Demystifying active GRID cards

GRID K2 comes in multiple thermal solutions depending on the requirements of the server. For instance, there are two different passive configurations and since January also an active variant. Dell in the R7610 adopted this card first. Now it is also available in the Dell T620 and VRTX. More servers to come.

All these cards are identical when it comes to GRID vGPU or passthrough support since they just GRID K2s.

The same is true for GRID K1. Today only a passively cooled card is available, but soon an active version will enable servers which require a cooling boost.

Recently I was asked about the physical form factor and power requirements of the active GRID cards.

The fan assemblies for both GRID K1 and K2 are engineered in such a way that they fit within the PCIe length spec of 312mm and the current dual slot width of the cards.

In terms of power, an additional max. 15W are required which are delivered through the 6-pin/8-pin connector of GRID K1 and K2 respectively. No additional power connectors are required.

Like for all other GRID cards hardware qualfication is performed to ensure that the SBIOS of the hosting server and the cards play well with each other. A list of qualified servers can be found at

Do the operating temperatures end up pretty much the same for both the actively and passively cooled GRID cards?

Yes, the fan speeds have been adjusted to provide all the air flow needed to cool the cards similar to a passively cooled card.

In the case of GRID K1, the GPUs run even a little cooler since GRID K1 requires only 130W vs. 225W for GRID K2 and both cards share similar fan assemblies.

Can we install Grid K1 on HP proliant ML350p gen8 for VDI environment using windows 2012 r2 Hyper-v ?

Unfortunately no. The ML350p is not certified for GRID.

You can find which servers are certified here

As for Hyper-V it will take advantage of the GPU for the RemoteFX virtual GPU feature and GRID K1 is fully supported.

Thank you
As for the ML350p GEn8 E2650 with 2 processors we have which GPU can we use to benefit from VDI Hyper-v with remote fix ?
we have 10 users they should connect to VMs hosted on the server and read multimedia files

Best regards

Is ML350p Gen8 is not certified for GRID or did not tested yet ?


When will the new Grid cards (at least with active cooling) with VGX support be available ?
Will be based on newer chipsets, more powerful, more RAM and cheaper ?

Thanks, M.C>

Active and passive cards are identical when it comes to their graphics performance and functionality. These are identical boards. The only difference is the cooling solution.

Active GRID K2 is already available from Dell. Very soon I expect the same to be true for active GRID K1. Please check with Dell.

HP ML350p has not been certified to date. We highly suggest to only use certified hardware.

"In terms of power, an additional max. 15W are required which are delivered through the 6-pin/8-pin connector of GRID K1 and K2 respectively. No additional power connectors are required."

We have a Dell VRTX and GRID K2 card but don’t have the correct connector for the power to the GRID card. Is there a separate 6-pin/8-pin adapter available?

You need to contact Dell for the power connectors, they’re a chassis part and come from the respective OEM.

I just bought the Gris K2 with active cooling and using it XenServer 6.2 SP1. The fans are EXTREMELY loud, is there a way to slow them down ?. I am almost tempted to remove the fans. This is the loudest piece of equipment in my Rack, even louder than the servers.

Also for the GRID K2 card, there is an 8-pin power and a 6-pin power connector on the card. The 6-pin power connector is being covered by the fan assembly. So the question is, Just connecting the 8-pin power is sufficient for the Grid K2 (0030 - Active cooling model) ?

I know this is supported but I have an extra K520 card that I want to install in a regular server tower.

In terms of heat dissipation, which fans could I use to add ventilation for this card?

Are only server turbines able to cool these cards or could I get a regular cooling solution for them?

PS: no one will be held responsible if I damage the card. Don’t worry. Just need some info. I’ll take all risks.

As you say, this is NOT a supported way of using this specific card. Try the following at your own risk…

Your best bet is to look at the consumer gaming rigs that people create. Depending on how much room you have in the tower, liquid cooling is pretty good and there are plenty of options to choose from. Here’s a company that I’ve personally used in my younger gaming days, the kit is very nicely made: Using kit like this you can improve cooling on your CPU, RAM, Chipset, Hard drives, GPUs and even the PSU. You can create whatever kind of cooling system you need to do the job. Maybe a cheaper solution like this could work for you:

If the above is too much and you just want to increase the air flow for the GPU, then alternatively you’re looking at something a little less involved like this:

And of course there are many different options from many different vendors between those solutions to suit various budgets. Your choice in cooling solution should depend on how hard you intend to push the hardware factoring in overclocking, ambient air temperature etc etc …

Have a look in the GeFore Forums for some inspiration:

and here: and here: for various cooling components

Note, these are consumer grade products, not enterprise.