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Second computer as a monitor/GPU (minicluster)

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February 19, 2011 5:19:12 PM

OK, here's my situation: I have this awesome computer, which is actually a server. Come to find out, IBM's policy on testing there hardware only extends to stuff they and their daughter companies make. So, they've not tested any video cards on their server systems. Ever. My choices are as follows:
1) I can continue to search for a PCI card that works with this thing, and pray.
2) I can buy a new riser for about the same price as I paid for the server in the first place, assuming I'm willing to buy it refurbished, that has a PCI-e x8 slot in on it instead of a PCI-x, and, again, search and pray for a vid card that works.
3) Find a way to force the system to accept anything I want by finding a way to either a) use a second computer (laptop I already have, cheap tower from the local seedy computer repair store, etc) as a monitor and graphics engine or b) allocate all of the resources of the server unit to a second computer, including it's ram and processors (8g ram and twin dual-core 3.0 processors).

I'm starting to think that the third option might be the better one of the three, so if anyone has any information on how it can be done, I'd be greatly appreciative. Yes i realize that either one of the options in 3 would require a cluster of some kind more than likely.
The only limitations are as follows: I'm not a good programmer, so I'd need reference to a good walk through, or at least the programs. I don't own Windows Server (if that's even an option) so I'd need referenced to a place that has it cheep/free. I'd much prefer to use either Windows XP or Linux (Linux is the second choice, but more than willing if it's substantially easier) free distribution such as Ubuntu.

Thanks to anyone that comes up with something!
~Zarius
February 19, 2011 10:52:33 PM

Sell those parts locally or on ebay?
Buy somthing useful?
Even getting somthing put together that works half decent, is it going to be worth it when you could have spent a few hundred dollars and gotten somthing that has twice the framerate?
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February 20, 2011 2:09:33 AM

1) No.
2) I did buy something useful, it just isn't useful yet.
3) Even before I bought the server, my budget wasn't 'a few hundred dollars'
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Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2011 5:22:02 AM

Are you talking about wanting to put your parts on a new motherboard that has a pcieX16 slot on it, then add a good graphics card to that for high def/quality video? You can probably do that. Or are you searching for a video card that is compatible for PCI slots? If you want to try switching out the motherboard we will need to know what EXACTLY are the processors' brand and model #'s. We can match compatible motherboards to those numbers. We might can even get enough information from IBM if the servers are commercial and have model or serial numbers on them like IBM System x3200 M3 Express and can be traced that way. For instance, lots of the newer servers have the intel Xeon processors in them. Like the Intel® Xeon® 3400 Series. If we have information like that then we can probably match them to a motherboard. Like this

Intel S3420GPRX LGA1156 Server Motherboard, Intel 3420 Chipset, Supports Xeon Processor 3400 Series, DDR3 1066/1333 SDRAM, SATA RAID, Dual Gigabit Ethernet. ds-dh which has - One PCI Express 2.0 x8 slot. Granted, this is just an example.
Which brings us of course to - how much are you willing to spend on it?? What are you going to do with it and/or do you require the higher end graphics cards or will a simple PCI graphics card work. Do you want a board that will take both processors or will this SUPERMICRO X8SIE ATX Server Board -- Intel Xeon 3400 series LGA 1156 Intel 3420 for $179 with a pcie X16 slot on it work for your needs? Again, just an example. But the processor name, model, socket type, motherboard name, serial number stuff like that will help if you want to try this route. I guess this is option 4. And yes, you will need to get a new operation system if you change out the motherboard. Like HERE for $45.
Is this what you might be interested in? Sorry if I'm way off track, just thought I'd give it a try.


