Low power video card

Hardware upgrades, reuse, repairs, and optimizations. Fire hazards and bleeding edges.
StefanR5R
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Re: Low power video card

Post by StefanR5R » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:32 am

Some hardware specs:

GT 1030 ............ Pascal GP108-300-A1 ................... 1228 MHz ..... 14 nm Samsung
GTX 750 Ti ....... Maxwell GM107-400-A2 ................ 1020 MHz ..... 28 nm TSMC
GT 730 .............. Kepler 2.0 GK208B ........................... 902 MHz ..... 28 nm TSMC
GT 710 .............. Kepler 2.0 GK208 .............................. 954 MHz ..... 28 nm TSMC
GeForce 210 ... Tesla 2.0 GT218-300-A2/ -325-B1 ... 520 MHz ..... 40 nm TSMC
G550 ................. Condor ................................................. 125 MHz ... 180 nm UMC

These data are not really indicative of idle power usage though.

Icecold
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Re: Low power video card

Post by Icecold » Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:56 am

:lol: :shock: 180nm I shouldn't be shocked, the card I purchased was manufactured in 2005, but it was just surprising seeing such a high number

The Radeon 6450 arrived today. It's a very basic passively cooled card with a fairly small heatsink. I got my dual boot setup and switched over to Linux for the time being to run some Wanless(but with the Matrox the power usage was identical between running Numberfields in Windows and Wanless in Linux). The power usage is 130-131 watts currently with the 6450. If I start really moving Windows around, trying to make the GPU work a bit it will get up to 133-134 watts. The card cost $13 on eBay including shipping, and has an HDMI port which is nice(the Matrox is just 2 DVI ports). It seems like either of these is a good bet for my purpose. The 750ti power usage was good enough, and it could potentially be used for some low PPD folding or something(increasing the power usage), but it was also much more expensive than the other cards. For my purposes, either the 6450 or the Matrox both seem good, so each will go in a machine here.

I think I'm going to switch to 65 watts eco mode and compare the task times on Wanless to PPT being set manually to 88 watts currently.. I'm guessing where it really would take a huge hit would be on AVX2 workloads, though.(maybe?). Might be worth running some Primegrid as well. I'm not sure how low I'd have to get the power usage to be comparable to EPYC. 130 watts from the wall for 24 fairly highly clocked threads didn't seem too bad to me, though.

Edit - at 45 watt eco mode it's using 94 watts from the wall. Considering all that is in it is the 6450, 2 sticks of DDR4 and an NVME solid state drive, I'm surprised it's not a bit lower. The power supply is probably something around 85% efficient at this power usage(the efficiency curve I found starts at 20% usage, this is around 15%, so I'm guessing the efficiency is a bit lower than at 20%). That would mean outside of the 45 watts from the processor, taking the power supply efficiency into account there is 35 watts used by the 6450, 2 sticks of RAM, an NVME SSD, and 2 fans and then the chipset and everything on the motherboard. The Wanless tasks haven't completed yet so I'm not sure how much less PPD it is at 45 watts eco mode yet.

Edit 2 - using 45 watt eco mode was pretty efficient. It was completing Wanless tasks in 2800 seconds set that way, and 2400 seconds with PPT set manually to 88 watts. Actual power usage in 45 watt eco mode(from the wall) was 94 watts vs 130. I'm trying 65 watt eco mode now, but interestingly enough it's only 1-2 watts different than what I was getting at 88 watts PPT set manually. It's at 129 watts currently set on 65 watt eco mode.
Last edited by Icecold on Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

StefanR5R
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Re: Low power video card

Post by StefanR5R » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:49 pm

HD 6450 ....... TeraScale 2 (Northern Islands) Caicos Pro ....... 625 MHz ..... 40 nm TSMC

BTW, EPYC:
As you probably know, I preferred to build dual-socket systems. Benefit: Half the amount of mainboards, PSUs, disks, network interfaces, BMCs/GPUs (and potentially: cases) compared to single socket systems. Also, half the amount of operating system instances to set up and maintain.
Half the amount of disks and NICs etc. also means better perf/W at the system level. But there is a downside in the perf/W department: These dual socket systems maintain a high bandwidth/ low latency link between the two sockets, which eats energy. Now, in virtually all distributed computing applications, actual traffic on this link is very low in practice. Whether or not this keeps energy use of the link low is something which I haven't found out yet.

