Personal computing discussed

Moderators: morphine, SecretSquirrel

 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:27 pm

Since I'm planning on building a Threadripper system to use as a workstation (no games), I've got a question I'm hoping the knowledgeable folks here can answer.

About 99% of the time, this machine will be running VMs in ESXi (I plan on getting the best CLC for the CPU, and adding 128GB RAM, since I *really* need that much). One thing I'd really like to use along with it, is a 32"-34" WQHD 2K monitor, since the 1080p monitor I have now is just too cramped for the info I need to have on-screen.

Any recommendations for a good WQHD monitor (I've seen the hate here for curved monitors, so I'm not sure I want one of those anymore)? Also, since this won't be a gaming rig, any suggestions for a cheapish video card that has HDMI or DP outputs for it? And what would be the minimum RAM that the board should have? Is 2GB enough, or should I look for a 3GB or 4GB board? I'm hoping to sidestep the boards that the cryptominers are pillaging, since the only other thing I *may* do with it, is watch a movie on it.

Any thoughts?
 
Waco
Gold subscriber
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2034
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:14 pm
Location: Los Alamos, NM

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:47 pm

If all you need is 4K output, any card with HDMI 2.0 will work just fine.

If you are't doing anything that requires 4:4:4 chroma sampling (design work or anything with 1-pixel wide red/green/blue lines) you can get away with many decent 4K TV sets. I run a Samsung set that I can't remember the model of (but it was nothing special). Input lag is reasonably okay and I only notice the bad chroma sampling if I load up something that doesn't support DPI scaling.
Z170A Gaming Pro Carbon | 6700K @ 4.5 | 16 GB | GTX Titan X | Seasonix Gold 850 | XSPC RX360 | Heatkiller R3 | D5 + RP-452X2 | Cosmos II | Samsung 4K 40" | 480 + 240 + LSI 9207-8i (128x8) SSDs
 
whm1974
Gerbil Elder
Posts: 5466
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2014 5:29 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Fri Aug 18, 2017 10:48 pm

My first thought is the 1050Ti GPU, as there shouldn't be any problem doing what you want to with it. I would say look at the 1030 GPU but I think it limited to what resolution it supports and I don't think I've seen any cards that has DisplayPort on them. But I could be wrong about that.
 
CScottG
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 959
Joined: Fri Dec 01, 2006 9:53 pm

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:39 pm

This one's not offensive considering the current pricing:

http://www.officedepot.com/a/products/4 ... on-RX-560/

..and apparently they have a 20% off coupon code going right now for email subscribers. (..if it works then it's a relative bargain for the product.)


..I'd also second a 4k TV. Got my father a 42" Hisense w/HDR (4 year warranty if you can believe it) for his trading-platform VM on a special deal (for $230). Deals like that are very rare, but they do occur on occasion.

https://slickdeals.net/deals/4k-tv/
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:08 am

Cool! Thanks folks! With the cryptominers jacking up the prices, and me just needing something to drive a widescreen 2K monitor. I was a little worried I'd be SOL.

I'm expecting to get screwed on my next gaming rig, though. Especially since I'd love a 1070 or 1080 CPU with a 4K G-Sync monitor. At least for the workstation, response time, variable refresh rate, and hyper-accurate color gamut isn't a big deal, since I'll be using ESXi and SecureCRT the vast majority of the time.

Now I just need to save my pennies to get a Threadripper machine. 128GB DDR4 RAM is at least $100 more (depending on brand) than the CPU itself! O_o
 
EndlessWaves
Gerbil Team Leader
Posts: 239
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:41 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:34 am

You only need to splash out on an gaming/workstation card like a 560 or 1050 for 3440x1440 and above, all the cheaper cards will happily do 2560x1600 and below. A GT710 is often a good combination of cheap, only a bit ancient and not too much slower than integrated graphics, but even the 5450/R5 230 and G210 will do it.

You don't need any amount of memory on it for normal use, a few hundred megabytes. I don't know whether VMs use VRAM though.
 
blahsaysblah
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 580
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:35 pm

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:48 am

I never bothered to keep up with VMWare after workstation 10-ish...

But... you barely need a monitor for ESXi as its not a typical OS. During install it would be nice, other wise you do everything remotely with management tools.

