Adapting a GPU to a server platform

Gary Roberts
Gary Roberts
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ka1bqp wrote:SUCCESS!!! My

ka1bqp wrote:

SUCCESS!!!

My new (to me) DL360 is up and crunching with the GT1030 on Windows 7!

Congratulations!  I'm very pleased to hear that!

I've been following your adventure without commenting because I believe that offering gratuitous 'advice' without the experience to back it up is pointless and quite counter-productive.  I used to run a number of old servers back around 2008.  Several were DL360s or DL380s (Gen 1 or 2) that had dual Pentium 3 (Tualatin, up to 1.4GHz) CPUs.  They could actually out-perform the early P4 CPUs that came immediately after the P3 era ended.  However, none of that is relevant to your situation and I've not run any true servers since that time so no comment from me.

A couple of times you commented about trying Linux.  With Windows working for you (and unless you want a 'learning curve' adventure) the 'easy' thing to do is stay as you are - but get yourself a 'better' GPU - something like a 2nd hand RX 460 on ebay if you want something cheap.

There's something wrong with your current setup with the GT 1030.  Your most recently returned tasks are showing markedly different times.  Some are showing around 4,000s and others around 30,000s.  Have you tried investigating why that is happening?  If you were using an RX 460, you could run 2 tasks concurrently and expect to get a crunch time of around 2500s for both.  In other words you would be completing a GPU task every ~20 mins or so (2 in ~40 mins).  The CPU support required would be way less than what it currently is.  Many of the 460s don't require external PCIe power connectors so if you could get one of those it should simply slot straight in.

If you are up for an adventure, I'm sure your system would run quite well under Linux.  It all depends what your priorities are.  If you want a stimulating and very rewarding challenge, by all means give Linux a spin on that hardware - but get yourself a better GPU first :-).

Cheers,
Gary.

Matt White
Matt White
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Gary Roberts

Gary Roberts wrote:

Congratulations!  I'm very pleased to hear that!

I've been following your adventure without commenting because I believe that offering gratuitous 'advice' without the experience to back it up is pointless and quite counter-productive.  I used to run a number of old servers back around 2008.  Several were DL360s or DL380s (Gen 1 or 2) that had dual Pentium 3 (Tualatin, up to 1.4GHz) CPUs.

Thank you, Gary.

I appreciate the good thoughts. I have a stack of DL360's, mostly G5's, still sitting at one of my sites. They were all slated to be E-Wasted until I asked if I could have them. I also have 4 Solaris Netra 5220 SPARC servers sitting up there. That's a beast of a box, but I understand there might be a LINUX distro for it. We ran them as GAS (Generic Application Servers) in a trunked radio system. At some point, I'm going to have to find homes for them, after I yank the hard drives.

I actually did get a LINUX box up and running (including getting the NVIDIA drivers loaded) with one of my XW4600s, using Ubuntu. I was actually able to crunch numbers on E@H with it. This was in preparation for migrating the server to LINUX. Had I not had so much trouble getting vnc to work right, I might have been up on LINUX right now. I've played with it about 20 years ago (Caldrea Open LINUX), and a brief flirtation with Ubuntu a few years back, but I've never had the time to really dive into it.

I looked at the time discrepancies you mentioned: that might be due to the older card I had dropped in before getting the GT1030 to work. The GT710 is painfully slow. 34,000 seconds is about 9 and 1/2 hours which is about right for the GT710 when running the current FGRP #1 task. With the GT1030, the same task took an hour and 6 minutes, or about 4000 seconds, so that might be what you are seeing. I'll look at the figures again tomorrow afternoon and see if I have any issues. Thanks for mentioning it.

Matt

 

Clear skies,
Matt
cecht
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Gary Roberts wrote:With

Gary Roberts wrote:
With Windows working for you (and unless you want a 'learning curve' adventure) the 'easy' thing to do is stay as you are - but get yourself a 'better' GPU - something like a 2nd hand RX 460 on ebay if you want something cheap.

Do we know whether the PCIe slot on that DL360 motherboard can power a 75W RX 460? The TDP for the GT 1030 is only 30W. I read somewhere that PCIe slots on older servers are rather low powered.

Ideas are not fixed, nor should they be; we live in model-dependent reality.

Gary Roberts
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cecht wrote:I read somewhere

cecht wrote:
I read somewhere that PCIe slots on older servers are rather low powered.

Thanks for bringing this point up.

It would certainly be wise for Matt to check the specs for the particular server model he has.  Way back, x16 slots used to be 60 watts and then it was upgraded to 75 watts somewhere about the transition from 1.x to 2.0 I think.

