant to be a rich quick scheme.
PoW mining exists to secure the blockchain. The rewards we receive for helping with this task are meant to be an incentive, enough for us to pay for the electricity and do some money in the long run.
Unlike popular belief, when done properly, mining deteriorates your GPUs more than gaming, which is why I am one of those people who are perfectly fine with GPU rigs being 2-3 year ROI.
For example, I am still mining on my RX 470 cards I’ve got back in 2016 and I believe that’s the way mining is meant to be. Moreover, if I decided to give up on mining today, my RX 470 cards can still be sold at a decent price and be used by gamers to run, say, a GPU-hungry game like CSGO on max settings with 160 FPS.
Recommended CPU and RAM for X370 Pro BTC+
Check AsRock X370 Pro BTC+ official page
The X370 Pro BTC+ is a motherboard that allows us to give the upcoming sub-$100 Ryzen CPUs a good use. As always, it only makes sense to get such a big board only if you have enough time and expertise to fix any naturally occurring compatibility issues and bugs when running such a huge amount of GPUs simultaneously.
Thank you for reading. As always, your comments, suggestions and questions are welcome.
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