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Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 1:54 pm
by chuckula
No seriously, they have!

OK, what I'm really talking about is that apparently some server rooms are using consumer-grade Nvidia GPUs that have those side-mounted power connectors instead of rear-mounted connectors that work well in a server rack where vertical-space is at a premium. The plugs stick out vertically and require the case to be "humped" with extra height to fit the plugs in, and apparently it's quite annoying.

Here's the story with the ugly ugly pics: https://www.servethehome.com/avert-your ... ta-center/

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:01 pm
by Redocbew
After reading this headline I thought this would be one of two things:

1. A whm1947 thread involving nvidia with some oddball, open source related super-obscure widget or rumor.
2. A chuckula thread which despite the click-baity title still proves to be somewhat interesting.

I was not disappointed.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:09 pm
by UberGerbil
35+ years after The Soul of a New Machine people in data centers are still (literally) "putting a bag on the side of it."

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 pm
by chuckula
Redocbew wrote:
After reading this headline I thought this would be one of two things:

1. A whm1947 thread involving nvidia with some oddball, open source related super-obscure widget or rumor.
2. A chuckula thread which despite the click-baity title still proves to be somewhat interesting.

I was not disappointed.


I'm offended that I wasn't option 1.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:26 pm
by whm1974
Redocbew wrote:
After reading this headline I thought this would be one of two things:

1. A whm1947 thread involving nvidia with some oddball, open source related super-obscure widget or rumor.
2. A chuckula thread which despite the click-baity title still proves to be somewhat interesting.

I was not disappointed.

I don't why you would think I'll post something like this considering that servers are not my thing.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:34 pm
by just brew it!
It's amazing the kind of stupid sh*t that even established vendors will pull. We have a customer (who shall remain nameless) who insisted on reusing (against our recommendation) some existing enclosures for a large deployment, and were experiencing some heat issues. The design of the chassis they're using (the vendor of which shall also remain nameless) is brain-dead -- some of the intake vents are in the sides of the enclosures. You just don't f**king do that with rackmount gear, because you'll be pulling intake air from the "hot" aisle!

It's like someone said, "Hey, we don't have enough airflow in this part of the chassis. What should we do?" and someone else said "Ehh... just put some more ventilation holes here, that'll get more air moving."

It's HOT AIR, morons!

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:44 pm
by Waco
just brew it! wrote:
It's amazing the kind of stupid sh*t that even established vendors will pull. We have a customer (who shall remain nameless) who insisted on reusing (against our recommendation) some existing enclosures for a large deployment, and were experiencing some heat issues. The design of the chassis they're using (the vendor of which shall also remain nameless) is brain-dead -- some of the intake vents are in the sides of the enclosures. You just don't f**king do that with rackmount gear, because you'll be pulling intake air from the "hot" aisle!

It's like someone said, "Hey, we don't have enough airflow in this part of the chassis. What should we do?" and someone else said "Ehh... just put some more ventilation holes here, that'll get more air moving."

It's HOT AIR, morons!

:lol: I think I know who you're talking about.

Also - anyone using GeForce GPUs in a rackmount *anything* should be sacked.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:54 pm
by liquid_mage
I'm swamped at work but took a 2 minute break to peak at techreport this thread made me smile. Sorry I don't have a lot to add to the discussion.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:58 pm
by the
Might as well go full hump and make it a 4U chassis with proper ducts from the front rear directly to the GPU cards. Air intake at that time wouldn't be heated from the CPU/memory in front behind it. Taking a closer look, airflow in that thing is all messed up. The GPU cards exhaust out the 'front'? and if you look, the mid plan fans more air in the opposite direction of the GPU exhaust. Weird.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 2:59 pm
by chuckula
Waco wrote:
Also - anyone using GeForce GPUs in a rackmount *anything* should be sacked.


I'm pretty sure Nvidia agrees with you. They want to sell Teslas in these markets and I'm pretty sure their power plug placement was done (at least in part) to prevent their consumer cards from ending up in servers.

So they though they had a foolproof solution.
They just didn't count on the fool getting creative.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 3:20 pm
by just brew it!
the wrote:
Might as well go full hump and make it a 4U chassis with proper ducts from the front rear directly to the GPU cards. Air intake at that time wouldn't be heated from the CPU/memory in front behind it. Taking a closer look, airflow in that thing is all messed up. The GPU cards exhaust out the 'front'? and if you look, the mid plan fans more air in the opposite direction of the GPU exhaust. Weird.

Maybe they're disabling the fans on the GPUs and letting the enclosure suck air in through the GPU "exhaust" vents? That's the only way the layout even remotely makes sense.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 5:04 pm
by DrDominodog51
I pictured a server covered in green slime when opening this thread.

Needless to say, I'm very disappointed. 8)

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 5:12 pm
by Waco
just brew it! wrote:
the wrote:
Might as well go full hump and make it a 4U chassis with proper ducts from the front rear directly to the GPU cards. Air intake at that time wouldn't be heated from the CPU/memory in front behind it. Taking a closer look, airflow in that thing is all messed up. The GPU cards exhaust out the 'front'? and if you look, the mid plan fans more air in the opposite direction of the GPU exhaust. Weird.

