ASRock has added another motherboard designed specifically for cryptocurrency mining to its stable, the H510 Pro BTC+ (opens in new tab). What makes this motherboard unique and suited for mining is that it features half a dozen PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, all reinforced. It also has two extra 24-pin ATX power connectors (for a total for a total of three), so in addition to accommodating six graphics cards, users can plug in multiple power supply units to help feed all those GPUs.
The concept of a motherboard built for mining is not a new one by any stretch, but the timing of this addition is interesting. It was just a few days ago when ASRock said there is evidence to suggest that demand for graphics cards in China is slowing down (opens in new tab) amid the country's recent crackdown on cryptocurrency mining.
ASRock is also undoubtedly aware of Ethereum preparing a shift to a proof-of-stake model that could effectively kill graphics card mining in the upcoming months (opens in new tab). This is notable because Ethereum is by far the most popular blockchain network for GPU mining. Bitcoin, meanwhile, is by and large mined with specialized ASIC hardware these days and not GPUs, though its value still has an impact (it's not uncommon to mine other cryptocurrencies and trade them for Bitcoin).
Be all that as it may, ASRock is hedging its bet with a new motherboard designed for mining crypto with GPUs. The elongated board measures 20.1 x 8.8 inches, so you're not going to stuff this in a typical ATX cases, or even a full-tower that can swallow up Extended ATX (E-ATX) form factor motherboards (at least not without some serious modding).
There actually does not exist a form factor for these particular dimensions. Not that it matters—these boards will end up in open air environments, sitting atop racks or cardboard boxes, likely with box fans blowing air across the GPUs to keep them cool.
Technically, you could build a non-mining PC around the H510 Pro BTC+, but it would be like buying a 56-seat charter bus to putter back and forth between work and the grocery store—a standard car or even a van would be better suited for the task.
Regarding all those PCIe 3.0 slots, only the first one (the one at the top, closest to the CPU) runs at x16 when running multiple graphics cards—the rest run at x1. Each port has its own indicator LED to let users know if there is a problem with a particular GPU, even without a display attached.
Despite all that board real estate, storage options are rather sparse. There is just a single M.2 slot for installing a gum stick-sized SSD, and a single SATA 6Gbps port. The board only has one DIMM slot as well, which supports up to a 32GB DDR4-3200 memory module when paired with Rocket Lake, and 32GB DDR4-2933 with Comet Lake.
External connectivity is slightly more robust, consisting for two USB 3.2 Gen 1 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a LAN port, an HDMI output, and a PS/2 mouse/keyboard port. There is no onboard Wi-Fi or audio to speak of, though.
The H510 Pro BTC+ is available to preorder for $280 on Newegg (opens in new tab), if you're so inclined.