Icecold
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Re: Low power video card

Post by Icecold » Sat Jan 09, 2021 4:16 pm

If I could go back and do it all over again I probably would have tried to go with higher core count and dual socket machines vs a higher quantity of single socket lower core count machines. I have more computers than I intended on having initially(probably pretty common in distributed computing), and most of them have been added incrementally as I found good deals on parts, etc. so I hadn't even really given it any thought to spending more money initially on high core count dual socket machines. The machine I built yesterday to test the video card power usage came about because I had upgraded one of my 3900x's to a 3950x, and I "couldn't let the 3900x go to waste" so I ended up building a machine around it. I could have sold the processor I guess, but building a machine around it was more interesting to me :lol:

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Re: Low power video card

Post by Skillz » Sun Jan 10, 2021 1:50 pm

Low power video card? What?!

If you got a x16 slot open for a GPU then the obvious answer is a 3080 and let that baby work!

Icecold
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Re: Low power video card

Post by Icecold » Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:40 pm

Maybe Nvidia was watching this thread, I just read they're releasing a GT 1010 :lol:

crashtech
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Re: Low power video card

Post by crashtech » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:05 pm

I struggle to envision just what the point would be.

StefanR5R
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Re: Low power video card

Post by StefanR5R » Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:52 pm

If they make its TBP ≈20 W, not 30 W like reported, then it could be a 1:1 GT 710 replacement, which they then could phase out. (Did the Kepler based GT 710 already replace a prior Fermi based eponymous GT 710? — Edit, nope, the Fermi based one was called GT 705.)

endgame124
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Re: Low power video card

Post by endgame124 » Sat Jan 23, 2021 5:14 am

Icecold wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 4:40 pm
Maybe Nvidia was watching this thread, I just read they're releasing a GT 1010 :lol:
I could see picking up a 1010 to replace my 710 I have sitting sitting around as a spare. The old 710 has gotten used more than I expected, and the 1010 is certain to be faster and hopefully more efficient.

StefanR5R
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Re: Low power video card

Post by StefanR5R » Sat Jan 23, 2021 7:19 am

StefanR5R wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 5:52 pm
If they make [GT 1010's] TBP ≈20 W, not 30 W like reported, then it could be a 1:1 GT 710 replacement, which they then could phase out.
I presume though that GP108, like the larger Pascal chips, does not include a D/A converter for VGA support anymore. GT 1030 cards with VGA output exist, but they are rare and I therefore assume that such cards have an extra D/A converter onboard. Which is in contrast to GT 710's Kepler which natively supports VGA.

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Re: Low power video card

Post by Fardringle » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:29 pm

I just realized today that I might have something that would work well for you folks still trying to find low power cards.

I have a storage bin full of Quadro 2000 cards (just 2000, no K, M, or P) that were pulled from working machines at work a while back. I don't know what the exact idle power draw is since I can't find that info online and don't have a good way to test it, but the max rated TDP is 62 watts, so I can't imagine they'd use very much at idle. And I'd be willing to send them to anyone who wants them for the cost of shipping and packing materials. That's better than just tossing them out. ;)

They are about 7" x 5" x 1/2", so two of them plus padding should fit nicely in a USPS small flat rate box ($8.45 shipping cost). Maybe even 3 without padding...

crashtech
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Re: Low power video card

Post by crashtech » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:42 pm

@Fardringle, I'll get to the back of the line for one of those. I don't really have a use case for one atm, but would not mind having one in the drawer.

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Re: Low power video card

Post by Fardringle » Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:35 pm

I have about 50 of them, so no need for a line unless someone wants to really go nuts with them. ;)

crashtech
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Re: Low power video card

Post by crashtech » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:35 pm

Oh, in that case, I'll take 2. :)

StefanR5R
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Re: Low power video card

Post by StefanR5R » Wed Jan 04, 2023 2:55 pm

Here is a 3.72 W video card:
https://www.asrockrack.com/general/prod ... odel=TOMMY

It is based on the ASPEED AST2510 chip, which is normally used as BMC. I am sure that its actual BMC functionality cannot be used via this add-in card, only the functionality as a VGA only video card remains. Therefore another catch is that you cannot use digital monitors with this card.

Skillz
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Re: Low power video card

Post by Skillz » Wed Jan 04, 2023 4:51 pm

Would that thing even be able to do any sort of DC work? I doubt it, but would be interesting to see it try.

StefanR5R
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Re: Low power video card

Post by StefanR5R » Thu Jan 05, 2023 1:49 pm

No. There certainly is no 3D acceleration hardware in it, and the kernel driver provides just a simple frame buffer device. The AST2510 has got an ARM CPU which runs the BMC firmware. But even if you rewrote that firmware so that you can run your own stuff on this CPU, this embedded computer would certainly have too little RAM to do anything useful, has no mass storage attached, and in case of this add in board, does not have a network interface.

crashtech
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Re: Low power video card

Post by crashtech » Thu Jan 05, 2023 6:32 pm

They want close to $100 for it, you have to be a power saving fanatic to want it.

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