GPU Bios Flash Test Bench – Crypto Mining Rig
GPU bios flashing is dangerous. Your could brick your card rendering it completely useless. GPU flashing on a rig with 4,6, or 10 other GPUs is just asking for trouble. Which PCI slot did I just flash? In an effort to smiplify GPU bios flashing, I bought a refurbished motherboard and slung together some other cheap parts to have a test bench for GPU bios flashing and testing. Never again will I get my GPUs mixed up and flash the wrong card. Never again will I have to shut a rig down to flash a card, then the next one, and so on. It did have some associated cost up front, but I already feel like I made my money back in uninterupted service and confusion by building this test bench.
Hey everybody, Steve here I am officially at about a rig and a half, there’s 8 on the bottom and 5 on top and I’m getting ready to add 3 more but obviously the room is in the state is in a state of disarray. The rig in the middle of the room right now and eventually they’re going to be going in here when I get the time to figure out how I’m going to work everything. Right now, I’ve got 2 Windows, I’ve a fan taking heat out, a fan bringing cool air in and the rigs are right here. So, we’re going to have, I’ve got a couple more cards on tap right there, 3 of them, I’m going to add 3 more into those spots right there, they are sitting over there. But I want to overclock them and that’s kind of the purpose of this video is I want to overclock them but I have my SSD with Windows on it right there because both of these guys are running on USBs with Linux. So, what I did was I sourced some parts, obviously this I had to pay I think $39 for, but this baby right here is a refurb and it cost me $23. So, I’m going to use this board, that chip, that power source, this power source was relatively cheap as well and then stick a RAM. So, what I’m going to is I am going to build a test bench. So, it was like $22 and as you can see it is just the barebone basics, it’s got 3 PCI slots. So, my intent here is to go ahead and build this out as a test bench and I’ll build a frame and everything like that for it but really what I want to do is I want to be able to just toss GPUs on here, BIOS flash them here and then put them on the big rig so that I don’t have to mess around with those guys.
And my thought is that once this rig gets tucked in there it will be even less desirable to try to get to one of those motherboards and flash the BIOS there. So, for 20, 50 about $100 I got my little testbench platform here and I’m going to go ahead and toss some CPU on there and toss some RAM in there and give it some power and this already got Windows and the BIOS flash software on it so I’m going to go ahead and hook everything up and I will be also doing a video on BIOS flashing GPUs. So, anyhow I’m going to get this thing together and give I’ll give you updates.
All right so it’s been a few minutes and with a little bit of RAM and a CPU and power switch and some other power stuff we are ready to fire this bad boy up. So, hopefully it’s just a matter of pressing a button, it’s good so for. All right this is the version of Windows 10 that I have on my BIOS flashing software on and what we’re going to do is we’re going to grab our first victim. Ok, voila, victim number 1, so essentially what I’m going to do is I’m going to shut this thing back, put him on the board, my Windows 10 already has the drivers for this guy so I’m going to go ahead and skip that part and let’s see how this goes.
Ok, so, here is my goal with this test rig, we’ve got a single a GPU running off barebones minimum over here and it’s putting out 24MHs on simple mining OS and the whole point of doing this was that I can do my overclocking over here and these rigs will continue to work without having to shut them down and try to do the testing off the motherboards over there which once they get into their final place which is inside that tent, they’ll be much much harder to get to. So, as I get new cards I want to BIOS flash them and test and diagnose I want to do it here. So, I’m going to go ahead and see if we can get the 24 any higher.
Ok, so, with a very simple adjustment I was able to get us 4 more, so we’re at 28.601 and just in case you didn’t know I don’t know it’s true of other 580 graphics cards or not but with the XFX graphics cards there is a switch right here, these days are actually dual BIOS and sometimes just throwing the switch will get you 4 to 6 more MHs.
I’m going to show you something else really quick. Ok, so, I threw the switch and I went ahead and I’ve loaded Tech Powerup…. it’s called Tech Powerup by GPU Z and as you can see the memory type is Samsung, the memory type was Samsung before I flipped the switch but just flipping the switch was able to get me from 24.5 to about 28.5. I’m going to go ahead and leave it here for now and move on to the next one.
All right I got to say this is my first XFX with white fins. So, let’s see how this baby goes, what kind of BIOS memory it’s got on it. I’ll come around here and I’ll wait for it to fire up. All right, so the memory type on this one is Hynix which is great because it’s very, very easy to flash but I want to go ahead and fire up simple mining OS and see what we’re getting out of this thing.
Ok, a pre-GPU BIOS change Hynix has a speed of 22.3 which is exactly what I was expecting. This white guy here is behaving in the exact same way as all these red ones did. So, I’m going to try throwing the switch on the GPU itself and I’ll report back.
All right so after throwing the switch were 22.2ish, so no gain there but I’m going to go ahead and fire up Windows and see what BIOS memory flavor this is. Ok, so, after keeping the switch the same so this is the second switch position it’s still Hynix. So, the same BIOS with the switch thrown in both places. Now I have seen other GPUs where when you throw the switch, 1 will be Hynix, ! will be Micron or maybe one will be Samsung and one will be Micron, so I just like to do this test with every new GPU just so that I know what I’m working with but I’m going to throw the switch back into the default position which is the original Hynix and I’m going to go ahead and BIOS flash this GPU to see if we can get close to 29ish. And although it won’t be a part of this video, be sure to check the description below because I am going to be doing a video exclusively dedicated to BIOS flashing these GPUS. This video is really more intended of just kind of showing my way of saving a whole bunch of time by investing a minimal amount of money in this refurbished board and some other parts to make a testing rig so that my main rig could be right up and running without interruption.
All right so here we are a few minutes later and we are 29…..2.3 is the highest number I’m seeing right there. So, this guy is flashed and ready to go.
All right so 4 of these XFX RX 580 that don’t have any kind of LAB lights in them they are all very very similar, they’re both BIOS I believe that Samsung and Samsung and just merely switching the BIOS from the default to the other position will take you from 22 to 28.5, 20.6, 20.7 wow. So, I’m happy with the way this one is and don’t even need to do any more work on this one. So that’s 1 and then there’s the other 2 right there and I got a new power supply down there and I’m going to go ahead and fill up that part of the second rig and see if we can be right around 460MH. So, I’m going to go ahead and do the legwork and I’ll be back.
All right I just want to show you the finished product here. We’ve got two rigs now with 8 GPUs, those are the 3 that I just added right there and of course down below there’s 8 more and one of them is hashing at 231 and the other one’s hashing at about 227. So, all and all I’m very happy with the way my little test bench performed, I was able the BIOS mod several GOUs without having to interrupt everything that’s going on here. So, this will eventually be going in the tent and I will make it even harder to get access to motherboards. So, just a real convenience to be able to BIOS mod everything over here and then just add them to the rig as necessary.
So, yeah, that’s it for this project, if you liked what you saw please like, comment, subscribe many more videos to come as I’ve got like zillion ideas. I’m going to do building rig number 3 which means, I’m going to start building my own frames. So, I’m a do a video on building my own frames, I’m going to do a video on BIOS mining, I’m going to do a video on the tent, I’m going to do a video of how I’m pulling the tent with two of those guys and much much much more to come. So looking forward to seeing you in the next video.