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Colorful today introduced the uniquely designed C.J1900A-BTC PLUS V20 motherboard for mining rigs. This odd-ball form-factor board is designed for makeshift racks, and removes the need for PCIe riser cables. The board itself is a large PCB with nine PCI-Express x16 slots with 1-slot spacing, of which eight can be used for installing your mining graphics cards (x1 wiring), while the slot on the middle (blue), isn't really a PCI-Express slot.

The blue slot has custom wiring for the business end of the motherboard, a riser card which houses the Celeron J1900 SoC, a DDR4 SO-DIMM slot, an mSATA 6 Gb/s slot for your SSD, and the board's main connectivity, which includes two USB 2.0 ports, two gigabit Ethernet interfaces, and an HDMI display output. If you have trouble finding an mSATA SSD in 2017, there's also a standard SATA 6 Gb/s port. The riser draws power from a 4-pin ATX input. The main PCB has eight 6-pin PCIe power inputs, which wire out to 6-pin PCIe outputs near each black slot. This is more of a cable-management feature, smaller (20 cm long) male-to-male 6-pin PCIe cables connect the outputs to the graphics cards.

It's so interesting to see this because I've seen similar products on Alibaba. I just wanted to post this because there's a lot of unique hardware coming out of China because of the mining craze and I think some of it can be used for MUCH MORE. The unique form factors, including the PCIe cards, could be really fun in a homelab to play around with clustering or have a motherboard you can use for lots of I/O without needing a strong compute aspect; like for a SAN/NAS and network combination. I've actually talked to a few manufacturers on Alibaba about just buying some of the cards I've seen. They were surprised I was interested in them for more than just mining. The only issue was that they're weren't a standard length, so the back of the cards overhung the mobo by quite a lot, thus not fitting in a standard case or rack chassis. These were obviously made for custom cases or just open air shelving. But I feel like there's so much potential here. There's lots of variations here as well. Some below can use Broadwell SoCs, others can use Kaby Lake-U, and some of the socketed mobos can use Skylake or BIOS updated for Kably Lake as well. This Colorful card uniquely has two NICs as well. Some other issues I've ran into with the boards themselves is PCIe 3.0 vs 2.0; I don't mind the 1x slots, but there's a huge bandwidth difference between 3.0 and 2.0. Another issue is one board might have a true x16 slot, and another are all x1; this is important if you want to have a good NIC for a NAS build. Third issue is some of the boards are just truly too lengthy; larger than 19", so don't fit even a rack.
So if you find something you like, you'll find a downside to it; there's strong advantages and strong disadvantages to every single hardware piece I've found.

SoC comparisons:


The Mustang-200 PCIe card utilizes 2 processors to accelerate your existing or new system for complex calculations or virtualization.

Edited by TheBloodEagle - 11/8/17 at 8:04am