Six GPUs on MSI Z170A Gaming Motherboard


Got a deal on a few 1060 3GBs via the GPU price watching site gpugarden.  At the moment those cards seem to be well-priced for mining Vertcoin.

Had a lot of trouble getting the fifth and six GPU online working on my MSI Z170A initially, but I figured it out and now I am happily mining away.  It was maddening as the card would show up in MSI’s nifty interface, as well as in various commands run in Ubuntu, but would not show up when mining or in NVIDIA’s XServer.

Did some general troubleshooting, which I write about here.

But, the ultimate solution was flashing and configuring the motherboard…HOWEVER drama ensued with Ubuntu (jump to the last step for a potential head’s up).

  1. First, things could be easy for you.  If you have a later version of motherboard all you may have to do is flip a flag in the BIOS for “cryptocurrency”.  Reboot your computer and hold the delete key to get into the BIOS.  Then navigate to: Settings -> Advanced -> PCI Subsystem Settings -> “Above 4G Memory/Crypto Currency mining” -> Enabled.
  2. If you do not see that option, then you may need to flash the BIOS (my case).  Download the updated version from here.  NOTE: The link provided was relative to me, there are M7 type boards.
  3. Put the file onto some sort of USB device.  Most people will use a stick, but I didn’t have any.  I ended up using an SD Card with a USB reader (I know…clever).
  4. Watch this strangely silent video from MSI.
  5. Reboot, and hopefully Ubuntu will load and your card will show up.  BUT, once rebooted, and no matter how I changed the boot order for devices Ubuntu could not locate the boot disk.  I then went through procedures to repair the stick using Live CD, but that failed.  Somehow along the way my USB stick that I had the Ubuntu OS on died.  I ended up having to reinstall Ubuntu.  Not a big deal for me, as I took the opportunity to get a clean install on a new SSD I purchased.  However, for you it could be an existential crisis.

Vertcoin Mining with ccminer – Easy Version

I’ve been impressed with the Vertcoin community. It feels like there is a sense of direction, and that everyone is doing there best to have the coin succeed.

To help others get started I documented the steps I went through with my NVIDIA 1060’s on Ubuntu.

Note: This tutorial only works for NVIDIA cards.

The basis for these steps were from this video. You can follow along in the video, and then refer back here for the commands to cut and past.

Generally speaking, we are going to install some prerequisite software (NVIDIA’s CUDA), create directory for ccminer, pull down the code from github (a repository for open source developers), compile, connect to a pool, and start mining!

  1. For the mining software, ccminer, to do its thing you need to install software from NVIDIA.To get the download link go here, and then choose your platform.  Below are the selections I made for my system.A download link will be generated.  Now you can download it locally, or you can copy the link and do a wget  as follows. Make sure you cd to the directory you want the ~2GB file in. Note: The URLs and filenames referenced below are what is available a the time of posting. As time goes on you likely will need to use different addresses and as a result filenames.
    $ wget

    Now lets install CUDA:

    $ sudo dpkg -i cuda-repo-ubuntu1604-8-0-local-ga2_8.0.61-1_amd64.deb
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get install cuda

    You can then delete the file you downloaded.

  2. Just in case you haven’t installed git yet, let’s try and install it. If it is already installed nothing bad will happen, and you practiced typing.
    $ sudo apt-get install git
  3. For convenience, I like to place these directories on my desktop. Here’s how to do that, and then change directory into it.
    $ mkdir ~/Desktop/vertcoin-ccminer/
    $ cd ~/Desktop/vertcoin-ccminer
  4. Now pull down the source code into this directory and change directory again into a subdirectory that git created.
    $ git clone
    $ cd ccminer
  5. Pull down some more supporting libraries before we compile this bad boy. You could have done this from another directory or at an earlier step. But makes sense here conceptually as we need it for the next following step.
    $ sudo apt-get install libcurl4-openssl-dev libssl-dev libjansson-dev automake autotools-dev build-essential
  6. This is where we start getting into voodoo. You need to make sure you cut an paste the following commands properly – particularly the configure one. Typos will cause things to fail. Between each of the following commands you will see lots of configuration code go. I comment each of the lines with a # – that means ubuntu will ignore what follows it (i.e. it won’t execute it). If you want to high-level view of the gory details on compilation you can click here.
    $ ./ # this builds a configure script tuned for your system
    $ ./configure CFLAGS="-O3 -Wall -march=native" # this sets compilation flags in the script autogen made
    $ ./ # lots of compilation commands should fly by, and when done you should be returned to a prompt with no errors
  7. Awesome! Now we just start mining!You can try the following briefly and see that it works. Hopefully you will see progress.
    $ ./ccminer -a lyra2v2 -o stratum+tcp:// -u VrdExKvWGUct8o1icbsrPSt92BUGWSxhax -p passwordnotneeded

    Once it starts going, you need to hit CTRL+C and/or CTRL+X to cancel.

    Your next step is to change the bolded fields to be a mining pool you like (though I’m partial to the one listed) and create a wallet for yourself.