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a b B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2011 5:50:50 AM

Sorry for the second post but it won't let me edit my first response to add -
How about something as simple as your first option? This ATI 100-505529 FireMV 2260 Workstation Video Card - 256MB DDR2, PCI, Dual Display Ports, Low Profile for $125.
Or this EVGA 01G-P1-N948-LR GeForce 9400 GT Video Card - 1GB DDR2, PCI (Dual Link) Dual DVI, HDTV, VGA, Low Profile for $90 should work just fine. Any pci interface card should do the trick. Both of these are and they're also from tigerdirect so just in case, they have a return policy. Shouldn't be any need for all that praying, it's a simple hardware match. Isn't it? I would say so. But again, will these suit your purpose? The ati firepro's are made for workstations and servers. Should be a good fit. They have different attributes depending on what you want to do with them. Give them a once over and see which one works better for you.
They won't give you 1080p, just so you know first.
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February 20, 2011 7:01:54 AM

As far as option 1/2 go, I bought this thing http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001GENPBK and it's not compatible with my server. Dunno, maybe PNY's just terrible for compatiblilty issues.
Are Workstation vid cards substantially different from a regular PC vid card, or is it just that the output ports are different? If the card itself is substantially different, you might be onto something there. And in the interim, a friend of mine gave me an idea that just might work.
Thanks, Suteck, for the ideas.

To answer the question, what i bought was a server unit I wanted to convert into a gaming machine. The issue is that it's an IBM Xseries 336, 8 gigs ram, and twin dual-core Xeon processors (hard mounted to the motherboard, not in a quick release rig). I was originally hoping to find a PCI (regular like the ones you showed) video card that is know to work with servers in general. Unfortunately, IBM has a list of exactly zero tested card.
My thought was to circumvent the issue of vid cards not working with the server by basically turning a second computer into a dummy terminal for the server, running the CPU and Ram needs through the server while having the terminal run the video.
Friend of mine told me to just host the games on the server unit using Windows Server 200x on the server, and the PC equivalent Windows software on the terminal. Testing that idea now, and I will update as to the viability of that idea after I get a working copy of WinServ 2003.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2011 2:06:51 PM

I can't figure out exactly which Xeons you're running, but at 800MHz FSB, they would be P4 based yes? If so, I agree that you should sell/return. A 1U server will never make a good gaming machine, and the CPUs are seriously bad. Farther, if you wanted it to be a gaming machine, you shouldn't have tried putting an 8400GS in it. Sell the rig, buy a real gaming machine which means you'll be using a PCIe 16x slot. This is the best option.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2011 2:30:29 PM

dragonorb13 said:
To answer the question, what i bought was a server unit I wanted to convert into a gaming machine.
What games are you looking at?
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February 20, 2011 8:06:00 PM

Ok, numbered guy, NO, NOT 800MHz. TWIN DUAL-CORE 3.0 GHZ that means EACH of four cores is operating at 3.0 ghz.
WR2, mid-low level stuff... Mostly XP era stuff right now, just because i haven't seen anything recent for PC that looked like it was worth spending money on. WoW, DDO, that kinda stuff.
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February 20, 2011 8:11:08 PM

oh wait.... front bus speed... never mind. but yeah, dude, most stuff sold today is still 800 mhz fbs, AND I CAN'T AFFORD ANYTHING BETTER. get that through the head. <fake speech impediment> I CAN'T BUY ANYTHING BETTER BECAUSE I AM POOR </fake speech impediment> Mentioned that earlier when Nixon suggested buying better stuff.
Now that we've got my budget out of the way, does anyone either know of a video card that's known to work with rack mount servers in general (doesn't matter what brand of them) or have any advice on how to have one computer siphon the ram and CPU resources off another while still using it's own video card?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2011 9:31:44 PM

The point I was trying to make is that you bought the wrong thing. A cheap/low end 2180 C2D with a 9500GT a 2GBs of ram would beat the snot out of that twin P4 with an 8400GS. It seriously wouldn't even be close. You have the $$$, you need to unload that server. I see them online for $600ish, sell yours for $450 and buy the parts for a low end gaming unit. Heck, you could be lowend new parts for $450 and have a better gaming system. Sell the server, even if you could find a straight PCI card to go in there, it will be junk against even the lowest of the low end PCIe cards. You'll never get a good gaming system out of that server.
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February 20, 2011 9:47:20 PM

