PCIe risers can add life to your hardware, like the motherboard. They also create more space to install more GPUs to your GPU rig, and increase the efficiency of your hardware. However, you can achieve all this only if you are working with the best PCIe riser. Working with a low-quality PCIe riser can also ruin your GPU rig.
So, if you are building your own GPU rig, you need to look for the best PCIe risers, also called PCIe extenders, and related accessories like PCIe cables.
Why do We Need PCIe Riser?
To build a powerful GPU mining rig, you need more GPUs attached to your motherboard, but here is the problem. In most GPUs, the PCIe slots are so close, that you can’t place GPUs together. Even if you can, they are so close, and space becomes so congested that the entire mining rig heats up pretty quickly.
Keep in mind, the mining rig runs 24/7, so you need to make sure that it remains cool, and the equipment has enough space in between to let the air pass. PCIe risers provide an effective solution to this problem, by raising the PCIe slot.
This way, you can place the GPUs away from the motherboard and each other. We have already covered a detailed post about what is PCIe riser, read here.
Choosing the Best PCIe Riser
Next step, how to choose the best PCIe riser and make the right investment.
For this, you first need to understand the two types – unpowered and powered PCIe Risers.
So what is the difference, what makes the right fit for you?
- Unpowered risers do not have connections to external power supply, which means, your motherboard has to supply power to them. They are also called extension PCIe cables or ribbons.
- Powered risers have their own connectivity to a power supply which means you can supply power to them from the direct power source.
So which one is better? In our opinion, powered risers are better as they put less strain on your motherboard, that results in a longer lifespan for the hardware.
Overall, PCIe riser is a simple and basic hardware support tool, so you will not find any major difference other than the power supply difference.
If you want to buy the best out there, look for the brands that are well-known, and try to go for the complete kits, with multiple PCIe slots, and PCIe cables.
Also, an excellent feature to look for is USB 3.0 support, which makes connectivity easier. Another feature to look for is the number of capacitors used. Three capacitors are commonly used in PCIe risers, but in some latest PCIe risers, four capacitors are also used, like the one we listed below.
So what are some of the best options out there?
Best PCIe Risers in 2018
The two we like the most are 6 pack kits from Relper-Lineso and Mailiya.
They both are well-built, comes with all the accessories you need, and affordable. Mailiya PCIe risers have four capacitors, so it is sturdy and durable.
Overall, both are among the best options currently available in the market.