Are Z170 boards a lost cause?

I've tried two separate Z170 boards now and the result for each is the same: if I connect all (6) Sapphire RX480 8GB cards and boot, I get a linux kernel or driver crash.

First I got this board and could only enumerate 3 of 6 cards:

Next I tried this board which was slightly less terrible but still only gave me 4 of 6 cards:

Some people might ask why I opted for more expensive boards as opposed to some cheaper builds that are possible... my thought was that mining software is likely to evolve over the next few years so I wanted to future-proof it by getting some fairly high-end parts (i7 6700k, 64GB DDR 2400). Yes, I realize that's overkill but if someone comes out with a more memory-intensive or CPU miner that will run in parallel with GPU mining, I'd already be set up for that. Anyway it's neither here nor there, except now I have a socket 1151 CPU and high-end RAM sticks that I need to put into a board which doesn't suck complete ass.

What's a good socket 1151 board with 7 PCI slots? I'm trying to ultimately get a 7-card rig going with the i7 6700K.

Bad assumption.

The same hardware used 3 years ago for GPU mining (other than GPUs) is used today.

Reason: Ease of scaling/existing infrastructure.

This benefits the coin developers by giving them hash power and miners by giving them a relatively low point of entry.

Congrats you have some great gaming systems.

Socket 1150, dual core cheap as f processors are the way to go for GPU mining.

Fair enough. In any case I'm going to RMA the boards. For a consumer standpoint they are defective.

Do you have any suggestions for a good 7-slot socket 1151 board supporting DDR4?

For mining? Honestly, no.

Most people don't use high end components other than GPUs for their rigs because they aren't necessary. Better off selling the CPUs and memory and buying some Z87 G45s and G1820s with DDR3

But there should be SOME socket 1151 board out there that will work with all 6 (7) cards right? I'd rather not RMA everything (just the boards) and keep the nice CPU/memory for now having learned my lesson.

Z170 boards are shit, max 4 GPUs on those

You can run at least 5 GPUs on Z170 but it may require some BIOS setting changes. I had a lot of kernel panics, boot failures, etc until I enabled 64-bit PCI-e addressing, disabled USB3.1/thunderbolt and forced PCI-e Gen2 on the CPU links and PCI-e Gen1 on the chipset links. YMMV of course as each board is different.

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This is why you READ UP before you go out and buy stuff. Therese threads full of people repeating themselves to death that Z170 can not do over 4 GPU's, or how Socket 1151 is crap for minging etc on several forums.

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First of all you are 100% correct, second I did a good amount of research contrary to what you think. While researching Zcash mining, various sources/places were saying that it's "up in the air" as to which (CPU vs GPU) hardware is optimal for mining. As such I wanted to maximize both and went for high end hardware across the board. I saw plenty of rig configs with celeron CPUs but obviously that's going to be a shitty setup for CPU mining. So here we are and by we I mean me haha.

It's whatever, I'm new and this is a good learning experience.

In any case I missed the "Z170 sucks" memo :frowning:

There isn't a memo service for miners. Helpful as we are, we are to some extent all competing. It's in our interests to share a good community, less so to hand things out on a plate.

So you should not make assumptions about what will and what will not work, it behooves you to do your own research.

All that said, what really gets my goat is people who go in with no knowledge and then refuse to own that, and blame the community. You on the other hand - if you can truly be as philosophical about it all as "I'm new and this is a good learning experience", then more power to you. Stick around.

There is one person, who got 7 cards to work on the MSI Z170 board, you can find him over at ETH forums. but noone since has been able to repeat that even with the same board.

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You can just use this

my H170 pro gaming can work with 4 GPUs.
Z170 Pro4 can handle 5 GPUs.
its PCI bus limit.

Turn a loss into a profit by throwing a GTX 1070 in the mix, and selling it as a custom gaming machine. DDR3's the way to go right now.

In other news, AMD's regional sales manager told me yesterday that Zen (AMD DDR4 processors) architecture won't have the same limitations as Skylake (1151). I'm hopeful that someone will make a solid Zen mining board before Haswell (1150) chips go poof.

No, those don't work because its not a PCIe slots issue, there are enough slots. Its a PCIe lanes issue, and Z series can not handle more than 4 cards.

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Even if it only has 20 lanes, can't you can run 6 or 7 gpus on x1 mode?

in my experience... no :frowning:

Nothing to do with the lanes it's just the boards being picky about running more than 4 x1 risers. Asus boards specifically are a headache even to run 4 GPUs .