Monday, September 11th 2017

Colorful Intros a Non-standard Motherboard with Eight PCIe x16 Slots

Colorful today introduced an non-standard form-factor socket LGA1151 motherboard for crypto-currency mining builds, the C.B250A-BTC PLUS V20. This board is 485 mm in length, and 195 mm in width, and probably won't fit in even HPTX cases for its intended use, but is suited for custom rack-type setups. It only includes the most bare-essential features to set up a mining rig with up to eight graphics cards, with 2-slot spacing between each card. The board lacks a 24-pin power input, so you can share your high-wattage PSU with multiple machines based on this board.

It features two 4-pin ATX power inputs for the CPU, and sixteen PCIe power inputs, of which eight can be populated at any given time to supply power to the PCIe slots, optionally all sixteen can be plugged in. The topmost x16 slot is gen 3.0 x16, and wired to the CPU, the remaining seven are gen 3.0 x1, and wired to the Intel B250 Express PCH. The CPU is wired to just one DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, since system memory isn't that big a bottleneck with GPU mining. The board's connectivity, too, is bare-essential, with just a couple of USB ports, an HDMI display output, and a single 1 GbE network connection. The company didn't reveal pricing.
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29 Comments on Colorful Intros a Non-standard Motherboard with Eight PCIe x16 Slots

#1
neko77025
Sweet SLI / Crossfire set up incoming !!! ..
(joking)
Posted on Reply
#2
YukikazeQ
Okay the boards with a ton of x1 pcie slots were one thing but this is just stupid.
Posted on Reply
#3
Tomgang
Ew thats and ugly child colerful just got there and for mining i asume?

If yes dosent make it better :confused:
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#4
RejZoR
This just screams cryptomining...
Posted on Reply
#5
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
RejZoR said:
This just screams cryptomining...
It's also why there's so much space between the slots, I assume. Here's a motherboard with seven slots:

Posted on Reply
#6
silentbogo
Overall, I get it. Perfect for mining, with lots of real estate and no need for raisers. The only thing I don't get is why add an MSATA slot which most likely not going to be used, while not putting at least one USB3.0 port, so you can deploy this thing faster and w/ keyboard & mouse present at the same time (there is also a USB 2.0 header, but who needs it if there is no chassis). Also, wire management on motherboard is a waste of parts and copper (I'm talking about whooping 16 PCIe power connectors). Just leave a few 4-pin or 6-pin connectors for slot power and let miners do the wire management for external connections.
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#7
trog100
in theory you could just bung 8 two slot cards straight in without risers.. i recon it would run a tad on the warm side though.. :)

but i think i like it.. he he..

trog
Posted on Reply
#8
StrayKAT
neko77025 said:
Sweet SLI / Crossfire set up incoming !!! ..
(joking)
To be serious, I don't think you could do much at all... let alone 8 :p I just bought a 4 slotter with a PLX chip. This doesn't seem to have it.
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#9
silentbogo
StrayKAT said:
So it's just mining. Kinda sad to buy a system for one purpose alone really. But to each their own.
It's not just. You can also:
- Get into AI research
- you can fold with those for the good of humanity
- Cracking passwords!
- Warming up the basement/garage/tool shed
- Utilizing unused CPU/RAM/storage power to run NAS, do Excel spreadsheets, or draw ugly pictures in Paint3D.
Posted on Reply
#10
StrayKAT
silentbogo said:
It's not just. You can also:
- Get into AI research
- you can fold with those for the good of humanity
- Cracking passwords!
- Warming up the basement/garage/tool shed
- Utilizing unused CPU/RAM/storage power to run NAS, do Excel spreadsheets, or draw ugly pictures in Paint3D.
Damn that was quick. I just ninja'ed the last bit actually. ;)
Posted on Reply
#11
Beerbam
YukikazeQ said:
Okay the boards with a ton of x1 pcie slots were one thing but this is just stupid.
Have you ever used one of those boards, if yes, I can't understand why you think it is stupid?
It helps a lot to save time and possibly money to build the missing parts around those, x1 cramped together, boards.
There are enough pictures from mining farms using similar designs like that board.
Those are mostly without cpu socket, what makes it possible usable for me.

And besides crypto, the other mentioned enough use cases.
e.g. an alternative for the 2K$ upwards Nvidia KI Ubuntu Tower.


If you are interested:
Those Boards with a bunch of x1 sticked together are mostly derivations of the cheapest Designs.

I only have in use a H81 PRO BTC and R2.0 but I'v checked most of the Boards in reality.

