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Old 02-19-12, 11:13 PM   #1
Romant
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Default How to make Win7 handle eight GPUs properly ?

Hi,

Hardware part of the system consists of TYAN FT72B7015 barebone, two Xeon 5690 CPUs, 144 GB of RAM and 8 Zotac GTX 580 cards with 3GB of RAM each. This system used to work under XP64 without any problems and issues, however, system does not work under Win7 64 Ultimate (original question can be found here).

After a number of experiments I have localized the problem: system works just fine when only seven (not eight) GTX 580 cards are installed, however, as soon as the eighth card is installed OS starts to work very slow (extremely slow visualization of even simple windows GUI, all applications that use CUDA technology work very slow, FurMark test works slow and jumpy). It all happens with latest official Nvidia drivers (285.62).

I have an impression that this happens due to the lack of resources that OS distributes among various installed devices. Good experience with XP64 as well as a number of examples of succesfull FT72 + GTX 580 based builds makes me think that configuration with 8 GTX 580 cards can also be handled by Win7 properly.

What must be done in order to make such a configuration work fine under Win7 64 Ultimate ? May be drivers can be tweaked in some manner ?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-19-12, 11:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to make Win7 handle eight GPUs properly ?

I'm sorry... after reading "two Xeon 5690 CPUs, 144GB of RAM and 8 Zotac GTX 580 cards with 3GB of RAM each" my brain shut down and I couldn't stop drooling.

Such a system is a million percent out of my league. No idea what the issue is. My best guess is that you broke a performance barrier- the system was operating so fast that it actually appeared as if it were slowing down.

Yup, I'm certain that is what's happening.
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Old 02-19-12, 11:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to make Win7 handle eight GPUs properly ?

flux capacitor?
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Old 02-20-12, 01:23 AM   #4
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flux capacitor?
OH! I'd never considered that. Very good possibility.
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Old 02-20-12, 09:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to make Win7 handle eight GPUs properly ?

I have a feeling that it is due to a limitation in the new graphics framework provided under Vista/7. In many ways the graphics card in the 2000/XP environment was just another device with another driver. With the new model everything has changed.

You've got a long road ahead of you. You will need to submit a ticket with Microsoft formally, and I have a feeling they're going to tell you to contact Nvidia. I hope I'm wrong, because they will undoubtedly point the finger at Microsoft.

I wonder if anyone is having an issue with running 8 ATI GPUs? It would be nice to isolate if it is a Windows infrastructure bug versus and NVIDIA driver issue. Since the whole machine is slowing, I'd have to believe that it was Windows 7.

When you boot into safe mode, is the entire machine slow? This should bypass the driver and let you know if it is a resource allocation issue.
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Old 02-20-12, 09:47 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to make Win7 handle eight GPUs properly ?

I assume this is a computation machine. The link to the server rack mount says it supports 8 GPU's and has adequate power, so I'm not quite sure what the issue is.

You are pushing the RAM limitation on Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Have you considered Windows Server or Linux? I guess it depends on how you are using these GPU's. If you are writing your own code for them in C/C++ (for CUDA) then Linux would be a better choice anyways. If you're using specific Windows software, then I would make sure Windows server would fix the issue before you take the plunge.

Good luck.

EDIT: The more I look at this machine, the more I think you shouldn't be running a consumer version of Windows on it. It needs Windows Server or some other Enterprise software (or just run Linux).
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Old 02-20-12, 12:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to make Win7 handle eight GPUs properly ?

Yes, this machine is a number cruncher.

>>> When you boot into safe mode, is the entire machine slow? This should bypass the driver and let you know if it is a resource allocation issue.
Yes, it is slow. May not that slow but slower than normal anyway.

>>> It needs Windows Server or some other Enterprise software (or just run Linux).
I thought of it but Nvidia does not provide Geforce drivers for server Windows versions.

Migration to Linux is also not a variant - soft that works on this machine is windows-specific.

What I'm currently trying to do is to get rid of High Definition Audio devices (Device Manager shows 32 devices of this kind when all 8 graphics cards are plugged).
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Old 02-20-12, 01:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: How to make Win7 handle eight GPUs properly ?

May I ask what software you are using?
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Old 02-20-12, 01:56 PM   #9
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>>> May I ask what software you are using?
It is a proprietary project, software is not well-known. What I can say is that it is not that simple to migrate it to Linux.
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Old 02-20-12, 02:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to make Win7 handle eight GPUs properly ?

Have you considered contacting Nvidia or Microsoft?

Nvidia may have drivers for Server systems. Computation machines such as the one you're using are not completely new. Surely they must have, at least, a beta driver for you to test. They should aim to help you since you have 8 cards, and whatever work you do would be great promotion/testing for their cards.
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Old 02-20-12, 02:39 PM   #11
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Have you considered running Tesla cards instead?
I cannot believe it Slawter- his rig makes yours look like a smart phone.
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Old 02-20-12, 02:48 PM   #12
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Hopefully an iPhone
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