Cheapest vsphere grid gpu without licensing costs from Nvidia

Jannis Jacobsen

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Mar 19, 2016
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As the topic say, what is the cheapest Nvidia Grid gpu I can get to test out vgpu and "slicing" of a gpu to different vm's and still use nvidia driver with cuda in the vm?
(not assigning 1 gpu to 1 vm).
Trying to setup a lab here, do do a cheap poc that I can present at work.
The newest grid cards are not an option, as this is something I have to fund myself :)
I was looking at the Grid K1 and K2, as it seems they dont need a license to run a vgpu.
(Quote: NVIDIA GRID K1 and K2 GPUs do not require a license to run vGPU.)

However, I dont know if they are the cheapest option
I dont need much performance for the lab, just so I can present a poc for cuda accelerated workloads.
No video/graphics usage, only computational use.
Hopefully I wont need Horizon, or any other VDI solutions, as I want to keep the cost down for the solution I hopefully can present.
(Got vmug advantage, so licenses is not an option for the lab testing)

-Jannis
 

Docop

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I was looking long time for this, but they are so old and now quite underpower.. I would prefer to go with like basic quadro m or p600 series. Much more performance and less cost overall.
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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Mar 19, 2016
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I was looking long time for this, but they are so old and now quite underpower.. I would prefer to go with like basic quadro m or p600 series. Much more performance and less cost overall.
can I slice a p600 to several vm’s without licenses from nvidia?

-j
 

Docop

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No it's not supported. So you have to go with a direct assign of 1 card per vm. but even the cheapest quadro on ebay, in the Mxxx range will be better than a k1. And you can also go with plx or ioi pci spliter card to get full 4pcie 4x slot if you have a too small mb.
 

Jannis Jacobsen

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Mar 19, 2016
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No it's not supported. So you have to go with a direct assign of 1 card per vm. but even the cheapest quadro on ebay, in the Mxxx range will be better than a k1. And you can also go with plx or ioi pci spliter card to get full 4pcie 4x slot if you have a too small mb.
so you did not read what my scope was for choosing the grid k1/k2.
p600 will not help me setup a cheap poc.
I _need_ the grid functionality.
the k1/k2 are to show the flexibility and possibilities without the cost and licensing.
performance is unimportant to showcase the tech.

-j
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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The old K2's go relatively cheap nowadays, so i don't think its worth the effort to hunt for anything else.
Afaik they are the last cards that didn't require a license before they changed the model.
 
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Docop

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Sorry, when i see a used k2 on ebay at 2000$, i get 3x brand new p series or 4x mxxx series for same price or even lower.
 

Rand__

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yeah but why would you pay $2k if you can get it for a couple of hundred?
 
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Patriot

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you can also turn a k10 into a k2 with a resistor swap for ~$50

Still weak compared to modern and can't use latest vsphere.

The youtuber who recently did the k10 to k2 conversion was using citrix.
 

nk215

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I have a Grid K2 for VDI. Love it. It's more than what I need for light CAD and general GPU web browsing tasks.

It does use quite a bit of power and requires a cooling fan. I 3D printed a holder for an 80mm fan in the back because I don't think the 846 case fan was enough. The smaller dual-fan setup is too loud.
 

Rand__

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Is the 80mm fan sufficient? I was considering sth similar (less professional) since the small fan rig you can buy (25 bucks) really screams ...
 

nk215

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Using furmak at 1024x768 on one of the computer (45 fps). The second GPU of the grid get up to 75+ C using 116 out of 117W max. The server is in the basement so it's relatively cool. I didn't try taxing both GPU. I don't think the 80mm fan would be able to cool 234W.
 

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Patriot

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I chopped a 92mm fan to cool the k10 once like the titan-z worked well... other than that you need a baffled forced airflow situation.
 

tibi

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The GRID K1/K2 cons:

As I now, GRID K1 and K2 driver (VIB) last supported in vSphere 6.5. No vSphere 6.7+ drivers.
I think, nVidia stopped the support for these cards forever... they moved to licensnsig ($$$$$$) GRID on selected Tesla cards. :(:(:(:(:(

Additionally, K1 and K2 vGPU not supported (no driver) in Linux guest VMs.

Any solution for problems above?
 
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101

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Apr 30, 2018
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Can you manually load the VIB with community supported level of SW acceptance on 6.7+?
 

Rand__

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Mar 6, 2014
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The GRID K1/K2 cons:

As I now, GRID K1 and K2 driver (VIB) last supported in vSphere 6.5. No vSphere 6.7+ drivers.
I think, nVidia stopped the support for these cards forever... they moved to licensnsig ($$$$$$) GRID on selected Tesla cards. :(:(:(:(:(

Additionally, K1 and K2 vGPU not supported (no driver) in Linux guest VMs.

Any solution for problems above?
I assume you have seen Grid driver for Ubuntu and CentOS? - NVIDIA Virtual GPU Forums ?
At least some way to run with Linux guest (no CUDA).

But the 6.7 topic seems to be more problematic... thats unfortunate...