Yeah, well, unfortunately, since this particular server goes for about $200, not $450, I see a problem. Plus, don't have the $150 to make up the difference. Thus the reason for getting the server in the first place. Hence asking about miniaturized clusters and vid cards known to work in server units. So, enough of trying to con me into buying a new )*&$#$% system and stay on topic.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 20, 2011 9:56:16 PM

As far as I know, no version of windows OS (with the possible exception of Server 2008 R2) has the ability to do what you want.
There are versions of Unix/Linux that might work, but that's a serious limitation to gaming.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 21, 2011 3:28:45 AM

Yeah, the delays as it goes from machine to machine won't allow gaming. Crunching numbers is one thing, trying to hit someone's head while its in your scope is another.

Sorry, I can't stay on the topic you want, so I'm out. I hope you get your gaming rig at some point.
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February 22, 2011 4:37:49 AM

Apologize to 4745454b and I will make my suggestion. He was only being helpful if you would only have listened.

You can come here for help and most of these fine folks here will help you IF you show some respect. Apologize to him and not only will I give my suggestion, others here will do the same and end your confusion...
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 22, 2011 12:24:32 PM

Two CPUs or two cores, its the same to the game/OS. What isn't possible is using the CPUs in one machine and the video from another. At least as far as I've seen.
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February 23, 2011 10:29:50 AM

OK, as it turns out, I found one distinct possibility, though I haven't finished playing around with it yet. I hate trying to work with Server OSes. But, apparently, according to two network techs I know, using the server as an actual server (specifically as an application server) should do what I'm trying to get done.
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February 23, 2011 10:11:31 PM

No it won't. I've done what your looking to do using linux. Its slow, and barely able to work a webbrowser, let alone a game.

not possible.

Now, if you want to use the server to be the host for a lan party, you've got possibilities, but not to actually play the game

You bought yerself a boat anchor.
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February 24, 2011 1:45:24 AM

Possible you're right, but since I'm too lazy to give up until my brain explodes of it's own accord out of my ears... At least be nice enough to tell me HOW you did it, rather than just saying 'you can't do it'. I appreciate the head's up that YOU couldn't get it to work, but if you did it... HOW DID YOU DO IT?!?!?!
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 24, 2011 8:44:01 PM

It could be an IRQ conflict. If you still have it put your PNY GeForce 8400 GS and try some of these - The best way to get new irq's assigned to hardware is to move the cards from one slot to another. To prevent your video card from sharing an irq you should leave the slot immediatly after another slot open.

Do you use USB devices? If not you can often tell your BIOS not to assign an IRQ to USB.

Does your system have a VIA chipset? Insure you have the latest 4in1 patch, (TRY THESE), if so. One of the patches there takes care of irq routing issues and yet another addresses AGP functionality.

One other thing I have found that helps with irq routing problems is to change where windows gets the route table from. In the device manager under PCI bus properties there is a table to specify where windows gets the routing information from. Try unchecking MS specification table and check direct from hardware. I do not believe you can change this in XP. Probably not win2k either.
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February 26, 2011 10:15:09 PM

dragonorb13 said:
Possible you're right, but since I'm too lazy to give up until my brain explodes of it's own accord out of my ears... At least be nice enough to tell me HOW you did it, rather than just saying 'you can't do it'. I appreciate the head's up that YOU couldn't get it to work, but if you did it... HOW DID YOU DO IT?!?!?!

