Author Topic: Motherboards that can accept 5 or 6 cards (Or how to get 5+ cards on a mobo?)  (Read 1770 times)

Offline TransAtlantic

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I have been trying for a while to get 5 or 6 cards working on my motherboards, and I haven't been able to get more than 4 cards being recognized correctly by Windows at a time.

I have tried with 2 different motherboards:
1-  MSI Z77A-GD65, with a  CPU Intel Celeron G1620.
This motherboard has 7 PCIe slots  (3 x 16X and 4 x 1X).

2- Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H, with a Intel Celeron G1620.
This board has 6 PCIe slots  (3 x 16X and 3 x 1X)

With both those motherboards, I couldn't get Windows to recognize correctly more than 4 cards at a time.  Whenever I plugged 1 (or 2) more card, 1 (or 2) of the cards would get the error "Windows has stopped this device because it has reported problems. (Code 43)" (as seen in Device Manager).  I tried for many hours, tried different slots combinations, etc. - couldn't make it to work.
I used powered risers too (16X and 1X).

I have seen many posts where people talks about rigs of 5 or 6 cards (or even more), even on Windows, so I am pretty sure it can be done.

There even is a forum post here where pug writes that he has a rig with the same motherboard I have (Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H) with 6 cards on it:
https://forum.litecoin.net/index.php/topic,1395.msg8709.html#msg8709


My question is:  How??

Can those whom have managed to get 5 or 6 cards working on a rig give us some details about how they did it?
Which hardware did you use?
Are there any special tricks that have helped you?  E.g. changing some settings in the BIOS, shorting pins on the PCIe slots, using dummy plugs, specific drivers version, or else?


I used Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, 8 GB RAM, dual PSU (1050W each), with AMD SDK v2.8 64-bit and drivers v12.8 64-bit.  (cgminer / reaper is not relevant here, I need to get the OS to see the cards properly first)

Many thanks to any info around that!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 03:10:45 AM by TransAtlantic »

Offline randomdef

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use linux?

Online shyliar

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Well the manual of the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H motherboard does say if you use the third x16 slot it disables all 3 x1 slots. I did manage to get 5 cards loaded once I figured that out (with windows); but, without powered risers it affected the onboard network card (it's part of the pci-e bus as well). I never did try running it with powered risers and think I might have been able to; but, with 5 cards only. Since you have powered risers try 5 cards with the 3 x1 slots and first 2 x 16 slots.....and then please let me know if it worked. I'm not going back to that configuration; but, am curious to know.


I guess the guy who wrote that in the forum forgot to read the manual before he spun a fantasy. Five cards max on that board.

From the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H manual:

* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX1_1/2/3 slots. The PCIEX1_1/2/3
slots slots will become unavailable when a PCIe x4 expansion card is installed.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2013, 03:55:16 AM by shyliar »
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Offline TransAtlantic

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Well the manual of the GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-D3H motherboard does say if you use the third x16 slot it disables all 3 x1 slots. I did manage to get 5 cards loaded once I figured that out (with windows); but, without powered risers it affected the onboard network card (it's part of the pci-e bus as well). I never did try running it with powered risers and think I might have been able to; but, with 5 cards only.

* The PCIEX4 slot shares bandwidth with the PCIEX1_1/2/3 slots. The PCIEX1_1/2/3
slots slots will become unavailable when a PCIe x4 expansion card is installed.

If I may add a precision:  The 3  1X slots are effectively disabled if a X4 card is put on the slot.  They are not disabled if a 1X or 16X card is put into that slot (or if the BIOS is configured for it to run in 4X).
I just tried it out a few minutes ago:  I put the PCIe at 4X in the BIOS, and all 3  1X slots (where I had cards) were effectively disabled, and the OS was seeing only 1 card (which was on the 16X slot, incidentally).


How did you manage to get 5 cards loaded on this board?  I didn't managed to see more than 4 cards, no matter what I have tried...  :(


I am not yet familiar enough with Linux to run a rig with it, unfortunately.  Has anyone with Windows managed to get 5 or 6 cards on a motherboard?

Offline Tommazoe

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From my understanding either due to windows or amd's drivers the max you can get on a windows machine is 4.
You will see all the gpus in the device manager, but you will not be able to use more than that.

Offline bingham34

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That is not actually true, I have a windows mining rig that will run 6 cards on an msi gd65 board without powered risers. I just needed a specific version of the amd 11.12 drivers

Offline TransAtlantic

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That is not actually true, I have a windows mining rig that will run 6 cards on an msi gd65 board without powered risers. I just needed a specific version of the amd 11.12 drivers

I will try that (drivers v11.12) and will report back if it works for me...

Offline digitalindustry

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what is the CPU ?

- you realize the CPU has to have the PCIe controller - this is why we used and intel , and were able to get away with the most basic processor  - i just looked up and checked that it had the controllers for all the PCIe channels if it only has limited then only those will run. 

not sure?
digitalindustry

Offline TransAtlantic

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what is the CPU ?

- you realize the CPU has to have the PCIe controller - this is why we used and intel , and were able to get away with the most basic processor  - i just looked up and checked that it had the controllers for all the PCIe channels if it only has limited then only those will run. 

not sure?

The CPU I used was an Intel Celeron G1620  (4th Gen, if I'm not wrong).

I think I'm nearly giving up on trying to run 5 or 6 cards on a single motherboard on Windows.

If anyone has done it, I would love to hear feedback from them...

Offline digitalindustry

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i'm about to do it on a MSIz77-GD65 - i'm going to try that specific version of the 11.12 drivers. - 
digitalindustry

Offline kyrio

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The first mistake was using Intel :p

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=36061.0
^ a small list of motherboards that need a short on certain slots to work. It may or may not fix your issue. It's more likely that the cheap motherboard just shuts off the extra ports, though.
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