Adding a GPU - Feedback and choices


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SSimek
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Message 1326648 - Posted: 11 Jan 2013, 12:02:07 UTC

I may have posted this in the wrong forum initially (preferences). Apologies if so. I'm moving it to this forum due to lack of response...

Looking for suggestions. All feedback appreciated.

My current environment is a Dell Optiplex 755 with 2.4Ghz dual CPU and ATI (28xx, older than old). I do not have heavy requirements for gaming, but would like to throw between $50 and $80 disposable income this month into adding a new graphics card, primarily or totally for the purpose of enhancing my SETI participation.

I have started reading the CUDA FAQ and am currently leaning towards a Nvidia GeForce 630 on the assumption that although the compute power is listed as identical between the 610, 620, and 630, the extra cores in the 630 will be a benefit (assuming that SETI can use the cores effectively).

Looking for feedback on the value of doing this to help the amount of tasks I can handle as well as confirmation or alternative suggestions on appropriate GPU selection.

Thanks in advance

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Message 1326671 - Posted: 11 Jan 2013, 14:24:42 UTC

Looking at the comparison for the 600 series on wikipedia shows 3 different 630 cards.

While there is a version listed with 192 cores I couldn't find anyone selling one. So my next preference would be for the GDDR5 version. Looks like newegg has one for $50, after a rebate, right now too. It looks like there are also a few GT 640 cards around that would fit within your budget.

With the lower power consumption of these cards you will not have to worry about using a PCIe power connector. Which your machine may not have if they are liek the Optiplex 745's I have.
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Message 1326706 - Posted: 11 Jan 2013, 16:16:49 UTC - in response to Message 1326671.

My new 630 is doing nicely so far. It's doing a lot more work than the CPU in that computer was (it's no longer crunching). Overall quieter too. I can't give you any statistics for it, but it always has 100 Seti tasks in progress, even when Einstein is hogging it with short deadlines running in HP.

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Message 1326790 - Posted: 11 Jan 2013, 19:44:28 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jan 2013, 19:44:39 UTC

I just remembered the machines are BTX format systems. The CPU and i/o slots are laid out in reverse order from an ATX system. So dual slot cards will not work.
You will probably have to find a single slot model or you would have to try to modify the bracket on a dual slot card.
All of the 630's I have seen, so far, in single slot configuration are DDR3 instead of 5. A bit slower, but all are 100% faster than your current card. There are a few 640's, like this model, that are single slot. However they are initially a bit over the $80 you specified until their rebate is factored.
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Message 1326850 - Posted: 11 Jan 2013, 22:22:55 UTC

I might be ok with the 640 assuming again that I can take full advantage of the 384 cores, which I assume is a yes.

Next step, I need to validate my 755 power supply to support the card's rated spec for a 350 watt minimum supply. The 755 slot is rated 75W but I don't see a rating on that card.

Good options, thanks for the continued help!

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Message 1326870 - Posted: 11 Jan 2013, 23:23:07 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jan 2013, 23:25:33 UTC

Ok, I have a 305W power supply, so the 640 is out (unless I upgrade the power supply). Looks like I can get a GT440 with 512MB and DDR5 or a GT630 with 1GB and DDR3 that both will work in my machine (the cards run 65W). According to the NVidia comparison page, both cards have 96 cores and approximately the same clock specs.

Question 1: Can I best utilize 512MB with DDR5 or 1GB with DDR3? I know that DDR5 is faster, but will the greater memory in the DDR3 over rule that advantage?

Question 2: Given that the chipsets are the same, are performance specs fairly even across the spectrum of manufacturers, or are there certain manufacturers to stay away from?

Thanks again. This is educational and the feedback is much appreciated from everybody.

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Message 1327139 - Posted: 12 Jan 2013, 17:51:46 UTC

A GT430 will be very marginal with a 350W power supply, I tried it and it wasn't as stable as I wanted, falling over after a few days due to the PSU not being as stable as needed.
I'm not sure, but I think you'll find any of the 430, 530 and 630 require about the same rating on the PSU, also the 430 is now getting to be quite an "old" technology and probably nowhere near as fast a cruncher as the later ones.
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Message 1327148 - Posted: 12 Jan 2013, 18:16:45 UTC

on one machine with a 300W power supply.. the GT430 took less power than the GT220. The *40's would have used significantly more power.

in the change from 5** to 6** the graphic processors themselves started using significantly less power per shader, but the number of shaders increased dramatically. nvidia.com gave a good general idea of actual power draw.

in any case my 300W power supply has been supporting the 430, and before that the 220 as well as doubled system memory without incident for 2-3 years.

your mileage may vary. Oh and you should be able to pick up a 450 watt no-name power supply (IF you have problems) for under $50 that should meet the needs.
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Message 1327149 - Posted: 12 Jan 2013, 18:18:08 UTC - in response to Message 1327139.

Thanks for the feedback. Without the help of everyone in this post, I would have easily fallen into the trap. Definitely most of the 630's out there are dual width and even the singles specifically recommend a 350 or 400W PSU, but the Zotac recommends only a 300 and runs 65W, which will fit the specs of my 755. Even though I found a 630 DDR5 512MB unit that also seems to fit the specs, I am not comfortable with the brand (ECS). I think I'll feel confident about stability with the Zotac 1GB DDR3 65W card. I'm still thinking of upgrading the PSU, but I'm not sure my 755 PCIe slot would like it... :)
I'll report back in a new thread!

Message boards : Number crunching : Adding a GPU - Feedback and choices

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