I used Xserver and configured an old laptop as a thin client. The bottleneck you'll find is network latency, the time it takes to take the graphics, convert them to bitmap, send them through the network to the client pc, then display them. Yes, _I_ couldn't get it to work because its not possible and not designed to do it. I'm not the only one saying it either. Keep working at it, I'm sure eventually your forehead will make a hole in that wall.
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February 27, 2011 2:18:41 AM

someone19 said:
I used Xserver and configured an old laptop as a thin client. The bottleneck you'll find is network latency, the time it takes to take the graphics, convert them to bitmap, send them through the network to the client pc, then display them. Yes, _I_ couldn't get it to work because its not possible and not designed to do it. I'm not the only one saying it either. Keep working at it, I'm sure eventually your forehead will make a hole in that wall.


Alright, then. Now that I know how you were doing it, let me ask you a couple questions, if you happen to have the answers:
1) What were the specs on the server you used?
2) What were the specs on the laptop you used?
3) what was your network connection speed?
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February 27, 2011 5:37:34 PM

P4 3.2ghz 3gb ram for the server, never above 15% CPU when using non-cpu intensive applications.
Laptop is a 2ghz centrino 4ghz running win7 and nomachine's client to connect via XDMC.
I'm running gigabit ethernet wired lan.

The best performance I got was using the nomachine server and client, but that still wasn't enough to even surf webpages. I've been clustering machines for 10 years, I had a Beowuf cluster of 10 386's running RH linux 4 back in 1995.

If you could use PC's in the way you propose, why build a new computer? Just hook it up with another cheaper unit and now you have your next great gaming computer! The network protocols and subsystems don't support 3d, or opengl, directx, etc. I say again, for your purpose, sell the boat anchor and get a gaming computer.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2011 8:11:36 PM

Quote:
The nice thing about being new to the concept is that I have no bloody clue what's possible and what's not.
You might have a clue or two already. Otherwise you'd have been off gaming a week ago.
You've been given straight answers.
But as you pointed out it doesn't hurt for you to keep trying.
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February 27, 2011 11:52:04 PM

You're right, WR2, he did give me a clue. He specifically stated that his attempt to use a laptop as a thin-client (no explanation on how, precisely, he did that) with a server failed miserably. So that gives the hint at an attempt at a really dumbed down version of a client-server system. I do see one issue with the whole thing, and that's that, if he used the same type of thin-client protocols that Walmart's thin clients use, then it's only even programed to allow the absolute basic data flow, has no real capacity for utilizing video drivers, and is basically the Pong of Windows XP... no brains. If he means that he was simply using it as a workstation, then who knows? I only know about the thin clients at Walmart because because I used to work on remodels as a network tech, and I had to know at least enough to diagnose what the store employees broke while I was on site.

The only 'straight answers' I got were about the hardware specs on the server and the laptop he used. As to a straight answer about the original topic (that of clustering) he provided nothing on it, despite his claim he's been using a small scale Beowulf cluster for about a decade; (also, that of using it as some type of client-server system) he provided no information beyond a skim-over of what he tried, and failed, to do.

As to the 'impossibility' of it, here's several issues with it: 1) I've seen precisely what I'm trying to do done. The host of a lan party I attended had a system set up with a server (tower style, but I wouldn't think that shape of the server would make a difference) was where I got the original idea, and before anyone says 'well, call him up'... I have no means of contacting him. 2) Several online games are designed to do EXACTLY this, such as Dungeons and Dragons online and World of Warcraft. Guild Wars, everything but character data is operated client side. So that right there blows the 'impossible' factor to smithereens. 3) Nothing is impossible. It might be impractical for anyone with a budget to do (hence, by the way, the reason most people don't ever bother with it and just buy a new system). It might be an unattractive prospect that will take me days to set up correctly. Heck, it might even be mildly insane to even bother with it. But seeing as I'm poor, mildly insane, moderately patient, and extremely impractical I don't see a problem with any of those issues.