Unless you plan to pass through a GPU to each VM and that is what you are connecting to monitor. You should be able to get away with setting up one VM like that to act as your GUI/management OS. At cost of not being able to change around stuff since you need a running VM to do anything. FYI, standard GTX driver wont let you install if it detects its inside a VM. Do some research before you buy. Maybe workaround is available.

You dont need anything more than DP 1.2a or HDMI 2.0 for 4k@60. RAM is totally irrelevant except for gaming or other GPU accelerated graphics software.
 
blahsaysblah
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 580
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:35 pm

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:21 am

One other thing to consider, see which board is recommended for running KVM/QEMU for GPU passthrough. Technically, not ready for prime time. Not for sake of using Linux instead of ESXi but rather, it might be good indication of which is better "Threadripper" class board. If its doing device grouping nicely(so you can just send that device to a VM)...
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:32 am

EndlessWaves wrote:
You only need to splash out on an gaming/workstation card like a 560 or 1050 for 3440x1440 and above, all the cheaper cards will happily do 2560x1600 and below. A GT710 is often a good combination of cheap, only a bit ancient and not too much slower than integrated graphics, but even the 5450/R5 230 and G210 will do it.

You don't need any amount of memory on it for normal use, a few hundred megabytes. I don't know whether VMs use VRAM though.


The VMs I run use system RAM, and as many "vCPUs" (h/w threads, really) as they either require, so they won't touch VRAM. I just didn't know if I needed X amount of VRAM to push a 2K WQHD monitor. Do the older cards you mention have HDMI or DP outputs? I don't recall if I saw one of the more reasonably priced monitors having a DVI input.
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:36 am

blahsaysblah wrote:
One other thing to consider, see which board is recommended for running KVM/QEMU for GPU passthrough. Technically, not ready for prime time. Not for sake of using Linux instead of ESXi but rather, it might be good indication of which is better "Threadripper" class board. If its doing device grouping nicely(so you can just send that device to a VM)...


That's a good idea! Thanks! I hadn't thought to check if Threadripper supports the equivalent of VT-d. Some of the VMs I'll be running only have Qemu/kVM versions available, so for those, I'd need to run the GNS3-VM or maybe EVE-NG. For the rest, I can get the ESXi versions of the VMs, so I was going to download those from the vendors, as well.
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:43 am

blahsaysblah wrote:
I never bothered to keep up with VMWare after workstation 10-ish...

But... you barely need a monitor for ESXi as its not a typical OS. During install it would be nice, other wise you do everything remotely with management tools.

Unless you plan to pass through a GPU to each VM and that is what you are connecting to monitor. You should be able to get away with setting up one VM like that to act as your GUI/management OS. At cost of not being able to change around stuff since you need a running VM to do anything. FYI, standard GTX driver wont let you install if it detects its inside a VM. Do some research before you buy. Maybe workaround is available.

You dont need anything more than DP 1.2a or HDMI 2.0 for 4k@60. RAM is totally irrelevant except for gaming or other GPU accelerated graphics software.


The monitoring tools I've been using lately have pages that span waaaay beyond the borders of my ViewSonic 1080p monitor. Constantly having to scroll back and forth gets a bit annoying. Sure, I could theoretically get one of those Matrox card they sell to large businesses and the Gov't, since they can support anywhere from 2 to 8 (or maybe 10), but I'm not really fond of having that many monitors stacked up on my desktop (ignoring the power draw). I was just wanting a nice ultra widescreen monitor, so that I could see more info in my monitor tools at a glance.
 
blahsaysblah
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 580
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:35 pm

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 5:58 am

Im just saying ESXi is not a GUI OS. edit: i updated the link to show you what the actual console looks like.
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 6:31 am

I know. I also have vSphere (including the Client), which I can use the mgmt webpage to configure ESXi, SecureCRT to SSH into the VMs running in ESXi, as well as monitoring software I'm not expecting to use the monitor/gfx card exclusively for ESXi, it's for the other stuff.

I guess I phrased it poorly.
 
Chrispy_
Gold subscriber
Maximum Gerbil
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm
Location: Europe, most frequently London.

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:44 am

What OS are you running the management client from? If it's the ESXi Embedded Host Client, then any GPU will do as long as it has the output you need.

If you're running windows get yourself a basic RX 550 for the Eyefinity support, if you're running Linux get yourself a GT 1030 for the Proprietary Nvidia driver, that is all; Having ReLive or Shadowplay is nice, too for making quick video records of what you did, if you're into that sort of experimentation with ESXi.

