Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am current having a highend GPU installed in my server - and I am considering to install a cheap GPU to support the monitor.

Reason is that the server is using the highend GPU for OpenCL and i would like to reserve its resources for only calculations and not feeding the monitor. The motherboard has a PCI-E x8 (Gen2 X4 Link) slot.

Can I install a cheap GPU like ZOTAC GeForce GT 610 (512 MB), and use that as the main gpu for the monitor and then the highend gpu will be free for calculations.

I ask because i havent tried this before and i dont know how the OS (Windows Server) see the two cards and if i can select which GPU it should use for the monitor.

Alternative: If i dont plug in any monitor and control it by remote desktop from another pc, will it use gpu resources ?

My main problem is that if the calculations are long the OS stops the calculations because it think its stuck.

share|improve this question
Which operating system ? – Iain Aug 25 '12 at 18:12
Windows Server, 2008 - considering to upgrade to 2012. (also interested in knowing about windows 7/8 ) – Poul K. Sørensen Aug 25 '12 at 18:27
Re: also interested in knowing about... Windows 7 understands multiple video cards. Even when from different brands and thus using different drivers. – Hennes Aug 25 '12 at 18:31
I expected it to support two cards. I would like to know how it works in practice as i dont wanna buy one extra just to see it. Is it just like when you select screen resolution, you also select which gpu to use? – Poul K. Sørensen Aug 25 '12 at 18:33
The screen resolution control panel also allows you to choose which displays (and, as a consequence, which graphics cards) are active. However, I don't know for certain whether that will stop Windows from thinking it needs to supervise use of the GPU or not. – Harry Johnston Aug 26 '12 at 22:50
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can throw in the GT 610 if you want, though in my experience it makes little difference.

Unless you do something crazy like install Desktop Experience on your server and turn on all the 3D Aero Glass effects, the load on the video card from displaying console video will be so minimal that you won't even notice it.

If you're really set on getting that last 0.5% of compute power out of the card, then by all means throw in the GT 610. Just remember to plug a monitor into it so Windows knows which card it should be using for the console display.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. Im not running in console mode and having a 2500x1600 resolution - you still think its not worth it ? – Poul K. Sørensen Aug 25 '12 at 20:46
I forgot the main reason for wanna do it. The OS shuts down the OpenCL application if it takes to long to compute because the driver will not be responding while it runs. – Poul K. Sørensen Aug 25 '12 at 20:53
Sounds like a problem with the OS. :) I only run OpenCL jobs on Linux; having tried it on Windows previously and running into lots of issues. – Michael Hampton Aug 25 '12 at 20:55

I currently run a radeon 6850 for my monitor and have a gtx 660ti for rendering. I use blender with luxrender and everything cooperates. Both video cards and the 8core AMD 8120 all render OpenCL and give no hassles. I use windows8 so I would expect Server2012 would be fine as well.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.