I'm not asking if it's possible or not. I know for a fact that it IS possible, if you set it up right. I'm asking HOW to do it. If you think it's impossible, great... I don't mind a little warning 'hey, I couldn't get it to work, but here's what I did." But just saying "It's impossible" is asinine. Please? Can someone actually give me an answer? Client-server system, acceptable. Don't know how to do it, but it's a possibility. Cluster was the first thought, but as I said, might be a bit of a pain in the rear and might be impractical. Great, I love impractical ideas. Just need to know at least the basics of *how to do it*. Some other weird, random and bizarre idea that even only might work? Awsomesauce. I love weird, random and bizarre.

The only thing I ask is no idiocy about it NOT being possible. I'm GOING to make this work. Period. Don't try to dissuade me, dissuasion only makes me annoyed and more determined.
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a c 90 B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2011 12:06:08 AM

dragonorb13 said:
But just saying "It's impossible" is asinine.
Not if it's true.
The clue I was suggesting was you're still asking how after more than a week of researching.
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February 28, 2011 12:27:07 AM

Ah, you mean the clue that nobody that has looked either knows or wants to take the time to answer. Yes, I got that hint. The choices were either ignore the hint, and hope someone eventually gave me something useful, or give up. Since giving up can always be done later, and it's not useful, I figured I'd just ignore it for now.
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February 28, 2011 12:54:58 AM

Your lan party example has one big hole in it. The server wasn't running the game, it was simply a host to many many clients. Multiplayer games have had this functionality since DOOM.

If you asked a machine to host 5-10 players, AND be one of those players, the whole thing wouldn't work well, so they made a server mode to the game and had one central machine act as host, while all the clients machines did the physics and graphics processing independently. The only thing the host provides is the location and information from all of the other players to be displayed on your computer. NOW, if your computer can't run the game well in single player mode, hooking it to a server won't improve your game play.

This has nothing to do with the situation you so specifically laid out, which is asking a different computer to be a 'monitor' to your main computer.

http://www.nomachine.com/

This is the software I used (and have already told you about) The server is running Gentoo Linux, Xorg xserver 1.9 and KDE 4.6.0 I use it regularly as my server runs HEADLESS (no monitor) in the closet, but for more complex administration that becomes cumbersome on the command line I use the graphical interface.

I applaud your willingness to delve into this subject, the support just isn't there for 3D games to be run from one machine to the other over a network.

Since giving up can be done later, and there is no useful advice to give, and ignoring the constant answer you've been finding, I guess its time to give up.
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February 28, 2011 1:14:03 AM

someone19 said:
Your lan party example has one big hole in it. The server wasn't running the game, it was simply a host to many many clients. Multiplayer games have had this functionality since DOOM.

When I say that he had it set up the way I'm trying to do it, I mean that he had set it up the way I'm trying to do it. Yeah, he had a server hosting the game, but it was a different server. The system I saw him using for PLAYING it was a different server unit all together, running the game through an old P3 system (given the plethora of equipment he had, I think the P3 was just for statement, but never the less) that was basically acting purely as the graphics card.Thing only even had enough room on the hard drive for XP, barely.
Also, since he didn't have the game installed on any of the machines that were playing it, wouldn't that also mean that his hosting server was actually running several instances of the game? I say that he didn't have it installed on them because two of the machines were Walmart thin-clients (quite literally, as they still had the Walmart sticker on the bottom), which means that neither of them even had hard drives in them, that he'd modified extensively.
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February 28, 2011 1:36:34 AM

Then you were in the presence of a man far smarter than I, and I bow to his greatness. Good luck in finding your unicorn my friend.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2011 1:58:28 AM

What you're asking for is to create something like onlive has done. But you'll need to write your own code for this to work. You could also use some remote software like logmein which is fine for browsing webpages, but I still don't see you having a low enough latency to snipe someones head. Finally, your server specs are crap for gaming. Remember we are talking about some P4s here. As I mentioned in a prior post a 2180 with a 9500GT will give you a better gaming experience then anything you work out with that server.