As for monitors, the biggest issue I've found with ultrawides is not curvature (they're all pretty subtle curves anyway) but the viewing angles at the edges of the very wide screens. You're looking at 30-45° off-centre at the the corners when you're sitting right in front of the middle of the screen, so the panel technology really matters, and curvature can help to reduce the viewing angle and keep you in the viewing angle sweet spot for the panel type.

VA screens suffer from off-angle contrast shift less than most IPS panels, but there's more of a colour-shift than with IPS panels. For me, the contrast is more important than outright colour accuracy, and additionally, VA doesn't suffer from corner-glow like IPS - though how much corner glow/light-bleed there is on the IPS panel depends a lot on what filters the manufacturer has added.

Samsung, AOC and Acer tend to choose VA for wide-angle viewing panels
LG, Dell and Asus usually opt for IPS.

I would take a look at a curved screen in the flesh before ruling them out. They improve viewing angles and if you're working on them a lot they help to reduce eyestrain caused by your need to constantly varying the focal distance when scanning a flat ultrawide from left to right. As someone who has seemingly good healthy focus working with an LG 34" ultrawide all day sometimes, I can tell you now that the lack of a curve actually causes me eyestrain. That's why at my normal desk with two screens, I angle my screens towards me like everyone else does - to create a rudimentary curve - it reduces the off-centre viewing angle to improve the image quality and it reduces the strain on your eyes from constantly changing focal distance.

You're probably not budget-constrained with a Threadripper build, but I'd rather work on two 1440p screens I think, and it'll be cheaper than a single ultrawide of similar quality. The only downside is the bezel gap, but something minimal like the Samsung SD850 gives you an outrageously high-quality image for pretty low cost, and you'd have 5120x1440p with less than an inch between both screens, plus the advantage of being able to watch 16:9 borderless content on one screen when you don't need to work on both of them at once.
Last edited by Chrispy_ on Sat Aug 19, 2017 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
Congratulations, you've noticed that this year's signature is based on outdated internet memes; CLICK HERE NOW to experience this unforgettable phenomenon. This sentence is just filler and as irrelevant as my signature.
 
EndlessWaves
Gerbil Team Leader
Posts: 239
Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 10:41 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:58 am

Doctor Venture wrote:
I just didn't know if I needed X amount of VRAM to push a 2K WQHD monitor.


You do, but it's 50-60MB or something equally trivial.

Doctor Venture wrote:
Do the older cards you mention have HDMI or DP outputs? I don't recall if I saw one of the more reasonably priced monitors having a DVI input.


The GPUs support DP 1.2 but everyone's favourite villain Product Segmentation tends to reserve the actual DP outputs for the expensive workstation variants.

HDMI 1.3/1.4 is pretty much ubiquitous now though, HDMI + DVI-D + VGA is the standard set of outputs these days.
 
SecretSquirrel
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2297
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: The Colony, TX (Dallas suburb)
Contact:

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:32 am

Doctor Venture wrote:
Since I'm planning on building a Threadripper system to use as a workstation (no games), I've got a question I'm hoping the knowledgeable folks here can answer.

About 99% of the time, this machine will be running VMs in ESXi (I plan on getting the best CLC for the CPU, and adding 128GB RAM, since I *really* need that much). One thing I'd really like to use along with it, is a 32"-34" WQHD 2K monitor, since the 1080p monitor I have now is just too cramped for the info I need to have on-screen.

Any recommendations for a good WQHD monitor (I've seen the hate here for curved monitors, so I'm not sure I want one of those anymore)? Also, since this won't be a gaming rig, any suggestions for a cheapish video card that has HDMI or DP outputs for it? And what would be the minimum RAM that the board should have? Is 2GB enough, or should I look for a 3GB or 4GB board? I'm hoping to sidestep the boards that the cryptominers are pillaging, since the only other thing I *may* do with it, is watch a movie on it.

Any thoughts?


If that's really all you need from the card, go pick up a second hand cheap card. Something like a GTX650 will do up to 2560x1600 and run under $50. Many cards have both DVI and HDMI ports. It is quite sufficient, even for normal graphical desktop use in Linux. Get a nicer monitor since that is something that will have a longer life span.

--SS
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:17 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
What OS are you running the management client from? If it's the ESXi Embedded Host Client, then any GPU will do as long as it has the output you need.

