Biostar TB250-BTC Pro motherboard hands miners a shovel


— 11:30 AM on June 27, 2017

Gerbils in the market for a midrange graphics card lately are acutely aware of the impact of cryptocurrency miners on the supply of cards based on AMD and Nvidia chips. Biostar isn't going to make the situation any better with its newest motherboard, the TB250-BTC Pro. The BTC Pro sports a whopping twelve PCIe slots that miners can stuff with graphics cards or ASICs in order to increase the number of TFLOPS they can bring to bear in the search for virtual coins.

As one might guess from the model name, the BTC Pro is based on the Intel B250 chipset and can accomodate LGA 1151 CPUs from the Skylake and Kaby Lake families. One of the PCIe slots is wired with 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes; all the other ones are 1x slots. Six of those smaller slots lay behind the others on the motherboard and require the use of a PCI bracket or a riser cable unless the card in question is tiny. Cryptocurrency mining requires lots of processing grunt but little in the way of PCIe bandwidth, so attaching as many GPUs or ASICs as possible to a single CPU and motherboard allows miners to reduce their initial cash outlay.

In addition to all those PCIe slots, the board has six SATA ports, four USB 3.0 ports plus a header, two USB 2.0 connectors, and a pair of USB ports that only provide power. The board has a Realtek Gigabit Ethernet chip, but no integrated Wi-Fi. A pair of PS/2 ports and a DVI-D display output make it easy for miners to use old KVM switches to manage multiple mining rigs. The board has onboard audio, so it could conceivably be used in a normal computer when the crypto boom goes bust.

Biostar didn't provide pricing or availability information for the BT250-BTC Pro, but we expect it'll come in more expensive than the company's $90 TB250-BTC board, since that model has a measly six PCIe slots.

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