If you are debating something with someone and he tells you you are wrong, there is obviously a chance that he is wrong instead. But when everyone you meet tells you the idea is bad, you are better off listening to them then wasting your time. But of course you're not going to believe me, so good luck.
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February 28, 2011 2:23:28 AM

For some reason I've been watching this thread unfold for a few days now. From what I can tell, your determined to use what you have to do what you need. Theres nothing wrong with that.

I think that you need to post this identical thread in several tech sites. If you get the same answers then it may be a good idea to consider another path.

My question to you is:

1 - What games are you trying to run?

2 - Is there a reason it needs to be running on multiple computers?

3 - What is the current hardware specs of your gaming rig?

I know about your server so no need to go on about the hardware or net worth of that unit...
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2011 3:46:57 AM

It needs to run on multiple computers because he can't get a PCI video card to work in the server. As I understand it, he hopes to get a "thin client" with a working GPU to handle the GPU part of the games, while having the server and its CPUs do that part. Onlive is the closest thing I can think of that does this, and even there it doesn't do this. I believe the answer to #3 is there is no gaming rig. He said in the first post he was going to turn the server into his gaming rig, but he can't find a PCI video card that works.
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February 28, 2011 4:49:11 AM

Then I'd say sell the server and get this:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

It's not the greatest system but not bad for the $$$. It will be 500x greater than anything you can get out of your current hardware for gaming.

I understand your excitement to try and keep the server setup as having two cpus looks cool. The single cpu in the system I suggested would blow out those two single core cpus.

If you can manage to sing and dance for another 50 bucks you can pick up a cheap video card that will be 500x better than the onboard video on the motherboard and then your set.


You will still need an OS...

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February 28, 2011 8:40:18 AM

Buddy, I can barely sing and dance for the 50 for the vid card, much less 200 for the computer itself. The cores in my server are twin DUAL-core, not single, at 3.0 ghz. Current 'gaming rig' is a single core 1.6 ghz Acer with 4 gigs ram and I THINK a 32 bit GPU with about 256 vid dedicated ram. I mean, if they made a USB vid card that did the job, I'd probably be a happy camper... I'd just put 64 bit XP on the server and go.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2011 12:24:43 PM

Have you tried any of my suggestions with the IRQ's and placement of the video card? No money involved, just time. And you can do some searches on IRQ settings to understand better what you are trying to make them do.
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February 28, 2011 2:31:27 PM

You said before that the server was worth 200 so sell it. Surely you can brown bag lunch or cut corners on something to pick up a 50.00 video card at some point. It may take a few weeks to pull together the funds but it's doable. Put your server on eBay for 250.00 and see what happens.

The only hope I see for your current setup would be the fact that USB 3.0 and thunderbolt may open the door for someone to creat a USB capable GPU but that still doesn't help you because you will need to install another add on card to have a 3.0 or thunderbolt connection and that may not be compatible either. Besides, that technology hasn't been created yet and at best may be 18 months or further away and will cost money I'm sure you won't have then either.

If your nice about it, I'm wiling to bet there are some peeps on this site that would donate a video card to your cause for the 200.00 rig I suggested and probably donate an old copy of XP or Vista for you to use. Heck, you could probably get donations for your entire rig piece by piece.

But your going to have to smother your thread in nice sauce to get the results you need.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 28, 2011 4:06:02 PM

Quote:
The cores in my server are twin DUAL-core, not single, at 3.0 ghz.


Not really impressive. P4 based so its really 2 hyperthreaded cores running at 3.0GHz. And because they are P4s, they have HORRIBLE instructions per clock compared to anything recent. Toms did an article where they showed that in most cases a dual core Atom CPU was faster then a P4 system. When they came out the 6300, the slowest of the C2D CPUs was faster in every way then the 3.73GHz P4EE. As I've been saying a 2180 would probably be as fast or faster then what you have. The P4s are a joke, plain and simple.