If the specs show something lower, all the RX 460s I've seen have a set of 6 solder pads and it would be trivial for someone with a soldering iron to add the socket to the place provided.  I always wondered why those pads were there.  I guess it may be because there are boards around with low power x16 slots so a socket could be added to the GPU to allow the full 75W to come via the external cable.

I've seen just one brand (XFX) that has the six pin socket already in place.  I have Asus, Gigabyte and Sapphire with no socket and they are all in 1.x or 2.0 boards.  None have given any trouble with power.

Cheers,
Gary.

Matt White
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cecht wrote:Do we know

cecht wrote:
Do we know whether the PCIe slot on that DL360 motherboard can power a 75W RX 460? The TDP for the GT 1030 is only 30W. I read somewhere that PCIe slots on older servers are rather low powered.

I remember reading that on one of the HP forums, as well, but there were different figures being tossed around so I'm taking it all with a grain of salt. :) According to the HP manual, a 150W card can be added using the optional HP power cable. I could not find the spec for the connector alone. The XW4600 motherboards are clearly labeled with a 75W limit + an additional 75W with an add on cable. For now, I'm going to leave well enough alone. The GT1030 was head and shoulders above the GT710 in performance.

Gary, I took another look at the GPU numbers this morning. I installed the GT1030 at about 13:00 EDT (17:00 UTC) on the 29th. Prior to that, the box was running the GT710. There was also one task in the middle of being crunched when I took the box down for maintenance. Looking at the logs, after 14:00, every E@H GPU task is coming in between 4200 to 4500 seconds, a 772% decrease in crunch time. :) By comparison, the GPU task over at M@H showed a 375% decrease in crunch time. I suspect the difference between these 2 tasks is caused by how each application uses the GPU/CPU combination, and the coding of the applications.

I'll dig more into the HP specs and see what I can determine. It would be nice to have the option of running a faster GPU, but, considering the numbers above, I'm quite pleased with the performance of my new toy. :)

Matt

Clear skies,
Matt
Gary Roberts
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ka1bqp wrote:According to the

ka1bqp wrote:
According to the HP manual, a 150W card can be added using the optional HP power cable.

And that tells you all you need to know :-).  The critical points are:-

  1. The PCIe slot is stock standard with the current spec and can supply 75W (if needed).
  2. The server's PSU is good for (at least) an extra 150W without having to worry about its ratings.
  3. You could use any GPU with either none or a six pin power socket without issue.
  4. For a future card upgrade that required extra power, you wouldn't have to purchase the optional HP cable - any consumer grade dual molex to 6pin PCIe cable would work - provided your PSU still has 4 pin molex connectors, of course :-).

I hadn't realised that you only changed to the GT 1030 card so recently so was puzzled by the vast differences I was seeing.  Sorry if I gave you a scare :-).

Cheers,
Gary.

Matt White
Matt White
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Update. Concerning power

Update.

Concerning power consumption. Looking through the manual, I found the power input spec to be a max draw of 526 Watts, which converts to 12.624 KWH per day, or about 378.72 KWH per month. This figure is with the server running at full tilt. This is roughly 80 USD a month added to my electric bill. As configured, I'm running about 82% of the maximum load (311 KWH) which equates to about 65 USD per month.

It will be interesting to see if next month's bill reflects this, although, we had a heat wave which will skew the figures.

All for the good cause of the advancement of science, but, I would not want to run more than one of these. :)

Clear skies,
Matt
Matt White
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After installing the new UPS,

After installing the new UPS, I determined that the power draw of the new server is 355 Watts. This is the actual draw from the AC line. This makes sense, as the power draw reported in ILO was reported at 315 Watts and switchmode power supplies are quite efficient. 

Clear skies,
Matt
Sid
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Matt White wrote:After

Matt White wrote:
After installing the new UPS, I determined that the power draw of the new server is 355 Watts. This is the actual draw from the AC line. This makes sense, as the power draw reported in ILO was reported at 315 Watts and switchmode power supplies are quite efficient. 

Talking about a drawing of the power. I've 3 relatively outdated 1366 2XCPUs servers. The combined consuming power is more that  1 KW. For sure it costs a bit. However my main concern is reliable power plugs.

I have already had an accident with firework under the heavy load with one of power plug.

So I'd advice to have a look at power plugs periodically.

 

 

 

Keith Myers
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Buy yourself hospital grade

Buy yourself hospital grade outlets and plugs.  They are heavier duty than standard parts and have a much higher gripping force in the contacts that prevents them from being yanked out if tripped over and also produce much lower heating under high current because the high grip force produces less contact resistance.

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