6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 29, 2008 10:29 PM by michael.chu

    Four 4870 X2 Video Cards?

    sinusoidal85
      Regarding four 4870 X2 video cards on a single motherboard...

      Greetings All!

      I've recently been attempting to install four 4870 X2 video cards on a theoretically capable motherboard. You may know of the FASTRA Project where researchers were able to install eight NVIDIA GPUs (4 cards) on the same motherboard, the same board I currently own (MSI K9A2 Platinum).

      I'm attempting to emulate this project, but instead I'd very much like to use my four 4870 X2 cards for GPGPU cryptography related programming. I have had no such luck as of yet though I'm still tinkering with BIOS settings, etc.

      Does anyone know if this is possible? I would appreciate any related information very much.

      Thank You.

        • Four 4870 X2 Video Cards?
          MicahVillmow
          I know that there has been tests done with 4 GPU's or 2 3870x2's, but not sure on support for 8 GPU's.
            • Four 4870 X2 Video Cards?
              sinusoidal85

              Well I've twisted the BIOS every way possible and all of its versions, tried multiple operating systems: Windows XP Pro 32 Bit, Windows XP Pro 64 Bit, Windows Server 2003 Enterprise (don't really know why), and Linux with no luck. Two 4870X2 cards are recognized in the the two PCIe gen 2.0 x16 Lanes (the one's someone might normally use for crossfire), the other two x16 (x8 electrical) PCIe gen 2.0 Lanes will not recognize the cards at all... I don't quite understand this for I was under the impression that the two lanes that do work became x8 lanes anyhow when two cards were inserted in them regardless if CrossFire were being used or not. ... One other thing... I got CrossFire to work without the connection bridge... Am I just hallucinating or is something else up? ... Not trying to distract because my purpose here has nothing to do with CrossFire, I just thought that was extremely strange.

              To cover the power situation I have (1) 1000W PSU along with an additional 650W PSU that's made to power two GPUs... Both are of Thermaltake branding...

              I was really hoping to "1 UP" the FASTRA project... It's strange that they were able to get 8 NVIDIA GPUs running on a board designed for ATI cards... maybe not weird, but that seems to be the way it is.

              I haven't given up hope yet. I remember reading somewhere on the net a press release from AMD/ATI which stated something to the extent that experimenting with 8 GPUs had been done but presently 8 GPUs were not supported... I assume (hoped) they meant what everyone else was thinking they meant which was/is 8 way CrossFire.

              Back to the drawing board... I'm still awaiting a response from MSI to see if they can be of any assistance.

              (Apologies for all of the spelling errors I likely made above... I'm in a hurry... plus my brain is scrambled by programming syntax, not the English Language.

              I'll post again if I come up with anything... and of course any additional information would be further appreciated.

              -sin

                • Four 4870 X2 Video Cards?
                  mike3

                  sinusoidal85,

                  Could you please share how you got two 4870 X2 cards to workon the MSI K9A2 Platinum?

                  Did you use Linux for that?

                  If so, was it 64-bit linux, and which driver did you install to make the two 4870 X2 cards work with it and with the Stream SDK?

                  Thank you very much!

                  • Four 4870 X2 Video Cards?
                    sinusoidal85

                    Two 4870X2 cards working? I never had any trouble with two cards working what so ever. I'm using the K9A2 Platinum motherboard and plugged the two cards into the two "darker blue" PCIe lanes. Note that when I say "work" I mean I got them to work to the point of being recognized by the operating system(s)... I didn't go any further for my goal was to first get all four cards to work on a single 8 GPU system, before I went to the trouble of installing any development software, setup my programming enviroment, etc...

                    I'm curious, are you having trouble getting two 4870X2 cards to work on your system? If so, what kind of setup are you running.

                    My system so far is the above mentioned motherboard, 4GB of OZC DDR2 1066 memory, Phenom 9600 X4, 2 x 300GB VelociRaptors, and of course 4 x Radeon 4870X2 video cards (two functioning), currently running Windows XP Pro 64-Bit.

                    Other than that as I mentioned above, I'm using two power supplies and lots of fans hanging every which way. Until my Lian-Li PC-P80 10 expansion slot case is ready (I'm making a few water cooling custom modifications), the system gets extremely hot, the board is laying out in the open supported by foam spacers and cardboard. Though I should mention despite the heat the system produces, its thermals are no where near the heat the FASTRA team was reporting with there 4 NVIDIA GX2 8 GPU system.

                    Anyhow, I've been trying to get in contact with MSI for a bit of information. I noticed there is a "V2" version of the motherboard and based on there website I can't tell what the difference is besides a few color changes... I'm also trying to contact the FASTRA team to see what Motherboard BIOS, version, settings, etc they're using.

                    I haven't lost hope yet... I have the time, motivation and a bit of money to get this thing to work, so it's probably just a matter of time before the system fully lives. I sure would like to know what AMD/ATI learned from there 8 GPU experimentation, for eventually I'd like to begin coding a freeware "password recovery" suite... based on multi GPU systems, maybe even clusters of multi GPU systems. From what I've read and learned so far I dont believe that even standard gigabit ethernet will be a bottleneck in a theoretical cluster of multi GPU systems... I'll stop rambling now for all that I've said is entirely vague, based on a short time span of research, not to mention I haven't even defined a clear goal.

                    -sin

                    EDIT: And to answer your question, the easiest time I had of getting the two cards to work was with Windows XP Pro 64-Bit... I simply installed the latest MSI, ATI Chipset, and ATI GPU Drivers (version 8.7 I believe)... I just noticed version 8.8 was released. Back to the drawing board...