MultiGPU architecture using 2 GTX280 need advice

Hi all,

I am interesting in acquiring a MultiGPU architecture with 2 GTX280 cards.
What is the configuration that you would advise me (CPU, motherboard, etc…)? And if you have a reference to a Dell configuration that suits my needs, it will be with a great help for me.

Thank you !

If you only want to use GPUs for calculation, you need a 3PCIe-motherboard with 2 of them in 16x. In this way, you could plug a third, but not so powerfull, GPU for your display (nvs quadro for example). Look for a chipset using the PCIe 2.0 since GTX2xx use it.

To manage 2 GPUs efficiantly, you need at least a dual core (one thread per kernel/GPU). Last recommandation, be careful to your power supply.

You should made your configuration yourself, Dell configurations are not suitable to my mind (maybe the XPS serie but it is a player PC).

I was told that Dell Precision 7400 may meet my needs, but Dell do not offer GTX 280 cards with this configuration. I was told to choose between :

  • Dual 512 PCIe x16 Nvidia Quadro FX 3700 (MRGA14h)

  • Dual 768Mb Nvidia Quadro FX 4600

  • 1.5Gb PCIe x16 Nvidia Quadro FX 5600 (SHEGA2)

What would you suggest to me ? Should I insist on having 2 GTX 280 or choose one of the obove?

The biggest problems with putting 2 GTX 280’s in a store-bought workstation as I see it are power and cooling. The 7400 has a 980W power supply, so you should be fine there, the only question is whether they provide 8-pin PCIe power cables: you’ll need 2 8-pin and 2 6-pin ones. It is unlikely that the system comes with any: none of the GPU options there use 8-pin power connectors, as far as I know. Sure, you could use adapters, but my experience with dell is that they only provide the power connectors that are absolutely needed for the system’s configuration so there aren’t likely going to be enough molex connectors around to scrounge up an adapter to 2 8-pin power connectors.

Judging by the photos on Dell’s website, the cooling should be fine. There is a fan blowing straight across the GPUs.

If you truly need a store-bought system with 2 GTX 280’s you are going to have to turn to the enthusiast gaming market. Falcon northwest will even build you a system with 3 GTX 280s :)

T7400s have zero eight-pin connectors. I do not know of a workstation with eight-pin connectors. It is all around pretty annoying.

Maybe wait for the Tesla version, since it is said “can be used with two 6-pins” on the specifications page?

The Dell guy was unable to explain to me why we couldn’t have a 7400 with GTX280 cards, thank you MisterAnderson42 and tmurray. So it is better to get a configuration already equiped with the cards rather than trying to put them on an existing one.

I found some Alienware configurations with 2 and even 3 GTX280.

Thank you all.