New Hardware just in the crypto lair ! This time we review the affordable Biostar TB85 motherboard. Biostar made this for the specific task of crypto mining. The TB85 features 6 PCIE slots, the LGA 1150 Intel chipset and all the usual goodies, usb 3.0 and sata 6gb/s. RAM is supported up to 1600mhz, and two sticks in dual channel are the maximum you can put in. This certainly isn’t a good buy for a normal gaming rig, but for a dedicated mining operation it does the job !
Basically you have one 16x and 5 1x PCIE slots, BUT you cannot use the 16x without a riser if you want to use all 6. The reason is your GPU will cover up one 1x slot, and thus limit you to 5. In the BIOS, there aren’t too many options, but you can select what is important for GPU mining – auto-restart on power loss, and Gen 1/2 for pcie lanes. All important drivers are already pre loaded so there isnt much to do really.
Onboard LAN works like a charm right out of the box, but the CPU fan default setting is pretty much maximum. Remember to change it to the auto setting, and you have the option of “quiet”, “aggresive”, or manual.
There are 2 molex 4 pin connectors on the motherboard. I suppose you would use them if you had 6 non-powered risers, but since most people will use usb 3.0 powered risers (you really should) these aren’t needed at all. The downside here is that there is a lack of fan connectors directly on the motherboard (only one), same for the cpu fan header.
In conclusion, for about 60$usd this is a good buy. Cryptominingtalk approves. We have had no problems so far, and if we do we’ll let you know.
Bonus content ! Here is our little Crypto Mining rig, PVC Style ! You can build this yourself for very little money (around 20-25$) and little tools (hacksaw and drill). For the dimensions, just buy 2 lengths of 10 feet 1/2 inch PVC pipe and you should be good. 8 90 degree corners and 4 “T”‘s. No glue was used, the PVC fits very well and is hard to take out once inserted all the way. Cut it up how you want it ! This one is made overly long (about 2 feet 1/2), but there is a lot of space so the only concern was space between the gpu’s, and a hassle free installation. Of course these are not super esthetic, nor stack-able, but those weren’t part of the criteria for building it ! For cheap builds, you can also buy a wire rack that can fit 2 rigs for about 30$. Have fun building and send us your pics ! Feel free to ask questions too. Stay tuned, we will add pics once we get 6 gpu’s on it. The PSU here is the EVGA 1000GQ. It was on sale at a great price, has plenty of PCIE 8-pin connectors and is rated Gold. A little trick: Since it only comes with one Molex cable strand, just open a ticket with EVGA and ask for 2 extra molex cables. They just might send them to you for free !