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The Best PCI-E Riser Cables for Cryptocurrency Mining in 2021

7 Mins read

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PCI-E or GPU risers are one of the most essential components for building a reliable and efficient cryptocurrency mining rig. Their main purpose is to solve the problem of installing multiple GPUs onto the same motherboard, even if the motherboard doesn’t feature enough PCI-E x16 slots, or spacing between them is too small to accommodate multiple double-slot or triple-slot GPUs.

Read also: The Best Cryptocurrency Mining Frames in 2021

PCI-E risers come in different variants and forms. Some of them feature full-sized PCIe 3.0 x16 slots, while some of them come with multiple USB 3.0 ports and PCIe 2.0 x1 slots. When it comes to cryptocurrency mining, risers with standard PCIe 2.0 x16 slots are the most popular ones.

Since PCI-E risers are used to connect multiple GPUs to your mining rig and thus increase overall mining performance, they also require a reliable power delivery in order to power up all those GPUs. High-quality PCI-E risers are designed to deliver 75 watts of power to your GPU. Some of them, however, deliver all this power via 15-pin SATA connector, while some of them do that via 4-pin Molex connector. Although both of these connection methods are fine, keep in mind that some Molex connectors can deliver up to 192 watts, which no SATA connector can do.

Another thing worth paying attention to when buying a PCI-E riser cable is whether the cable conforms to ATX specifications. Cheap PCI-E riser cables can usually deliver 54 watts of power, which is 21 watts less compared to what is required by ATX specifications. This can potentially overdraw SATA/Molex connector, and eventually damage your GPU. Also, if a PCI riser features a very loose connection to the motherboard, this can potentially cause a voltage drop, and thus set your GPU on fire by overheating of the wires and connections.

Great thing about PCI-E risers is they can also be connected to the motherboard via USB interface, and can be placed virtually anywhere. This allows you to build your own custom mining frame, and design your own cooling system to keep all of your GPUs healthy, and operating at full speed. Some high-end PCI-E risers come with LEDs that flash in case of an error, which is a handy feature in case of debugging your system.

Although there are many other ways which allow you to connect additional GPUs to your mining system (e.g. PCIe expansion cards, M.2 adapters, Thunderbolt controllers), using a PCI-E riser is the safest and the most reliable method to do that. Here are the best PCI-E riser cables you can buy right now.



Best Overall: Ubit 6-pin/MOLEX/SATA PCI-E Riser Cable

Interface: PCI-E x1 to x16 | Power Connectors: 6-pin, Molex, SATA | Length: 60 cm


Judging by hundreds of positive customer reviews, the Ubit PCI-E Riser Cable is one of the best GPU riser cables for cryptocurrency mining. This simple, yet extremely robust PCI-E adapter is loaded with additional features. It supports GPU power delivery via 6-pin PSU, 4-pin Molex, or 15-pin SATA connectors, it features LED indicator to signal connection status between devices, and it even comes with an added coil to prevent interference from electromagnetic waves.

The Ubit PCI-E riser cable also comes with 60 cm long USB 3.0 cable which gives you the maximum flexibility to organize the placement of your mining GPUs within your mining rig, and it ships with its own hook cable ties which allow you to conduct proper cable management. Overall the Ubit PCI-E riser cable is well worth the price, and if you are in the market for high-quality GPU riser cables, getting one of these is a no-brainer.

Runner-up: FebSmart VER006C GPU Riser

Interface: PCI-E x1 to x16 | Power Connectors: 6-pin, SATA | Length: 60 cm


The FebSmart PCI-E Riser cable is a perfect alternative to Ubit’s GPU riser cable in case you don’t plan to use Molex connector to power up your mining graphics card. Just like the Ubit’s riser cable, the FebSmart PCI-E riser cable comes with support for both PCIe x1 and PCIe x16 interface, and allows you to power up your GPU via 6-pin PSU or SATA power connectors.

The FebSmart PCI-E riser cable comes with LED power indicator, high-quality 3.3 V voltage transformer, and 60 cm fully shielded USB 3.0 cables. This riser also features gold-plated contacts, short circuit protection, and is fully compatible with PCIe 4.0 interface, which is great if you plan to use an AMD motherboard for mining. Another plus is the fact that it works with Mac Pro systems, which isn’t something you’d usually expect from a riser cable.

