It does not matter that bitcoin does not resemble any convertible currency in the world and will never become a reserve currency of any kind, what matters is that it creates an industry around itself that is far from being virtual. In a bid to help bitcoin miners to get more bitcoins, Asrock on Friday unveiled special mainboards designed specifically for that purpose.
Bitcoin mining may be done on central processing units, specially-programed FPGA [field programmable gate array] and graphics processing units. The more horsepower the generating personal computer has, the more bitcoins the owner gets. An ultimate bitcoin mining machine should have a lot of graphics cards/FPGA cards that provide strong performance, yet, the overall system should not be too expensive.
Asrock has introduced two mainboards – H81 Pro BTC and H61 Pro BTC – that were designed for the bitcoin mining from the very start. The motherboards are based on relatively affordable, yet built to last, chipsets, they feature less expandability options (e.g. no extra DIMM slots or Serial ATA ports), but provide maximum number of PCI Express x16 or x1 slots for additional graphics cards or FPGA cards.
Asrock H81 Pro BTC designed for Intel Core i-series “Haswell” CPUs in LGA1150 packaging boasts a total of six PCIe slots (PCIe x16 + five PCIe x1) for multiple mining cards, plus two extra 4 pin power connectors for extra mining power. Asrock H61 Pro BTC supports previous-generation Intel Core i-series processors in LGA1155 form-factor and provides one PCIe x16 as well as five PCIe x1 slots. Both mainboard are designed for PCs that can actually be used: they feature D-sub, HDMI outputs, plenty of USB ports as well as audio connectors. Moreover, the H81 Pro BTC features PS/2, LPT and COM ports, an incredible configuration for modern world.
Pricing of the mainboards is unknown, but given their configuration, it should not be that high. Furthermore, given the fact that one bitcoin currently costs more than $450, the actual cost of the hardware may not be that crucial in case it actually serves the purpose of bitcoin mining, at least in the eyes of bitcoin believers.