If you're running windows get yourself a basic RX 550 for the Eyefinity support, if you're running Linux get yourself a GT 1030 for the Proprietary Nvidia driver, that is all; Having ReLive or Shadowplay is nice, too for making quick video records of what you did, if you're into that sort of experimentation with ESXi.

As for monitors, the biggest issue I've found with ultrawides is not curvature (they're all pretty subtle curves anyway) but the viewing angles at the edges of the very wide screens. You're looking at 30-45° off-centre at the the corners when you're sitting right in front of the middle of the screen, so the panel technology really matters, and curvature can help to reduce the viewing angle and keep you in the viewing angle sweet spot for the panel type.

VA screens suffer from off-angle contrast shift less than most IPS panels, but there's more of a colour-shift than with IPS panels. For me, the contrast is more important than outright colour accuracy, and additionally, VA doesn't suffer from corner-glow like IPS - though how much corner glow/light-bleed there is on the IPS panel depends a lot on what filters the manufacturer has added.

Samsung, AOC and Acer tend to choose VA for wide-angle viewing panels
LG, Dell and Asus usually opt for IPS.

I would take a look at a curved screen in the flesh before ruling them out. They improve viewing angles and if you're working on them a lot they help to reduce eyestrain caused by your need to constantly varying the focal distance when scanning a flat ultrawide from left to right. As someone who has seemingly good healthy focus working with an LG 34" ultrawide all day sometimes, I can tell you now that the lack of a curve actually causes me eyestrain. That's why at my normal desk with two screens, I angle my screens towards me like everyone else does - to create a rudimentary curve - it reduces the off-centre viewing angle to improve the image quality and it reduces the strain on your eyes from constantly changing focal distance.

You're probably not budget-constrained with a Threadripper build, but I'd rather work on two 1440p screens I think, and it'll be cheaper than a single ultrawide of similar quality. The only downside is the bezel gap, but something minimal like the Samsung SD850 gives you an outrageously high-quality image for pretty low cost, and you'd have 5120x1440p with less than an inch between both screens, plus the advantage of being able to watch 16:9 borderless content on one screen when you don't need to work on both of them at once.


The Mgmt client will either be run from my existing Sandy Bridge PC, or that Kaby Lake build I'm considering.

I'm aware of IPS, but what is VA, in regards to the panels? Any future monitor is going to sit directly in front of me on my desk, so I'm not really worried about viewing it off-angle. Those two 1440p screens might be the way to go, especially if the Samsung you mentioned has really thin bezels. That was one of my chief concerns about using multiple monitors to show one giant desktop.

I had contemplated one of those samsung designo's since they have that blue light (or filter), to help reduce eye strain. I'm getting older, and sometimes I work with my home office lights off at night, so I don't disturb the rest of my family, and anything that'll help keep my eyesight from getting worse is always welcome. I'm not about to pay the price Samsung is charging, though.
 
Chrispy_
Gold subscriber
Maximum Gerbil
Posts: 4104
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm
Location: Europe, most frequently London.

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:18 am

Oh, if you're not running the management client on this machine, why do you even need a GPU? Surely it'll be headless, or you just plug any old screen and any old GPU you have lying around in to handle the BIOS interface and any local CLI stuff that you don't/can't do remotely.

As for screens, VA is just a different wide-angle tech. IPS is the king of colour accuracy when we're talking about very expensive, pro-level hardware and delta-E colour accuracy of <1.0 but at the consumer level, VA and IPS are basically the same. IPS is generally faster for gaming and movies which is why it seems more popular than VA, but VA has much deeper blacks and therefore better contrast ratios 3-4x better than IPS panels. VA screens sold today are fast enough for all but the twitchiest gamer. If you're buying a 144Hz monitor I'd stick to TN or IPS but all the recent VA panels are perfectly capable of smear-free gaming at 60Hz.

IPS and VA differ in their off-angle behaviour, and with a flat ultrawide that matters because even if you're sitting directly in front of it, it's so wide that you'll be looking at the edges anything up to 40° off-angle.

Off-angle, most IPS screens lose contrast, because the backlight starts to bleed through, raising the black to a grey. This is even more severe when looking at diagonals so the typical phrase used to describe this effect is "IPS corner glow". You can get more expensive monitors that come with dual polarising filters to reduce this effect, but those monitors are usually double/triple the cost of the entry-level IPS screens so it wrecks their value proposition.

