Tweaker Turns GeForce GTX 690 Into a Quadro K5000

A user from the EEV forums has figured out a way to turn the dual GPU GTX 690 into a Quadro K5000 graphics card. While the K5000 might be a single GPU part, the modification to the GTX 690 turns one of the GPUs into a Quadro K5000 chip. The Quadro K5000 card is a business-oriented card that costs about twice as much as a GTX 690 and requires special drivers to run.

The user's motive to modify the card was that GeForce cards might support Nvidia Surround in Windows but do not support this under Linux. The Quadro cards, apart from different memory, are almost identical to the consumer cards. That supports this feature, which led the user to believe that it would be a driver issue that could be resolved by making the Linux box think that it was running a K5000 graphics card.
 

This was correct, and by a simple hardware modification on the PCB, the PCI Device ID can be changed so that the system drivers believe that it is actually running a Quadro card. We do know if the system sees the card as a Quadro K5000 card, but we cannot be sure about whether it actually performs like one or if it is entirely bug-free. Nvidia's Quadro cards carry ECC enabled memory that the consumer graphics cards lack.
 

Sadly, Nvidia hasn't responded to the story, and the forum posting where the process was explained has been taken offline.

This trick can not only be applied to this card; we've seen it in the past with other graphics cards. For example, currently, users could possibly utilize the same trick to turn a GTX 660 Ti or a GTX 670 into a GTX 680. The already disabled CUDA cores remain disabled though, so there will not be a full performance benefit. Taking a more interesting example though, perhaps we might see users apply the same process to the GTX Titan, turning it back into a Tesla K20(X) card and saving a lot of money in the process.

Tell us, if you had a GTX Titan or GTX 690, would you consider giving this trick a shot?

UPDATE: The tweaker in question has linked us to the main thread, and has mentioned that he is accepting donations so that he can buy another GTX 690. The reason for the purchase of another GTX690 is because it is not clear which mods turn the other GPU into a K5000 part, and it is too risky for the tweaker to risk his only card for this. Therefore a second card will be purchased if there are enough donations, after which the hacking can carry on. Here is the forum.

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  • tipoo
    He (or tomshardware?) should try running things that use Quadro acceleration on it, Mudbox, Maya, etc. Then compare the test back to the actual K5000 and see if it runs stably for long renders, then you can tell if it's just the name that changed or if it really behaves like a K5000. Pretty sweet if it did, I missed the days of turning consumer cards into workstation beasts.
    12
  • glob
    Quote:
    I don't see it being useful for actual application as the Quadro's have ECC memory for a reason and that is why they cost so much more and anyone using an application that needs the ECC memory is not going to risk the accuracy of the data just to save a few bucks !


    Quote:
    Well actually most of the reason why these sort of cards cost more is mainly because of manufacturer support.


    No, the reason why they cost (much) more is because companies and freelancers see it worthy to spend through the nose for the added performance gained by the drivers. ECC is a fraction of the added cost and the manufacturer support is irrelevant for most people. The productivity gained from faster rendering jobs is not.
    11
  • Other Comments
  • anononon
    I am very curious to see how well this performs.

    If it does well, thats great! I remember years ago you could solder a couple points to turn a 200 series (I think) into a quadro card as well. That worked great then, why not now?
    6
  • tipoo
    He (or tomshardware?) should try running things that use Quadro acceleration on it, Mudbox, Maya, etc. Then compare the test back to the actual K5000 and see if it runs stably for long renders, then you can tell if it's just the name that changed or if it really behaves like a K5000. Pretty sweet if it did, I missed the days of turning consumer cards into workstation beasts.
    12
  • renz496
    Quote:
    ell us, if you had a GTX Titan or GTX 690, would you consider giving this trick a shot?


    for people that really intend to use properly it i don't think anyone would dare doing so. unless they can get it free but still able to get replacement on top of that after breaking one. btw why need to flash Titan into Quadro (if ever existed)? the performance for the card has been unlock so if they really want quadro like performance and precision maybe they just need to tinker with quadro driver to work with Titan
    1