You can keep smashing your head against the wall trying to find a way to make something work, or just dump what you have for as much $$$ as you can and move on. You will never get a good gaming setup out of a 1U server. It simply wasn't designed for it.
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February 28, 2011 5:28:05 PM

Suteck: As a matter of fact, I did, and I was meaning to get back to you... I DO use USB devices, but I still disabled the motherboard's USB IRQ anyways, just to see what would happen. Also tried forcing it to give the PCI slots a different IRQ than it was using, just to see if I could get it going. Also, I did try it in the other slot. No dice on any of it. I do appreciate the suggestions, though.

Englandr753: I already go with out lunch most of the time, more than half my meals are ramen noodles (I do like me some ramen, just not quite THAT much), and it's worth $200... doesn't mean anyone's going to buy it. Most companies would rather spend their money on a new server, or a server that's got more power. I bought it for price and because I knew the guy that was offering it. As to donations, I lost all hope for the kindness of humanity as a whole ages ago... the occasional individual still gives me a pleasant surprise every once in a while, but as a whole the human race sucks. Unless you wanna buy it off me? ;)  I could probably scrounge up a second one, if you want 'em hehe.

Random numbers guy: Didn't realize that about the Xeons, but hey. Already got the equipment, just wanna see if I can get it to be untarded.
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March 1, 2011 6:34:44 PM

I'm just curious... when a profile for a video card says "graphic applications"... wtf do they mean? I mean, here's a site that says it... http://www.trittontechnologies.com/index.php?cID=145 so, yeah... Mentioned earlier about USB vid card solving my problem, figured meh, why not look it up... most of the ones I could find have nearly identical overviews... would thing thing work, or no?
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March 1, 2011 9:54:42 PM

I want to apologize to anyone I offended during this post. I've got a lot of personal crap going on, which I'm not going to delve into, that's got me extremely frustrated with everything in general and I took it out on you guys, which I had no reason to do, since most of these posts were a general attempt to help me out. Sorry.
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March 2, 2011 12:13:48 AM

That adapter you linked to is good for general use and not for gaming. It wouldn't support anything larger than a 22" monitor and wouldn't handle heavy 3d applications such as gaming.

If they make a new version of that to take advantage of usb 3.0 or thunderbolt, you may have a chance at some form of gaming, maybe.

Thanks for the apology dragonorb13. That puts a lot of things in perspective for everyone and they can understand what was going on now...
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March 2, 2011 12:31:05 AM

s'all good.

The new post on Toms has some good info in regards to latency of processing graphics during games. I found it an interesting read and thought of this post during it. I'll grab a link:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/lucidlogix-virtu-gp...

Taken from halfway down the page under "Overcoming Overhead"
---SNIP---
Naturally, the process of mapping one adapter’s frame buffer to the other’s over PCI Express is not free. You’re generally looking a 1 to 1.2 ms process.

So, say you’re running Call of Duty at 100 frames per second. That means each frame is being rendered in 10 ms. Factor in the time it takes to move that frame from the discrete GPU to the other GPU for output, and you’re looking at 11.2 ms or slightly more than 89 frames per second.
---SNIP---

So even on a modern PCI-E bus, internal to the host machine a 1.2ms lag to copy and transfer and load each frame to be displayed. Now, if you figure that that happens after the GPU has processed the data, any data from the game core has to be sent to the GPU first will be much more. On a typical LAN, you can get a 1.2ms ping, but to transfer the data you need to compile those images, it'll be a much larger lagtime. This will just take frame rates down to nothing, no matter what implementation or software you use.

What you have is a server, its designed to provide very fast IO, rapidly and reliably. It'll crush any of the folding@home or other projects when compared to desktop class hardware of the same vintage, but even when new, it'd struggle to even run games your current computer will crush.

Good luck and Godspeed.
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March 2, 2011 1:43:09 AM

Tbh, if I could get some assistance in setting up the server to host my media center data from my home to another location that I frequent, I would definitely consider trading you a decent gaming rig for that server. I have an extra system that I believe is an E8500 cpu ( I will have to get back to you on that model).