Best Quality: N.ORANIE VER009S Plus PCI-E Riser

Interface: PCI-E x1 to x16 | Power Connectors: 6-pin, Molex, SATA | Length: 60 cm


The VER009S PCI-E riser cable made by N.ORANIE company may seem like any other PCI-E riser cable. However, compared to other PCI-E risers, this one features some special additional features. First of all, it comes with two 6-pin PSU connectors, which allow you to reduce motherboard burden, and use external power source to power up your mining GPU. Secondly, this riser adapter comes with four solid capacitors, which is great if you want to achieve maximum GPU stability.

The VER009S also comes with two LED indicators. One shows if there is any power on +12V rail, and the other on +3.3V rail. This riser also comes with 60 cm long USB 3.0 cable, and it features holes on PCB for easier installation. Overall, this is a high-quality riser cable, and if you don’t mind its somewhat high price tag, be sure to grab it if you want to build a reliable and stable mining rig.

Best Budget: Mousika VER009S PCI-E Riser

Interface: PCI-E x1 to x16 | Power Connectors: 6-pin, Molex, SATA | Length: 60 cm


The Mousika VER009S is a budget PCI-E riser cable that doesn’t cost much, and it comes in a large six-pack bundle. Despite being made by a Chinese brand, this PCI-E riser cable comes with one 4-pin PSU connector, and two 6-pin PSU connectors which allow you to create various power delivery setups. This PCI-E riser also comes with two LED indicators, as well as with its own Molex and SATA 15-pin connector, and 60 cm long USB 3.0 cable.

This PCI-E riser can also boast with the fact that it features four solid capacitors, which are here to ensure maximum power supply stability. Despite its low price, this PCI-E riser also features gold plated contacts, and is available in three different colors: blue, black or red.

Best PCI-E Riser Card: XT-INTE PCI-E to USB 3.0 Multiplier Card

Interface: PCI-E x1 to USB 3.0 | Power Connectors: None | Length: N/A


If you’ve run out of PCI-E slots on your motherboard, and want to expand one of them into a small mining rig, then XT-INTE PCI-E Multiplier Card is a perfect solution for you. Now, don’t expect to turn your 10 GPU rig into a 20 GPU rig with it, as you are mostly limited by the number of PCIe lanes that your CPU and motherboard can address, however, with this multiplier card you’ll be able to add up to four new GPUs to your mining rig.

The XT-INTE PCI-E multiplier card basically adds your mining rig four new USB 3.0 ports to which you can connect your other GPUs. You will still have to buy ordinary PCI-E risers in order to power up your GPUs, however, with four of these cards you can essentially connect up to 16 GPUs to your mining rig. It’s best feature, however, is the fact that it’s quite cheap.

Best PCI-Riser Extended PCB Card: XT-INTE PCI-E to PCI-E Multiplier Card

Interface: PCI-E x1 to x1 | Power Connectors: 6-pin, Molex, SATA | Length: 60 cm


In case you want to truly expand your motherboard with 4 new PCI-E slots to which you can connect your mining GPUs, then consider purchasing this XT-INTE PCI-E to PCI-E expansion card. Just like many other PCI-E riser cables and adapter, this card also allow you to add a few additional GPUs to your mining rig. The only difference, however, is that this card comes with its own four PCI-E x1 slots, and it features one Molex, SATA, and 6-pin power connector to supply all of your mining cards with the necessary power.

This expansion card comes with its own set of mounting screws, as well as with one 15-pin SATA power cable. It is fully plug and play, which means it requires no additional drivers, and is fully compatible with Windows and Linux operating systems. Although this expansion card doesn’t bring anything new to the cable regarding the mining performance of your GPUs, it does offer you some additional customization options when it comes to building a mining rig.

Conclusion

As you probably already know, the PCI-E riser cables are a must-have tool for mining cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum or Monero. Very few motherboards feature more than three PCI-E x16 slots, let alone 10 of them, so getting a high-quality PCI-E riser cable is the only way to hook up all of your mining GPUs to your cryptocurrency mining rig. Some of these adapters and cables come with Molex and SATA adapters, while some of them only feature 6-pin connectors.

There are also PCI-E riser expansion cards that do practically the same thing as PCI-E riser cables, except they offer an additional level of customizability when it comes to building your dream mining rig.

We hope our buying guide helped you in search for the information you were looking for. If you still feel confused, and need advice about buying, feel free to post a comment below. We will try to help you.

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About author
Before he joined ViCadia, Nicholas worked as a journalist for several tech magazines. Over the years he gained a lot of knowledge about computers. His main area of interest are processors, motherboards, and operating systems.
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