GPU Selection

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This page is here to help choose a GPU

It is currently a draft

It is based on comments in the forum threads:

Please see the full GPU topic list in the forum for more threads about GPU issues.

Some questions for GPU purchasing, to help guide the future structure of this page:

  • what are other Talos users using?
  • what is supported by the OS / Linux kernel? Which kernel version?
  • what is supported by your preferred OS distribution (e.g. Debian, Fedora)
  • AMD drivers are more open than NVIDIA but they still require some hidden microcode
  • the latest GPUs have very low idle power compared to older models. This also means they have lower heat and noise emissions when idle.
  • do you need 3D rendering, ray tracing or other graphics capabilities or you only want a 2D desktop for development and business applications?
  • what resolution do you require, in particular, do you need 4K?
  • do you need multiple monitors or a multi-seat configuration?
  • can you use an external GPU (eGPU) on OCuLink to conserve PCIe slots?
  • Pro cards from AMD and NVIDIA have better drivers but they cost more money. As the drivers don't work on POWER9 CPUs, is there any other benefit to using those cards or will the regular OEM cards marketed to gamers be sufficient? AMD used to provide ECC RAM on the Pro cards but the latest cards have the same RAM as regular cards.
  • do you need video encoding/decoding features (AMD's VCN, NVIDIA NVENC). Note that there is a new codec, AV1, that will be used for all streaming in future but none of the GPUs support it yet.
  • do you need to perform computational tasks that work better on a GPU?
  • do you have a power limit from an existing PSU or can you upgrade your PSU?
  • what size GPU will fit in your case?
  • does the vendor (AMD or NVIDIA) support any POWER9 users (Talos, IBM or other vendors)
  • do you prefer bigger fans (less noise) or smaller size (within 2 PCIe slots)
  • fan positions of the GPU, will they be blocked by anything in the next slot on the motherboard