building super computer


I’m building supercomputer. Not for myself, but for engineering department.
Anyway, Here is what I’ve got: 4 Tesla C1060 cards (thanks to Nvidia for nice 50% off offer) enroute to us. Because of delay, we didn’t order any other parts, waiting for better and faster motherboard and cpu.

I read all the recommendations from NVidia regarding buidling own system, but want to use some more up-to-date motherboards/cpu/memory, ie intel Core i7.

Because C1060 doesn’t have video output, i need to look for motherboard with vga/dvi on board. Can someone suggest any? I don’t like AMD cpus and everything which has AMD logo on :)

Also, which case would you suggest to use, as we will have this supercomputer mounted in our datacenter, which can supply enough freezing cold air to the system to heat up.


If you can run linux without X, you can drop the onboard card and just use the teslas.


The tough part is finding a motherboard that supports 4 double wide cards. There are very very few.

Adding the i7 and onboard video requirements makes this even harder.

This may be the only i7 board that can handle 4 (and it will still be difficult with that last slot at the end.)

And it does not have onboard video.

If you drop to 3 cards, you have a lot more options, including using a single-width card in the last slot.

I can go even further, here is motherboard from Supermicro -X8DTG-QF. It is not for Core i7, but for dual Xeon 55xx… With onboard video and can support 4 Tesla’s without a problem. But there is a problem with this board - it’s not available yet according to my vendor.
Technically, this is the board I need…

If I could run Linux I would do a lot of different things in this place…Unfortunately, they’re all Windows :(

I was looking at that board as the only solution until I found Supermicro’s board.

Btw, what kind of a hit to performance will I get if I’ll drop fourth card and will replace it with Quadro card?

Since you are looking for a motherboard which has 4 PCI-E x16 buses, you probably want to look into the Xeon stuff (ie server) and not the Core i7 (ie more desktop/gamer oriented)

I would recommend to use ASUS P6T7 WS that supports 4 PCI-e 2.0 at 16x and use GTX 285 with 2GB of memory or GTX 295 instead of one of Teslas. The only downside of using 285 is that you get only 2GB of memory instead of 4, but it IS faster than C1060! And 295 has 2x number of the cores, but slightly smaller memory:) No need for a Quadro, as basically you’ll pay several times more than for GTX cards but will get the same hardware that passed a better quality control and has longer warranty (plus support for CAD drivers). On the other hand all this things get outdated so fast. A signle Core i7 should be able to handle 4 cards with no problem


If you’re building Windows machine then you might have hard times making your Teslas work with X8DTG-QF integrated video (unless it is also NVIDIA graphics). It is theoretically possible on XP (but tricky) but not possible on Vista.

If you need 4xTeslas in one PC I’d suggest you to look on m/b with NVIDIA integrated graphics. But honestly 3xTesla + GTX 285 seems like best option.

What kind of problems am I looking into? this board has matrox card onboard. where can I read more about issues?


In order for you to be able to run CUDA, Windows has to see a CUDA capable video output.

The GTX285 +3 Teslas is your best bet.

Drivers for Tesla are essentially graphic drivers and Windows is not very happy with loading two different graphic drivers (one for Matrox and one for NVIDIA) at a time.