Dell PowerEdge T640 as a Workstation : Powerful and Silent.

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Bert

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Mar 31, 2018
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good morning, nice community!

one more question please: I would like to find out the part number of the GPU Air Shroud for a T640.

I have contacted Dell community, but a Dell representative urges me to call official ( payed ) support which I would like to avoid for obvious reasons.

best regards,
Dmitry
quick google search gives hits for shrouds and fans:

 
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Bert

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Mar 31, 2018
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Can anyone wiht t640 or t630 comment on boot up times? Are they as fast as standard Dell 7920 workstation? For example my Lenovo 920 boots up as fast as a desktop PC; same goes with Z840. Is that the case for t640 (assuming that SAS BIOS is disabled)
 

bin-sh

New Member
Feb 11, 2024
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1. Is the Quadro P2200 GPU the best available gpu without having to use the GPU PIB for external power? It looks like it just need 74 watts which the PCI gen 3 will provide but I do want some AI computation and harsware transcoding and don't care so much about the 4k display or having access to the ports.

2. Did you not need the external power fans with the quadro either? The manual further says external fans are required if you

I need to find out if my system came with the PIB or not without removing the MB and taking a look inside (Not same place as my server atm).
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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1. Is the Quadro P2200 GPU the best available gpu without having to use the GPU PIB for external power? It looks like it just need 74 watts which the PCI gen 3 will provide but I do want some AI computation and harsware transcoding and don't care so much about the 4k display or having access to the ports.

2. Did you not need the external power fans with the quadro either? The manual further says external fans are required if you

I need to find out if my system came with the PIB or not without removing the MB and taking a look inside (Not same place as my server atm).
The external fans are only required if you install the PDU GPU Board (situated underneath the main system board).
I just got myself a 2nd T640 and have removed the PDU GPU board that came with it so that it would not require the external fans.
I have ordered a Quadro A4000 GPU (Single-slot 140W GPU). I will try to power up that GPU without the PDU GPU board by using PCIe slot power -and- a dual SATA to PCIe power adapter:


I will report here how it goes.
 
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bin-sh

New Member
Feb 11, 2024
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Nice! Looking forward to hearing how it goes so I know if I need to buy the GPU PIB. I just registered on the forums because of your thread.

How come you got another t640? A deal you couldn’t pass up on?
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
191
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1. Is the Quadro P2200 GPU the best available gpu without having to use the GPU PIB for external power? It looks like it just need 74 watts which the PCI gen 3 will provide but I do want some AI computation and harsware transcoding and don't care so much about the 4k display or having access to the ports.

2. Did you not need the external power fans with the quadro either? The manual further says external fans are required if you

I need to find out if my system came with the PIB or not without removing the MB and taking a look inside (Not same place as my server atm).
No, the Quadro P2200 does not require any external power. It runs with just the power from the PCIe slot.
If your T640 came with the GPU PIB board, it probably came with GPU cables and will require at least one external fan (depending on how many GPU cables are connected to the GU PIB). If you don't have GPU cables in your system and the iDRAC stays green without asking for an external fan, then it means your T640 most likely did not come with the GPU PIB.

Here's a pic of the GPU PIB with its cables (removed Yesterday from my T640 V2):
1707709683656.png
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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Nice! Looking forward to hearing how it goes so I know if I need to buy the GPU PIB. I just registered on the forums because of your thread.

How come you got another t640? A deal you couldn’t pass up on?
Yes, it was a deal I couldn't pass up. Local company going out of business and the seller accepted to drop his price to something competitive. This 2nd T640 has a V2 chassis, a 16x2.5 SAS backplane + an NVMe U.2 backplane with the two x16 cards. It also had the full GPU PIB kit and the external fans but I took these out. I made this new T640 my main machine and will relegate the older T640 to be a compute resource.
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
191
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Can anyone wiht t640 or t630 comment on boot up times? Are they as fast as standard Dell 7920 workstation? For example my Lenovo 920 boots up as fast as a desktop PC; same goes with Z840. Is that the case for t640 (assuming that SAS BIOS is disabled)
Just seeing this now. I doubt the boot times of the T630/T640 are as fast as those of a Precision Workstation simply because the big T6X0 boxes have a lot more PCIe slots, Memory sockets and embedded sensors with a full iDRAC.
In my use case, I usually don't care much because I leave the system on 24.x7, which is why it needs to be silent.
 

bin-sh

New Member
Feb 11, 2024
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Yes, it was a deal I couldn't pass up. Local company going out of business and the seller accepted to drop his price to something competitive. This 2nd T640 has a V2 chassis, a 16x2.5 SAS backplane + an NVMe U.2 backplane with the two x16 cards. It also had the full GPU PIB kit and the external fans but I took these out. I made this new T640 my main machine and will relegate the older T640 to be a compute resource.
Might ping you later to buy the PIB kit and external fans if you end up selling.

