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Old November 29, 2010, 06:45 AM
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Hi everyone, I'm new to parallel processing and have a few questions. Mods, if this isn't the right place, please move this thread to the correct area of the forum.

Anyway, my first question is, can any current generation gpu, for example a GTX 470, serve the same purpose as a tesla card? I know the teslas have more ram and are dedicated for that use, but there is no way I am buying a tesla for home use. The back story is that I am using an engineering analysis software called ansys, that will have full support for GPU parallel processing in the next release, but of course they claim they only support Teslas.

My second question is, can a that is being used as the actual display adapter, still be used for compute purposes, or it is off limits since it is busy controlling the display?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old November 29, 2010, 08:23 AM
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A GTX 470 can still be used for parallel computing purposes, you just need a program to take advantage of it. (ie the ever popular F@H project that we run here)

I would actually try and contact people at Ansys and ask them, I can't find anything on their site about CUDA/OpenCL. (which is what I would assume they were using) A GTX 470 should be able to do everything a Tesla equivalent can, I just don't know if they've locked out non-Tesla hardware and for what reason. (anti ATI/AMD, pro Nvidia or pro Tesla, anti mainstream GPUs) Watch out for DirectCompute, 470's don't support that IIRC.

As for the second question, there should be no issues using a display adapter for compute processes aside from poor framerates in games/movies and potentially slower Aero performance. I'm pretty sure a few of the Tesla models come with a dedicated graphics port.
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Old November 29, 2010, 08:49 AM
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YouTube - Gene Poole of Ansys FEA and CUDA

This video makes mention of CUDA as their processing code, if that clears things up.

Jim
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Old November 29, 2010, 08:59 AM
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If they are using CUDA, a GTX470 should be able to run it, unless Ansys specifically exclude gaming cards in their software.

Edit: I just had a thought, that Tesla cards carry more ram on them than the typical gaming card. Like 3 and 5 GB, based on my quick look. This may be the limiting factor on whether their software will run on consumer cards.

Last edited by SugarJ; November 29, 2010 at 09:05 AM.
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