Maybe they're disabling the fans on the GPUs and letting the enclosure suck air in through the GPU "exhaust" vents? That's the only way the layout even remotely makes sense.

That has to be it - otherwise it's even more braindead.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 6:48 pm
by Chrispy_
I was put off buying into Nvidia GRID and Teslas, simply because of the ridiculous markup, and I repeatedly mention that after 12 years of working in a professional CAD environment with a bolt-on VFX department, that the difference between workstation/server cards and consumer cards are vastly overrated for all but the Nichey-McNicheface of software.

Most recently was a mid-2016 in-house test of our four current primary software packages from Autodesk, Dassault, McNeel and Bentley. Geforce 980 vs Quadro M4000 vs a (borrowed) Tesla K20. Results were exactly as expected and reaffirm the decision I made in 2009 to convince our beancounters/directors to switch to consumer GPUs. We kept the M4000 last year to complement the W7000 and Cayman-based FirePro - just so that if there's a graphics/render issue we can rule out the consumer GPUs as the fault. Interestingly their output isn't always identical but it's 50/50 whether the problem lies with the pro card or the consumer card! Annoyingly, we bought a batch of 750Ti cards for meeting room PCs and the 1st Gen maxwell (GM107) is practically useless as a professional card, something that 2nd gen Maxwell (970 and 980 cards) don't suffer from. Largely though, we stick to AMD because GCN has proven to be highly compatible, the display drivers are generally better-behaved, and most importantly of all, you can get them in larger VRAM configurations than the equivalent-cost Geforce.

The irony is that we've had fewer issues with the consumer cards than the professional cards overall, and even though the support is better, it generally isn't satisfactory. My hunch is that expensive software is optimised by the developers for the widest range of hardware, so unsurprisingly they're targeting DirectX/OpenGL basic feature sets and ensuring maximum compatibility with laptops rather than limiting their market to "people with $4000 graphics cards".

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Wed May 31, 2017 8:46 pm
by Waco
Chrispy_ wrote:
The irony is that we've had fewer issues with the consumer cards than the professional cards overall, and even though the support is better, it generally isn't satisfactory. My hunch is that expensive software is optimised by the developers for the widest range of hardware, so unsurprisingly they're targeting DirectX/OpenGL basic feature sets and ensuring maximum compatibility with laptops rather than limiting their market to "people with $4000 graphics cards".

Consumer cards can work well in workstations, generally, if the software doesn't lock out features based on the ID of the card.

For actual computing where you care about the answer, though, they're pretty useless.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 3:03 am
by Kougar
chuckula wrote:
Waco wrote:
Also - anyone using GeForce GPUs in a rackmount *anything* should be sacked.


I'm pretty sure Nvidia agrees with you. They want to sell Teslas in these markets and I'm pretty sure their power plug placement was done (at least in part) to prevent their consumer cards from ending up in servers.


I'd agree with ya that NVIDIA is happy it makes for another reason to not use consumer cards in servers, but designing them deliberately for that? No way.

Take the typical 12" consumer card, put rear power connectors on it, and see how many cases it can no longer fit in because they're blocking or rubbing against a HDD cage or a fan. Given how many consumers are now of the smaller-is-better mentality for cases, a 13" length clearance for a high-end consumer GPU isn't going to go over well.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:28 am
by just brew it!
Desktop towers have actually gotten wider over the past decade, to better accommodate tower-style CPU coolers with 120+ mm fans and sideways-mounted 3.5" drive bays. The typical gaming build is probably going to have more clearance above the card than along its length, so the connector placement on consumer cards just makes sense.

What I don't understand is why we haven't moved to a connector design that allows the wires to come out of the plug at a right angle, like you see on some SATA power plugs. The "straight in" crimp pin style connectors made a lot of sense for motherboard power connections; not so much for expansion cards.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:34 am
by Kougar
For towers, sure. I remember a GTX 265 having clearance issues in an Antec P180. But a lot of gerbils especially don't run full towers or even mid-towers anymore. mATX cases are going to run into problems at 13".

I've seen one PSU that came with right-angle PCIe connectors but I can't remember who had it. Multiple sites sell right-angle PCIe power cables one can add to their existing PSUs. One type has a specially molded plastic connector, the second kind I've seen just takes a connector and adds 90 degree metal pins coming out the back that plug into the slots directly.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:49 am
by just brew it!
Kougar wrote:
I've seen one PSU that came with right-angle PCIe connectors but I can't remember who had it. Multiple sites sell right-angle PCIe power cables one can add to their existing PSUs. One type has a specially molded plastic connector, the second kind I've seen just takes a connector and adds 90 degree metal pins coming out the back that plug into the slots directly.

Ahh, OK. I haven't seen those. My point still stands though -- the PCIe power connector is inherently designed to be used with floating contacts that are crimped onto the ends of the wires inside the plug housing. This means a right-angle plug is always going to be a bit of a kludge.

Re: Nvidia has been humping servers and it's ugly!

Posted: Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:27 pm
by BIF
What a fun topic!

I'll say it's much better than the current clickbait ad making the rounds (two horses getting it on, while a rider sits on the female horse). No, I didn't click on that. I'm sure it would give me um.. "nightmares". :wink: