This PCI Express x1 to x16 powered riser card, with a Molex power connector, is the ideal accessory for Bitcoin Mining systems and, taking into account the available bandwidth, can also be used like any other riser card for other systems and applications such as Altcoin, Ethereum, Ether, Zcash, Distributed Computing, Rendering and Boinc. Bitcoin is a pay-as-you-go virtual payment tool launched and managed by all the participating Bitcoin network clients. Like many other cryptos with proof-of-work principle, bitcoins are caused by cryptographic computing tasks with a high energy expenditure, which is called "mining".
In principle, normal computer processors (CPUs) are capable of calculating new bitcoins, but they can only calculate a few (kilo) hashes per second and therefore are not suited to bitcoin mining in relation to the time and energy used for this purpose. Regarding the efficiency, they are clearly beaten by graphics processors (GPUs), especially graphics chips of the Radeon series from AMD, which have proved particularly strong. Mining rigs are referred to as GPU-Miner systems from commercially available hardware builders, the only task of which is to calculate Bitcoins by means of several graphics cards in continuous operation.
In order to counter the resulting high heat development and to operate as many graphics cards as possible in parallel, these GPU-Miner systems usually use very open housings (comparable to Benchtables) or, in some cases, adventurous, self-assembled case circuits. As with AMD CrossFire or NVIDIA SLI gaming PCs, not all PCI Express slots can be used on a motherboard, since high-performance graphics cards generally have a wide dual fan or even triple fan coolers, thus the space required for further GPUs is missing.
This is where the practical powered Riser Card comes in and allows the installation of more PCI Express slots with x1, x4, x8 or x16 connectivity. This x16 slot is electrically connected to a single PCI Express lane, which corresponds to the PCIe generation of the output slot. Since bitcoin mining is only performed by the GPU and, in contrast to video games, no textures or shader data have to be transported into the graphics memory, the bandwidth available for this application is sufficient.
For data transfer, the riser card uses a USB 3.0 cable. With a length of approximately 600mm, allows a for lot of room for the PCIe slot. In contrast to the often used IDE flat-ribbon cables with conventional riser cards, the module can be installed in better spots and there are further advantages in higher stability as well as the less hindrance of airflow. A SATA-to-Molex power cable, which is also included, transmits up to 75W of electrical power directly from the power supply (normally delivered directly from the PCIe slot), while the additional power for the graphics card comes directly from the power supply via additional PCIe plugs. With these powered risers, it is possible to operate up to 6 graphics cards on a motherboard without overloading its voltage supply.