I try to arrange a system for GPU computing. We need two GTX 480 cards, my questions concern the mainboard:
- Do we need a ‘SLI-ready’ mainboard, or just one with two PCI-express slots?
- I saw boards with two slots, which run in ‘x16’ only if there is just one card installed, otherwise they grade down to x8 (if I get it right). Is this important to us?
Thanks for any help,
No, the motherboard doesn’t need to be SLI-ready. You just need the physical spacing and lanes necessary. However any SLI-ready motherboard will have this.
The behavior of lane provisioning of the PCIe slots depends on the motherboard. Modern motherboards probably give you two x16 slots regardless of whether one or two cards are installed. MBs with older chipsets often did the “split into x8 x8” trick.
Always always read the MB specs carefully when looking at lane behavior. It’s unfortunately common for the overview specs (like on NewEgg or Amazon page) to gloss over this kind of dynamic lane behavior. Look at the manufacturer’s detailed specs instead.
Can you recommend a board, that will work for me?
It depends on what you need. Any flavor of CPU? Need to handle more than 2 GPUs? Cost matters? Need the latest USB 3?
For better cooling, i would recommend a board which has a free slot between the two GTX480.
For example, the ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 (there are many others)
Thanks for guessing the correct CPU ;)
That was exactly what I wanted.