- PCBs bend in all directions as the layers for stability are missing or the wrong materials,
- they have to mention the feature that the power rails on the PCB have enough copper to power the connectors, if you need them be shure that they mention it.
- you need the extender Boards, where if you need quality you have to add each 7$ and above.
- you have to get the routing correct fot the x1 the get even GEN2 speed , if you e.g. cross Power lines or have to much bending on the cheap USB3(3.1) cables you can be happy to get GEN1 working.
etc.
Posted on Reply
#13
Fouquin
silentbogo said:
why add an MSATA slot which most likely not going to be used
Boot device? Why add more cables with a standard SATA device when you can just slot a little MSATA drive on large enough to store your operating environment?
Posted on Reply
#14
ebivan
That's almost what I have been looking for!
I do not do any crypto mining, but I really would love such a "no bullshit" Mainboard for my PC builds.

I don't want:
-crappy Realtek NIC,
-crappy Realtek Sound
-childish RGB lighting
-additional cheap SATA controllers
-any other bullshit, that costs money and has no use

So actually I'm paying for a lot of stuff that I don't use with every mainboard.

I just want a CPU Socket, DIMM slots, the chipsets' own SATA ports, some adjustable fan control and as many PCIe slots, as the chipset can give me. (maybe like one 16x, two 8x, two 4x and two 1x) So that I can put in quality gpu, nic and soundcards of my own choosing. And reuse those components when I switch to another motherboard...
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#15
Fouquin
ebivan said:
That's almost what I have been looking for!
A motherboard so tall it could be used as a door?
Posted on Reply
#16
silentbogo
Fouquin said:
Boot device? Why add more cables with a standard SATA device when you can just slot a little MSATA drive on large enough to store your operating environment?
Maybe, but in a small-scale mining operations going with reliable SATA vs reliable mSATA will save you $20-$30. I've seen some dudes simply running claymore on Ubuntu off the 64-128GB USB3.0 flash drive. Not sure if it's good or reliable, but it's definitely cheap and small... :banghead:

Fouquin said:
A motherboard so tall it could be used as a door?
You can also flip it, cover the back with thermoresistive kitchen pads and use it as a coffee table (w/ built-in cup warmer) :D
Posted on Reply
#17
ebivan
Fouquin said:
A motherboard so tall it could be used as a door?
As I said, for regular PC builds not for mining or other 2+ GPU setups, so standard ATX would be preferred ;)
I mostly meant the "no nonsense" approach is what I'm looking for.
Posted on Reply
#18
RejZoR
This motherboared is so tall because it's meant to be stuck on a rack, not inside a case. Miners run these on open "benches".

Also the ridiculous number of power plugs. 2x8pin for each PCIe XD I just wonder how you daisy chain PSU's to work, there is no way any PSU has so many PCIe power connectors. But you need to synchronously fire them up, you can't just run them afterwards...
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#19
nemesis.ie
This totally needs a Threadripper version, x4 per slot with maybe a couple with a bit more.
Posted on Reply
#20
R-T-B
RejZoR said:
Also the ridiculous number of power plugs. 2x8pin for each PCIe XD I just wonder how you daisy chain PSU's to work, there is no way any PSU has so many PCIe power connectors. But you need to synchronously fire them up, you can't just run them afterwards...
Molex->PCIe power
Posted on Reply
#21
verycharbroiled
I like this. Risers are the weak link in mining rigs.

Still, two slot spacing is pretty tight for cooling 8 full length cads unless they are blower cards. Maybe alternate full size and ITX sized cards.
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#22
nemesis.ie
Or just cable tie a couple of 200mm fans blowing through them. ;)
Posted on Reply
#23
verycharbroiled
nemesis.ie said:
Or just cable tie a couple of 200mm fans blowing through them. ;)
De
nemesis.ie said:
Or just cable tie a couple of 200mm fans blowing through them. ;)
Deltas maybe.

But I like the simplicity of non riser rigs that are more or less self contained, zip tied fans kinda ruin that. But gotta do what you gotta do to keep it cool.

EDIT I also like the fact it doesn't use the 24 pin at connector making it ideal for use with server psus.

They should of included a power on/off switch.
Posted on Reply
#24
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Looks stupid for a design, i guess colorful is doing what biostar is, they can't compete so they march to their own drum.
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#25
silentbogo
eidairaman1 said:
Looks stupid for a design, i guess colorful is doing what biostar is, they can't compete so they march to their own drum.
It does not look as stupid, if you consider that this is not an original idea. Few months ago there was a news article about GTX1060 mining edition, and it featured a picture of a complete rig inside a rackmount case with the exact same board.
It's not that bad or stupid, it's simply not mainstream. Same thing can be used for "DGX-1 on the budget" or "Project 47 for really broke", which will make at least a few researchers and scientists happy.
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