This is the exact configuration I have with 2x Platinum 8270CL and 1100 PSU. It came with the railkits and the upgraded fans (bo external fans) but they are just sitting there. It cost me $2500 USD which I thought was a good deal (2 years ago)

I haven't gotten around to buying NVME drives yet, but might put my proxmox host on it .

Can anyone wiht t640 or t630 comment on boot up times? Are they as fast as standard Dell 7920 workstation? For example my Lenovo 920 boots up as fast as a desktop PC; same goes with Z840. Is that the case for t640 (assuming that SAS BIOS is disabled)
I just leave mine on all the time as well.
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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Might ping you later to buy the PIB kit and external fans if you end up selling.

This is the exact configuration I have with 2x Platinum 8270CL and 1100 PSU. It came with the railkits and the upgraded fans (bo external fans) but they are just sitting there. It cost me $2500 USD which I thought was a good deal (2 years ago)

I haven't gotten around to buying NVME drives yet, but might put my proxmox host on it .


I just leave mine on all the time as well.
Excellent CPUs! (the 8270CL's).
Yes, I'd sell the PDU Board + Cables + External Fans if you're interested but the External Fans I got are 'High-Performance', which means the iDRAC complains if the mid-tray fans (the 4 fans in the middle) aren't High-Performance too. I have those for sale too if you wish.
(I Like my T640 pretty silent so 'High-Performance' fans were a no-no for me since I sit next to this machine all day).
Here's a picture of the entire set of components:
1707711364716.png
you could keep the mid-tray and simply swap out the 4 fans with the high-performance ones but the high-performance external fans will -require- high-performance fans in the mid-case tray as well. (I discovered this while I was playing around with configurations).
The High-Performance fans have double the min/max rpms and a label on the side:
1707711574147.png
 

bin-sh

New Member
Feb 11, 2024
7
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I was reading more on the dual sata to 8 pins (What you're trying to do with the A4000).. And it doesn't look to be safe. The 8pin can pull 150w and the 2 sata provide 54x2 for a total of 108w.. Meaning the gpu can try to pull 150w from it but the sata can only handle 54w?


I don't want you to burn that t640 down :(
 

bin-sh

New Member
Feb 11, 2024
7
1
1
These are the really good GPU you can get right now for 75w
  1. RTX A2000 (priciest $300-450)
  2. Nvidia Quadro p2200 (a bit cheaper $200-300)
  3. RTX 1650 (cheapest, can get it for under $100)
The only issue with the 1650 is that since its a consumer card, they've limited the transcoding with NVENC to 8 streams whereas the other ones are unrestricted

You can use Video Encode and Decode GPU Support Matrix to look at the data yourself.
 
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ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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These are the really good GPU you can get right now for 75w
  1. RTX A2000 (priciest $300-450)
  2. Nvidia Quadro p2200 (a bit cheaper $200-300)
  3. RTX 1650 (cheapest, can get it for under $100)
The only issue with the 1650 is that since its a consumer card, they've limited the transcoding with NVENC to 8 streams whereas the other ones are unrestricted

You can use Video Encode and Decode GPU Support Matrix to look at the data yourself.
The Quadro P2200 is what I've been using in all of my Dell Poweredges but it's only 5GB (not enough for AI).
I have not been able to find a single-slot version of the A2000 so I went for the single-slot A4000.
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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I was reading more on the dual sata to 8 pins (What you're trying to do with the A4000).. And it doesn't look to be safe. The 8pin can pull 150w and the 2 sata provide 54x2 for a total of 108w.. Meaning the gpu can try to pull 150w from it but the sata can only handle 54w?


I don't want you to burn that t640 down :(
I agree with your Math -expect- that the A4000 will still pull 70-75W from the slot and maxes out at 140W. So we're effectively looking at 140-75=65W which should be less than the Max of 108W provided by the two SATA adapters.

On higher-wattage GPUs, this would not work so well but for a 140W GPU my hope is that it will do just fine and enable me to have a better GPU in the T640 without needed the GPU PIB.

I'll monitor this closely and report here.
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
191
115
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I was reading more on the dual sata to 8 pins (What you're trying to do with the A4000).. And it doesn't look to be safe. The 8pin can pull 150w and the 2 sata provide 54x2 for a total of 108w.. Meaning the gpu can try to pull 150w from it but the sata can only handle 54w?