VA is different when viewed off-angle. Generally the contrast is very stable across the screen from all angles, but once you get to about 45° there's a noticeable shift to a different colour and it depends on the subpixel matrix layout. It's usually a yellow or green tinge combined with a drop in saturation of all colours but unlike IPS which exhibits corner glow at relatively low angles, it doesn't seem to kick in for most VA panels until you're way off center, so for someone sitting directly in front of a screen, VA has no colour-shift or contrast drawbacks at all. You're basically deciding between faster pixel changes of IPS or deeper and more uniform black levels of VA. Also, IPS screens can't be built curved. The tightest radius IPS screen I've seen is R3000 (the radius in mm, so that's curvature with a 10ft radius at best, usually R4000 so 13ft instead. VA curved screens usually come in R1800 or R2000, so a much tighter 6ft radius.

The 32" VA Samsung I mentioned actually comes in other monitors too, I think it's good for non-windows/mac work because it has a sensible dpi and lots of console/unix work just utterly fails on high-dpi panels - you want to stick as closely to the expected 96dpi as possible:
  • Acer B326HUL
  • ASUS PB328Q
  • BenQ BL3200PT
  • Philips BDM3270
  • Samsung S32D850T
To the best of my knowledge, they all use a 2560x1440 AMVA+ panel made by AUO with 3000:1 native contrast ratio and good colour accuracy up to around 45° off-center and a G2G pixel response of 4ms (claimed) 12ms (measured). That means it's going to start smearing at around 80Hz, which is irrelevant since it's a 60Hz panel.

Doctor Venture wrote:
I had contemplated one of those samsung designo's since they have that blue light (or filter), to help reduce eye strain. I'm getting older, and sometimes I work with my home office lights off at night, so I don't disturb the rest of my family, and anything that'll help keep my eyesight from getting worse is always welcome. I'm not about to pay the price Samsung is charging, though.


Ugh, I've used those blue-light filter monitors. They might be good for your eyes, but they look awful because whites are all yellow. Increased risk of macular degeneration when you get older through overexposure to blue light from LEDs is something that still needs a lot of research. There's no "proof" yet and it's in about the same level of hand waving as "mobile phones cause brain tumours". There are lots of people in their elder years who have spent all day, 5 days a week staring at WLED-lit screens and there' still no tangible evidence linking LED light to macular degeneration. There's also no tangible evidence ruling out LED light as a cause of macular degeneration, so I feel it's like getting any other disease - there are minor potential attributing factors, but otherwise it seems mostly genetics or random lifestyle choices. You hear of lifelong 40-a-day smokers living to their 90's and people who are fit and healthy who never smoked dying of lung cancer at 60....
Congratulations, you've noticed that this year's signature is based on outdated internet memes; CLICK HERE NOW to experience this unforgettable phenomenon. This sentence is just filler and as irrelevant as my signature.
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:07 pm

@Chrispy_

OK, I may be completely misunderstanding this, but even some of the servers that offered ESXi as an option I had looked at (long before threadripper launched) included a graphics card.
I know ESXi uses a CLI, since I ignored VMware's advice, and installed it in Workstation 12.5 Pro, just for giggles. I didn't keep the ESXi VM around long, though. I've got ESXi 6.0,6.5, vSphere, vCenter, NSX, and Horizon, and have been wanting to test them out on a high-end workstation (even the v2 and v3 4 processor Xeon servers I looked at were waaaay too expensive). Since we already talked about installing the vSphere client on either my Sandy Bridge, or the Kaby Lake PC I might buy, is it possible to install the vSphere client in ESXi?

What I'm wanting to accomplish with having the Threadripper box running ESXi, et al, is because I'm wanting to run not just some of the very resource heavy Cisco and Juniper VMs, but I'd also like to run an Openstack setup (a controller, plus several storage and compute nodes), an Ansible, Puppet, Salt, or Chef server, a ZTP server (all those run on Linux), and some monitoring software, like SolarWinds or PRTG (which need to run on Windows). I've been wanting to create at least a good sized chunk of a data center + the ISP transport, since with my Sandy Bridge, I can only tiny portions of it at a time.