I would be willing to trade because what you have would be better for what I want to do and what I have would be much better for what you want to do.

If you don't get all the needed hardware donated in a reasonable time frame, we can talk afterwards on trading systems.

How hard would it be to install SATA controller cards to add multiple 2 tb hard drives? I would want to be able to set it up with 10 hard drives in the future...
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March 2, 2011 2:28:00 AM

englandr753 said:
Tbh, if I could get some assistance in setting up the server to host my media center data from my home to another location that I frequent, I would definitely consider trading you a decent gaming rig for that server. I have an extra system that I believe is an E8500 cpu ( I will have to get back to you on that model).

I would be willing to trade because what you have would be better for what I want to do and what I have would be much better for what you want to do.

If you don't get all the needed hardware donated in a reasonable time frame, we can talk afterwards on trading systems.

How hard would it be to install SATA controller cards to add multiple 2 tb hard drives? I would want to be able to set it up with 10 hard drives in the future...


Here's the stats on the server: 1x146g hard drive 10kRPM (Has an open slot for a second one, but the one it came with was toast)
the same twin dual-core 3.0ghz Xeon cores (which are apparently P4 based, so only count as twin 3.0ghz single core)
6g ram (turns out some of the 1g pc2600 chips went the way of the dodo on me and I had to replace them with spare 512m chips... got an extra pair of the 512s, you can have them too) but it has a max of 16g. The 2g chips are about 30-50 depending on if you can find them on sale.
1x PCI-x (not -e) full height 133mhz bus and 1x PCI-x low profile 100mhz bus. So, as long as the SATA cards are either PCI
http://www.amazon.com/Syba-SATA-RAID-Controller-SY-PCI4...
or PCI-x
http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&q=pci-x+sa...
you should be able to do it pretty easily, though there's no internal mounting for them... It's a rack server, so you'd have to either find a card for PCI/PCI-x ports that would let you attach them externally or make some holes in one of the flaps to run them outside. Other than THAT minor snafu, it shouldn't be hard to attach up to 8 SATA drives of any size.

If you want, I can take pictures of the unit opened up so you can see everything that it comes with.
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March 2, 2011 2:41:42 AM

As to how to actually set up the server as a Media server, I'm not 100% certain. I'm still trying to figure out how to do a lot of the server setup myself, and my Server OS class doesn't even start for another two weeks =/ I are sad.
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a b B Homebuilt system
March 2, 2011 3:08:11 AM

Englandr, its a 1U server. You'll never fit 10 drives in it.

There has to be a PCIx video card that works in it. Anyone know of an IBM server forum where someone might have posted X works in his server?
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March 2, 2011 3:27:47 AM

No, but he can still do either an external set up (I'm SURE there's some cards out there with SATA connections on the outside) or use a pair of tin snips to mod the shell and make/buy an enclosure (personally, I'd probably end up doing the latter, but then I'm just lazy like that) that would still give him 8 of them. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a USB adapter for one at a time that would give him the other two, or three if he wanted... It has 3 USBs, and PS/2 ports for mouse and keyboard, as well as a serial port for older serial mice (using a serial trackball... hunted for a trackball of ANY kind for like two years, found one in my neighbor's junk pile lol)

There is ONE PCI-x vid card that i've ever seen, and it's a 16-bit processor... if I wanted SNES graphics, I'd stick with the on board vid lol. Though theoretically it will also take any PCI v2 card, IF I can find one that will work. Couldn't find anything on IBM's forums, and I even harassed their level 3 tech support (they were NOT happy that I managed to get the level 1 tech to transfer me over to them lol) I Bite Monkey's servers are allegedly 100% incompatible with outside video cards, period.
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March 2, 2011 1:13:11 PM

Both of those SATA controller cards list that they are compatable with port multipliers, so you can put multiple SATA drives into one of the controller's ports. External enclosures can house and power the drives.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

An example I quickly found on newegg. I'm sure a more indepth search could reveal more choices.
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!