So I had this crazy thought: What if I tried to use that card in my PowerEdge T440? This would provide a decent (and silent) upgrade to the MSI 1030 GTX currently in the server.
One problem was that the card required external GPU power and I had ordered my T440 without the GPU kit, which can only be installed at Point-Of-Sale and cannot be retro-fitted afterwards.
I tried using the 1050 Ti with just the power provided by the x16 PCI-E slot but the server failed to recognize the GPU.
So I went looking into my T440 (that GPU Kit must draw power from somewhere, right?) and found a white connector on the PCB directly attached to the PSU cage:
A close inspection using my Phone revealed something looking like almost like an 8-Pin GPU connector with an informative label on the side:
Did you read "GPU_PWR" too? I surely did but that white connector was a little different from what I used to see as far as GPU power connectors go.
Then I remembered I had seen similar connectors very recently.. in my Dell Precision T7910!!
(Why change a good design when you've got one?)
Luckily, the Precision T7910, with its 1300W PSU had lots of GPU power cables (enough for 2 power-hungry 6-pin or 8-pin GPUs) and I was pretty sure I'd never use more than one GPU in my T7910, A nice 1660 GTX was good enough for me.
So I went ahead and pulled one of the two GPU cables from the Precision T7910. Unfortunately, the 8pin cable from the T7910 didn't fit on the T440 PSU connector due to mismatched diameters on the two bottom right slots.
After trying to make those 'fingers' thinner using a cutter, I realized that those two didn't even have electrical wiring so I just cut them off:
Once this (not so) delicate surgery took place, the GPU cable fit perfectly into the GPU Power connector on the PSU PCB of my T440. The other end of the cable (6pin) made its way to the GPU card and I powered up the server, which came up perfectly.
Such cables can be ordered on ebay for about 10USD.
Here are a few pictures of the finished assembly:
In conclusion I'll state that although I like Dell PowerEdge and Precision hardware, I dislike very much the FUD surrounding those systems:
- I didn't buy my T440 with a GPU Kit (my own mistake) and Dell wasn't able to help retrofit a kit afterwards (no such solution exists).
- I still managed to power up that GTX card using an extra cable I borrowed from another system without Dell's help.
- Notwithstanding their (Dell's) desire to sell me Platinum 795W or 1100W PSU units, my complete T440 system still idles at 88Wats and never seem to exceed 200W. IMHO that 495W PSU might be just fine.
# ipmitool sdr list full|grep Watt
Pwr Consumption | 88 Watts | ok
Complete Specs here:
- Two 4110 Xeon Silver cpus (8C/16T)
- 96 (3 * 32) Gb RAM
- Two Samsung 860 SSD Evos
- One WD Red 8Tb drive
- One H730P HBA
- One i350-4 Quad Gigabit NIC
- One 495W PSU