Biostar Goes Mining: New TB250-BTC PRO Motherboard and RX 470D Mining GPUby Nate Oh on July 5, 2017 12:30 PM EST
- Posted in
- RX 470D
With cryptocurrency mining specific motherboards and even graphics cards becoming the new normal for certain manufacturers in their offerings, Biostar has thrown two new products into the ring: the TB250-BTC PRO motherboard and VA47D5RV42 (Mining) graphics card. Announced with a formal press release, the TB250-BTC PRO is actually an upgrade to the TB250-BTC that was first seen at Computex 2017. Meanwhile, the US product page for the VA47D5RV42 (Mining) card was quietly posted a couple months ago, interestingly detailing the AMD Radeon RX 470D as its GPU.
Biostar TB250-BTC PRO
In the context of the recently announced AM4-based cryptomining TA320-BTC and TB350-BTC, the TB250-BTC PRO is a different addition to Biostar’s mining motherboard lineup. As the headliner, Biostar emphasizes the TB250-BTC PRO’s capability to handle 12 GPUs at once with 12 native PCIe slots, just below ASRock’s literally one-upping 13 PCIe slot H110 Pro BTC+. However, it’s important to note that thanks to the B250 chipset the TB250-BTC PRO’s slots are all native PCIe 3.0, while the H110 Pro BTC+ additional 12 PCIe slots are some combination of PCIe 1.0 and PCIe 2.0. Biostar makes sure to explicitly highlight that advantage over the H110 chipset, citing benefits to mining stability and compatibility in having native slots. This is despite the fact that most OSes have trouble with so many cards, but both companies have stated that this is for 'future proofing'.
|Biostar TB250-BTC Cryptomining Motherboards|
|CPU Support||Intel Core i7/i5/i3/Pentium/Celeron
95W TDP max
|Expansion Slots||1 x PCIe x16 3.0
11 x PCIe x1 3.0
|1 x PCIe x16 3.0
5 x PCIe x1 3.0
|Memory||2 x DDR4 DIMM slots|
|Display Outputs||1 x DVI-D|
|Storage||6 × SATA3||6 × SATA3
1 × M.2 (PCIe 3.0 x4 or SATA)
8 channel HD audio
|I/O||1 x PS/2 Mouse
1 x PS/2 Keyboard
4 x USB 3.0 Port
2 x USB 2.0 Port
2 x USB 2.0 Port (5V, up to 1.5A)
1 x DVI-D Connector
1 x RJ-45 Port
3 x Audio Connector
The slots themselves are arranged to accommodate PCIe to USB risers and the different arrangement is claimed by Biostar to avoid potential short circuits. The board comes with two Molex and two PCIe 12V 4pin power connectors on the motherboard to deal with the power draw. And if Biostar wasn't obvious in firing a shot across the ASRock bow earlier, they certainly are here: the below image from Biostar's website shows an even arrangement of occupied PCIe slots, and is compared to the H110 Pro BTC+'s arrangement.
Compared to the standard TB250-BTC, Biostar advertises the sheer advantage in additional graphics cards capability (6 vs. 12) as saving a total of $200 in initial cost compared to using two TB250-BTC systems. The motherboard also has what Biostar calls ‘Hybrid Mining’ technology that "supports multiple AMD and NVIDIA cards simultaneously," but details thereof are very light aside from just putting them in and letting the drivers manage. In this case, the vagueness is unhelpful since most mining software is already capable of handling mixed AMD/NVIDIA setups.
As for the cryptomining card, Biostar has intriguingly based the VA47D5RV42 (Mining) off the AMD Radeon RX 470D GPU. As a product for the Chinese market only, the original RX 470D was quietly launched last year without any official announcement outside of China. To describe briefly, the RX 470D is a further cut-down configuration of Polaris 10, having 1792 stream processors as opposed to RX 470’s 2048. In terms of non-Chinese documentation, this is the first time the RX 470D has officially shown up.
It is unclear how much of a mining-specific SKU Biostar’s card is, as the product page states it supports the all usual display outputs (1x DVI, 3x DP, 1x HDMI). The custom cooler equipped VA47D5RV42 (Mining) card appears to be custom clocked as well, with its 4 GB of VRAM clocked at 7000 MHz. Unlike ASUS and Sapphire’s cryptocurrency cards, the VA47D5RV42 (Mining) has not surfaced in any online retailer catalogues in any form, making it hard to state that Biostar has released the card in the traditional sense. If anything, listing the RX 470D mining card on the US product pages suggests that the RX 470D may eventually semi-officially show up outside China, an odd conclusion given that AMD had ostensibly produced the RX 470D for the specific channel needs and consumer demands of the Chinese market.