If I need to run the vSphere Client on my other PC, would I need to use SSH or VNC from across the network to reach the nodes running inside ESXi? I was sort of hoping that I could keep those segregated from the rest of my LAN completely, and the IP addressing scheme won't remotely be similar to my LAN (unless I can use an XRv 9K router running in ESXi as a gateway, or something)

In your opinion, what would be the best way to accomplish what I'm after? I seriously need to read the vSphere, ESXi, and NSX books I have, but time has been a limited commodity.

Thanks for the heads up about the curved monitors! I think I'll take your advice, and just hook up two of those samsung monitors with the really thin bezels.
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 49732
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:36 pm

Even a bargain basement GPU should be able to drive a 2K monitor these days. My primary desktop has a craptastic GT 720 (no gaming, so I opted for something cheap with passive cooling when I put this build together), driving a 1920x1080 primary display plus a pair of equally craptastic 1280x1024s from the "junkyard", in triple-head configuration. That's more total pixels than a single 2560x1600. And I know it has a HDMI output, because there's a HDMI-to-VGA converter driving one of those crappy old 1280x1024s. :lol:

As far as this overall project goes, I have to wonder whether your needs might be better served (from a cost/benefit/effort angle) by a pair of less beefy builds? I understand that there's a certain elegance to virtualizing everything on a single killer box, but you may be making things more difficult (and expensive) for yourself.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Doctor Venture
Gerbil First Class
Topic Author
Posts: 117
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 2:23 am

Re: Question about a monitor, and a cheap video card

Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:32 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Even a bargain basement GPU should be able to drive a 2K monitor these days. My primary desktop has a craptastic GT 720 (no gaming, so I opted for something cheap with passive cooling when I put this build together), driving a 1920x1080 primary display plus a pair of equally craptastic 1280x1024s from the "junkyard", in triple-head configuration. That's more total pixels than a single 2560x1600. And I know it has a HDMI output, because there's a HDMI-to-VGA converter driving one of those crappy old 1280x1024s. :lol:

As far as this overall project goes, I have to wonder whether your needs might be better served (from a cost/benefit/effort angle) by a pair of less beefy builds? I understand that there's a certain elegance to virtualizing everything on a single killer box, but you may be making things more difficult (and expensive) for yourself.



I had thought about that, but some of the VMs are pretty resource heavy. For example, a single instance of IOS-XRv 9000 requires 16GB RAM and 4 "vCPUs". Juniper's vMX and vQFX-10K can get away with a little less, but they perform horribly, unless I allocate them 4-6 vCPUs and 8GB RAM each (and vMX and vQFX are really TWO VMs that need to be connected together). NX-OSv 9K really needs 8GB RAM and 2-3 vCPUs (and I'm wanting to also have several instances of those 4, plus some CSR1000v routers, vIOS devices, vIOS-L2 switches, etc...) Since I'm trying to replicate at least a good portion of a data center and part of the ISP transport, I'd need a cheap PC for each node. And that's not counting that NSX pretty much needs its own PC, and I'd also like to have a good sized Openstack setup, some docker containers orchestrated by Kubernetes to act like servers sitting behind either Arista vEOS or Extreme Networks EXOS ToR switches, and also have at least one Windows server to run SolarWinds or PRTG, a small Linux box for Ansible, Puppet, Salt, or Chef, and then a ZTP server. I'd be looking at a pretty large amount of PCs.

In a perfect world, I'd run all this on a 2P Epyc server with at least 512MB RAM, but from looking at the different options out there from Tyan, SuperMicro, or even the bare metal server rentals, using a Threadripper machine with 128GB RAM, and a couple of decent SSDs would come out cheaper in the long run.

EDIT: To clarify this one part, since I phrased it rather awkwardly, both vMX and vQFX-10K are each comprised of two VMs. vMX has a virtual forwarding plane VM (that runs Wind River carrier grade linux), and a virtual control plane VM that runs Junos. Just like in a physical MX router, you have to connect them via an internal em1 interface.

vQFX is pretty much the same, in that the virtual packet forwarding engine VM runs Wind River linux, and the virtual routing engine runs Junos (and they connect together with internal em1 and em2 interfaces). Interestingly enough, the physical QFX-10K switches are actually based on Wind River, with two Junos instances running via KVM (one primary, one backup), and the switch can also run other software as Qemu/KVM guests (like Apache Swift). If the TR forum would let me just add the software diagram into the post, without having to host it elsewhere first, I'd show you what I'm talking about. At least the Cisco VMs are all a single VM.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests