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Best CUDA GPU for Dell Poweredge 6850

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 16, 2012 4:49:51 PM

Hi,

I'm trying to determine the best CUDA-based GPU I can use in my Dell Poweredge 6850. Has anyone ventured into this with a Poweredge 6850?

The primary reason for this is to add CUDA processing to my BOINC projects and really tap the potential of this system. It's been upgraded to max CPU stats (4x Dual-Core XEON 3.5Ghz) so I'd like to squeeze a bit more out of it during idle times. I'm currently using VMWare ESXi to put all 8 cores to work in Win7 as 2 processors with 8 cores each and can theoretically force the VM to use a GPU natively via hardware ID mapping.

Here's a list of information that may help:
- Uses PCI-E 8x (can modify the 16x cards to work)
- 3kw of power available and additional power connectors can be wired to the power supply backplane
- (Rumored) Dell limits PCI-E power consumption to 25W per slot. Since some GPUs pull 75W from the board, this can be an issue.

Thanks in advance to all that reply!

Update: After some research and experimentation, I've found that the primary issue is that the BIOS does not have the option to disable the onboard video and initialize the Video BIOS of an addon card. The only way to disable the onboard video that I'm aware of is to use the Dell DRAC card in slot 7 but no idea if this will enable the use of addon GPUs since I don't have one. Instead of modifying the video cards, I opted to use a soldering iron to melt out the back of the PCIE x8 slot (which worked really well and required only 5 mins) and I'm supplying power to the card via external power supply. If I happen to figure out how to disable onboard video, I'll be sure to update the thread.
June 16, 2012 3:06:16 AM

haxtrin said:
Hi,

I'm trying to determine the best CUDA-based GPU I can use in my Dell Poweredge 6850. Has anyone ventured into this with a Poweredge 6850?

The primary reason for this is to add CUDA processing to my BOINC projects and really tap the potential of this system. It's been upgraded to max CPU stats (4x Dual-Core XEON 3.5Ghz) so I'd like to squeeze a bit more out of it during idle times. I'm currently using VMWare ESXi to put all 8 cores to work in Win7 as 2 processors with 8 cores each and can theoretically force the VM to use a GPU natively via hardware ID mapping.

Here's a list of information that may help:
- Uses PCI-E 8x (can modify the 16x cards to work)
- 3kw of power available and additional power connectors can be wired to the power supply backplane
- (Rumored) Dell limits PCI-E power consumption to 25W per slot. Since some GPUs pull 75W from the board, this can be an issue.

Thanks in advance to all that reply!



I too am looking to get more graphics horspower out of my cluster of 6850's. but as of yet have not been able to get a single card to work in it. I have tried fire GL cards, quadro cards and even a couple desktop cards. all didnt require external power(no power plugs in the 6850)

my method on all cards was to cut the pins to 8x(didnt want to try cutting hte back out of the 6850 pcie slot) I cut one of the desktop cards down to 4x just for a test and still nothing. all cards work in my desktop after modification so I know my work is good. it seems that dell may have disabled the ability to use a pcie graphics card.

If I am wrong and you find a card that works let me know. I really only want dvi or dmi out. the rack they are in also houses a huge theater system so it woul dbe nice to just pull them up on my projector for the small amount of times I actualy need to see there display.

curent config is 3 6850's (4x 3ghz, 32gb 5x 2tb wd RE4) run in a cloud/cluster vsphere 5. mainy used for testing and mass storage.
December 6, 2013 9:38:39 PM

guentha said:
haxtrin said:
Hi,

I'm trying to determine the best CUDA-based GPU I can use in my Dell Poweredge 6850. Has anyone ventured into this with a Poweredge 6850?

The primary reason for this is to add CUDA processing to my BOINC projects and really tap the potential of this system. It's been upgraded to max CPU stats (4x Dual-Core XEON 3.5Ghz) so I'd like to squeeze a bit more out of it during idle times. I'm currently using VMWare ESXi to put all 8 cores to work in Win7 as 2 processors with 8 cores each and can theoretically force the VM to use a GPU natively via hardware ID mapping.


Here's a list of information that may help:
- Uses PCI-E 8x (can modify the 16x cards to work)
- 3kw of power available and additional power connectors can be wired to the power supply backplane
- (Rumored) Dell limits PCI-E power consumption to 25W per slot. Since some GPUs pull 75W from the board, this can be an issue.

Thanks in advance to all that reply!



I too am looking to get more graphics horspower out of my cluster of 6850's. but as of yet have not been able to get a single card to work in it. I have tried fire GL cards, quadro cards and even a couple desktop cards. all didnt require external power(no power plugs in the 6850)

my method on all cards was to cut the pins to 8x(didnt want to try cutting hte back out of the 6850 pcie slot) I cut one of the desktop cards down to 4x just for a test and still nothing. all cards work in my desktop after modification so I know my work is good. it seems that dell may have disabled the ability to use a pcie graphics card.

If I am wrong and you find a card that works let me know. I really only want dvi or dmi out. the rack they are in also houses a huge theater system so it woul dbe nice to just pull them up on my projector for the small amount of times I actualy need to see there display.

curent config is 3 6850's (4x 3ghz, 32gb 5x 2tb wd RE4) run in a cloud/cluster vsphere 5. mainy used for testing and mass storage.



Hi, I also have one 6850 with 4 dual core processors and 32Gb of ram. I bought it for really cheap at £37 to use like a huge desktop PC. I had the idea of upgrading the graphics to a GeForce GT 630 2Gb DDR3 Graphics Card to make use of all that onboard resource. I ran into a wall of problem and I could not find out any useful info from DELL to help me. When I connected the new card to PCI-E slot1 the bios automatically switched the initial display from the VGA over to that slot, good news!
All the black screen post messages were displayed clearly by the new card on my monitor making me feel that it would be a success. However when the post messages were complete and the operating system should start, the screen just goes blank. Hard disk light were flickering telling me that the o/s was starting up but the new card simply would not display a thing.
I later noticed that I could no longer enter the bios setup by pressing F2 during the post messages with this new card installed.
I tried uninstalling the card, running F2 setup then hot plugging the card back into slot1. But Setup would not startup the graphics card, nor would it even recognize it as being attached. I eventually scrapped the idea and now just make do with the onboard 1280x1024 screen res.
I am a novice at servers but ok with a PC, so i am thinking the reasons for failure are:
a) Maybe there is not enough power to slot1 to fire up the graphics card to display colour. I now know for sure that the GeForce GT 630 card needs 75w available. OR...
b) Maybe the 6850's PCI-E slots are rev1. The GeForce GT 630 card is definitely rev 2.0.
I hope my experience helps you to solve issue.
kb

!