Intro: Quiet PC With 2 TFLOPS GPU for BOINC OR FOLDING, Easy Installation, Almost Fanless
I AM IN NOT IN ANYWAY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE DONE TO YOUR HARDWARE BY FOLLOWING THIS GUIDE.
This guide is more effective for BOINC users (personal choice / reasons), it can also be used for FOLDING or video processing, and other purposes where offloading GPU is required (looking also forward to OpenACC implementation in GCC)
Step 1: Hardware
My PC was build based on an assembled system from
It contains the CPU, Intel Celeron J1900 (22nm so kind of old, but with 10W TDP) which has already a heatsink instead of a normal fan.
For the GPU I have chosen a Palit KalmX 1050 GTX TI (fanless double slot design) since it had more software support (I will use it for BOINC medicine projects, which today means only GPUGRID), although from what I see AMD has more raw power and more software tuning based on the WattMan software (Voltage and Frequency control comes in mind)
The only fan that is running is the PSU fan, which I guess is a 12cm fan which is …quiet, since the temp inside the case is around max 60 deg.
If you want to build it yourself, you can also check out this video https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-Sile...
Step 2: Software
In my case I Installed Windows 10 with NVIDIA drivers 378.92
I recommend also installing GPU-Z, BoincTasks, TThrottle & MSI Afterburner
Since I want to run this only for the GPU power (GPUGRID via BOINC), it is important to have high TFLOPS , low power consumption and low Delta Temperature (GPU Core Temp –Room Temp)
I would recommend running the Long runs since they will give RAC of around 100-200K
Step 3: Control & Tuning
MSI Afterburner for this particular model has a limit of 65 deg C and 70% TDP, which was not that low. So when I did this trick by lowering all of the points on the “curve” (Ctrl + F), under the lowest visible Frequency point, it automatically selected a straight line the lowest Freq with Lowest Voltage. This is the lowest power point running uninterrupted (I assume, but please correct me J) since Power is depending more on Voltage ^ 2 * Freq.
After doing this the Temperature went down to 60 deg C.
Ambient temperature is around 19.5 – 22 deg C
Weird thing is that after 2 days of running non-stop it decreased to 57 degC and after a few more days as low as 53 degC. I guess it is a problem of the GPUGRID, since the GPU loading depends on the application, but it stayed constantly at 0.793V and 1278MHz
EFMER TThrottle is useful as a backup temperature limit and checking the GPU temp in BOINC tasks from the “remote computer”
I do not recommend limiting directly the TThrottle GPU temperature (it basically shuts down the gpu) under the MSI afterburner implementation (much better since it decreases dynamically the GPU Frequency and Voltage)
GPU-Z is nice to see what is limiting in every moment the GPU, and compare the results with Afterburner. In my cases it already shows that the limiting is coming from Pwr, VRel & VOp https://forums.evga.com/Gpuz-PerfCap-Reason-Vrel-V...
Boinc Tasks is nice to have it on a remote Computer in order to monitor the progress and GPU temps.
Teamviewer is also nice to use but I find it more stable, slow and annoying since of the message with “Commercial use suspected”
Google Remote Desktop worked flawlessly from my android phone, but no so good from windows 10
Step 4: Possible Improvements
PicoPSU with brick power supply. I wanted to try this but at 110 euros is a bit too much. You could buy it if you want to self-assembly your PC and make it truly fanless.
Use an open case like:
You can also buy CPU + motherboard like this
I would recommend a motherboard with PCI 16x also for future upgradability and enough clearing space for double slot GPU card
Remove CD-ROM and other peripherals that you do not need (I also disconnected some usb ports from the front panel)
Make sure that the GPU fins do not touch any cables in small spaces. It happened to me and I used an isolation band to pull the extra cables down
From Windows 10 power requirements set the maximum CPU to 25% (or play carefully with Intel Extreme Utility) since the GPUGRID is using around 25% of the CPU. After limiting the max CPU to 25% it is in fact running at 1.33 GHz in comparison to original 2.66 GHz J
Use open cases or, drill some holes in the 5.25” & 3.5” covers, or if you have a 3D printer use the following link (I did not use it but I intend to)
Use aftermarket thermal paste for better conductivity, but I will not do this to void the warranty, again check out https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-build-Sile...
Buy a new GPU every time a new generation is available.
For games, you can also use the Palit Thunder Master utility to limit the Frame Rate Target, although is a bit weird since I cannot find this in Afterburner settings.