For the TB250-BTC PRO, Biostar has not revealed pricing or availability dates.
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MrSpadge - Thursday, July 6, 2017 - linkIf they really want to use those currencies, let them have it. But they should really stop creating one "currency" after the other, just so it can be "mined" on inefficient hardware (i.e. no ASICs). That's such a humongous waste of ressources for nothing they could not have done with BTC.
Strunf - Thursday, July 6, 2017 - linkBTC doesn't allow all things ETH does, to be honest there is room for both... but the point of most of these coins is to make money, it's a pure speculation market, funny cause it's one the things these coins were supposed to address. I'm investing on them clearly for that at worst I lost the electricity I use and money of 1 single GPU purchase (that actually I play games with) and at best I'll make some profit. Essentially it's a very small investment for maybe a big payout.
People claiming these coins kind of free us from the reigns of the banks and central banks are just fooling themselves... we just replace one system by another just as bad if not worst.
mapesdhs - Monday, July 10, 2017 - linkFor the moment the state has not that much control over these currency mechanisms, but you can be damn sure they're trying to work out a way to do it. Being able devalue a currency by printing money (and other actions) is a very important aspect of state power (look to Cyprus and Greece for other examples of what a convention currency allows a govt. to do); not being able to do this sort of thing with crypto currencies is a key reason why govts. hate them (has nothing to do with their use in any criminal activities).
Alas, they're not stable, and the math concepts behind them end up distorting how they function over time, eg. the rise of ASIC solutions for Bitcoin. One could argue their original appeal was transaction security, but the potential for profit making has become the core attraction now. Either way, govts are working hard to shut them down, somehow, of this one can be certain.
dookie411 - Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - linkI, for one, will be glad when governments figure out how to regulate this. It's distorting the markets and completely speculative with little or no benefit to society at large.
Moreover, Greece handed their power to control their currency to the Eurozone, so I have no idea what you're talking about there. If they were allowed to devalue their currency somewhat, it would alleviate problems for both the debtors (easier to pay off debt) and creditors (recoup something, at least initially, instead of being forced to lend more). And as for "transaction security," that makes no sense either because there's already other mechanisms for that, so it's just redundant.
When governments lose control of currency, everyone in that country suffers, Greece is a prime example actually. It doesn't matter what democratically elected government mandates are, it will be no concern to financial speculators who have an undue influence upon the entire system.
mapesdhs - Monday, July 10, 2017 - linkDoesn't bother me. Right now it's spiking demand and raising prices, but when the Ethereum fad fades, the market will flood with cheap, used GPUs and the same people moaning now will be happy at bagging a low cost card.
scmorange16 - Thursday, July 6, 2017 - linkIt would be very interesting if this motherboard could be reviewed for mining performance with all slots populated with appropriate GPUs to emphasize how the OS can handle so many GPUs (in terms of OS stability, configuration issue, GPU driver compatibility etc.)
Notmyusualid - Thursday, July 6, 2017 - linkDrop all those ports, save for 2x USB, the LAN, add an additional LAN, 2x SATA will do. Don't need the audio either.
Sell for $99, and I'll take a half dozen.
jabber - Friday, July 7, 2017 - linkNah you'll want to use them for something else once the novelty has worn off after 3 months. Either that or China will just blast the whole thing with warehouses full of them and make your efforts null & void.
jabberwalkie - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - link1. Have they even tried running a system with the claimed supported config?
2. Does more than 8 GPUs (of any config of AMD + NVidia) work on Windows 10? Reports suggest Windows 7/10 can only support 8 GPUs max, whatever the composition of the GPUs may be.
3. What this so-called "review" doesn't mention is that this motherboard supports 12 GPUS in a combo of 8 NVidia + 4 AMD OR vice versa. (source: https://www.amazon.com/ask/questions/asin/B0736PV1... )
It's disappointing that Anandtech hasn't researched enough to make us readers aware about either of/both the above... :-(
jabberwalkie - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - linkEDIT: Am unable to find a way to edit my comment hence adding it here: The Amazon link I linked above has a Q&A that says you can either have 8 NVidia + 4 AMD or 4 Nvidia+ 8 AMD, for a total of 12 GPUs either way.
Here's what doesn't make sense to me - Has *anyone* verified that this is true?! wtf? Unable to find an actual review of a 12 GPU system online.