I don't want you to burn that t640 down :(
So I looked at that YT video and I agree 100% with everything that Dawid said.
His first GPU is a 185W GPU. With 75W from the PCIe slot, it leaves 110W for the two SATA connectors when the GPU is at 100%.
His 2nd GPY is a 225W GPU. With 75W from the PCIe slot, it leaves 150W for the two SATA connectors (rated at a max of 104W). -THAT- is unsafe but it does not burn down. :)
So with a 140W A4000 I believe I should be safe in 100% of the cases -because- 140-75=65W which two SATA connectors should handle just fine. :)
 

bin-sh

New Member
Feb 11, 2024
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I feel better now knowing you won’t be burning anything down! Looking forward to the results

What are you using for your 16x pci slots? Two used by nvme but what about the other two?
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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I've done so many mistakes in my past. These days I try to figure stuff out -before- buying.. :)
With the T640 platform, I kinda have the homelab of my dreams, but it took 25 years of mistakes and bad decisions to get there.

so in this T640 I have:
- H750P (for the 16x2.5 backplane) X8 connector
- 2 x PCIe cards for the other backplane (8 x U.2 NVMe) - X16 connectors
- NVidia Quadro p2200 (x16 connector)
- 2 x 7.68Tb HGST SN260 (x8 connectors)
- Dell/Intel X710-DA4 (x8 connector)
- Sonnet Allegro USB-C 4-Port ( x2 connector) because server-type machines don't have USB-C
( add in two 8269CY Xeons + 1024Gb of RAM and a fire there would be a real disaster).

So if my Math is right, I still have -one- x16 connector (might be a thing for me if I need two GPUs). I'm glad the T640 comes with so many PCIe slots and -THAT- is precisely the reason why I do NOT like the T550/T560 machines (not enough PCIe slots)

I feel better now knowing you won’t be burning anything down! Looking forward to the results

What are you using for your 16x pci slots? Two used by nvme but what about the other two?
 

ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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Happy to report that the A4000 works in the T640 without the GPU kit and with a very simple StarTech adapter I got from amazon:
1708115976540.png

StarTech.com 6in SATA Power to 6 Pin PCI Express Video Card Power Cable Adapter - SATA to 6 pin PCIe power (SATPCIEXADAP)

1708116126889.png

1708116263558.png

Code:
# dmidecode |grep -i powered
        Product Name: PowerEdge T640
        SKU Number: SKU=07E5;ModelName=PowerEdge T640
        Family: PowerEdge
# nvidia-smi
Fri Feb 16 15:35:30 2024      
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| NVIDIA-SMI 545.29.06              Driver Version: 545.29.06    CUDA Version: 12.3     |
|-----------------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+
| GPU  Name                 Persistence-M | Bus-Id        Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan  Temp   Perf          Pwr:Usage/Cap |         Memory-Usage | GPU-Util  Compute M. |
|                                         |                      |               MIG M. |
|=========================================+======================+======================|
|   0  NVIDIA RTX A4000               Off | 00000000:D9:00.0  On |                  Off |
| 41%   25C    P8              13W / 140W |    491MiB / 16376MiB |     11%      Default |
|                                         |                      |                  N/A |
+-----------------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+
                                                                                       
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Processes:                                                                            |
|  GPU   GI   CI        PID   Type   Process name                            GPU Memory |
|        ID   ID                                                             Usage      |
|=======================================================================================|
|    0   N/A  N/A     70048      G   /usr/libexec/Xorg                           155MiB |
|    0   N/A  N/A     79395      G   ...seed-version=20240216-050143.361000      295MiB |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
#
Will see how it goes over the next few days.. :)

In case it isn't clear from the pictures:
- the 16 x 2.5" drives backplane in the lower half of that T640 has a small cable with 2 x SATA power connectors.
Simply add the StarTech adapter (2 x SATA to 6pin PCIe) and the A4000 works. :)
 

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ElCoyote_

Active Member
Jul 22, 2016
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I have been running the 'Valley' GPU benchmark for 20 minutes, GPU at 135W/140W with GPU temp in the 70C-80C. Seems good to go. :)

Code:
Every 2.0s: nvidia-smi                                                               daltigoth: Fri Feb 16 15:55:15 2024

Fri Feb 16 15:55:15 2024
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| NVIDIA-SMI 545.29.06              Driver Version: 545.29.06    CUDA Version: 12.3     |
|-----------------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+
| GPU  Name                 Persistence-M | Bus-Id        Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan  Temp   Perf          Pwr:Usage/Cap |         Memory-Usage | GPU-Util  Compute M. |
|                                         |                      |               MIG M. |
|=========================================+======================+======================|
|   0  NVIDIA RTX A4000               Off | 00000000:D9:00.0  On |                  Off |
| 61%   80C    P0             120W / 140W |   1225MiB / 16376MiB |     38%      Default |
|                                         |                      |                  N/A |
+-----------------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+

+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Processes:                                                                            |
|  GPU   GI   CI        PID   Type   Process name                            GPU Memory |
|        ID   ID                                                             Usage      |
|=======================================================================================|
|    0   N/A  N/A     70048      G   /usr/libexec/Xorg                           163MiB |
|    0   N/A  N/A     79395      G   ...seed-version=20240216-050143.361000      247MiB |
|    0   N/A  N/A    130126      G   ./valley_x64                                771MiB |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------+