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[LINK] Hacking NVidia Geforce cards into their professional counterparts

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<br>Link: >> EEVblog: Hacking NVidia Cards into their Professional Counterparts <<

Bestfeed asked here:

By the way, do you mind if I asking; why all this time, I never anyone done egpu using powerful graphic cards such as NVIDIA Quadro / ATI FirePro?

Upgrading to GeForce series is kinda regular to me... excellent in gaming but I'm afraid it will disturbing me because the reason why I upgrade; is not because want to have better game experience but to unlock my 3D application such as Adobe CS6 suite, Autodesk Maya and other powerful software..

So... is that possible for me to do the egpu using Nvidia Quadro card? I'm planning to use it on Nvidia Quadro K600 1GB gpu...

To which the answer was "Yes, it's possible to use a Quadro card. Consult Benchmarks Workstation Graphics 2013 to see if it's worth it over a regular Geoforce card."

However, what if we could get Quadro performance out of the much better valued Geforce cards? Well, I was alerted by a eGPU user that this is indeed possible by modifying a few of the resistors on the back of the card. The link explaining how to do this above.

Details about this mod : anonymous eGPU user who performed this mod to his GTX680 gaining a NVidia GRID K2 out of it wrote me:

The best thing to educate someone of this mod is to actually link them to eevblog forum. There is a lot reading before you attempt this since there is risk involved.

There is no need to read into further regarding the improved math computations, because it is all true, NVIDIA wants you to buy their expensive shit, so they nerfed the consumer GTX drivers even if they ARE capable much greater computation speeds! But of course AMD are not dumb them self, they do the same. If you require the power of computations, bit-coins or whatever, and have some balls, then go for it.

And the last part about the eGPU, it's probably completely irrelevant, because once the OS detects the card it's just another graphics card, whether it's a GRID, TESLA(i had this before), FirePro, Quadro, XXX card. The secret lies in the drivers, when the driver verifies in a hardware level that it IS actually a FirePro/Quadro or in my case GRID K2, then it will "unlock automatically it's features" (even if it was there to begin with, but yea whatever). Take a note that a GRID K2/TESLA with default bios does not come with video outputs, hdmi, displayport, dvi. Would I forced flash a GRID K2 bios then I would lose the outputs most likely. So I'm using default gtx 680 bios and it simply works like a GRID with outputs. Well, better get to the reading cuz it's gonna take a while.

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Very interesting. I thought of messing around with similar ideas to see if that's how nvidia/amd disable shader blocks.

Also nando your link has a </br> in it at the end which breaks it.

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I've been reading sometimes in that thread for a while now, there are some really interesting posts, it's just pretty difficult to really point down things cause it'd require you to have several cards on which you can do some testing. The resistors are only one part of the story, there are also some straps in the firmware that have an influence on the device ID.

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Very interesting. I thought of messing around with similar ideas to see if that's how nvidia/amd disable shader blocks.

Also nando your link has a </br> in it at the end which breaks it.

Fixed the links. Yeah, it's pretty interesting. Makes sense that NVidia would find an easy way of switching the card from a Geforce to a Quadro/GRID via resistors.

Unfortunately I have a non-reference MSI GTX660Ti Power Edition with resistor locations not matching those in the thread. Another user asked for help with the same card only last month and didn't get a comprehensive reply. If one does come then I might give it a go.

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Hold on a second though, if the reason behind the card's capabilities is drivers, then why not mod the drivers instead of the hardware?

The guy in the article is using linux which has some weird stuff going on, but if the Quadro drivers are anything like Geforce drivers it would be easy to mod on Windows.

The question is though, are Quadro drivers like Geforce drivers?

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Hold on a second though, if the reason behind the card's capabilities is drivers, then why not mod the drivers instead of the hardware?

The guy in the article is using linux which has some weird stuff going on, but if the Quadro drivers are anything like Geforce drivers it would be easy to mod on Windows.

The question is though, are Quadro drivers like Geforce drivers?

NVidia caught onto the soft modding of drivers mechanism to get Quadro features a while ago. The link explains that you mod the INF of your card's pci-e ID into the Quadtro drivers, they load and work but you get no performance gain. The card itself needs the PCIe ID modified via resistors to be seen as a Quadro/GRID card upon which the Windows drivers then enable the pro features. It's a hardware-based protection of the Quadro drivers.

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I have a little to add to this since it is kinda, somewhat relevant.

My dGPU is a Quadro NVS 4200M.

Tech Specs | NVIDIA

Look at PhysX capable row.

"No" for the 4200M.

But with running the eGPU and using the desktop drivers I can select the 4200M in the NCP as a dedicated PhysX device.

I showed this in my old DSDT / iGPU+dGPU+eGPU guide here:

http://forum.techinferno.com/diy-e-gpu-projects/3539-guide-dsdt-override-simultaneous-igpu-dgpu-egpu.html

See pictures at bottom of that post.

Normally I don't have that option (pre-eGPU goodness). Kinda odd it still showed no PhysX in GPU-Z (box not checked). But it worked regardless.

Shows you can go Quadro -> GeForce as well (kinda). It still shows up as a Quadro card.

Food for thought. nom nom nom

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The bios in the gaming cards don't have some of the features of the quadro/tesla cards, so you need to have the bios of the expensive cards loaded to use them. But, you can't load the expensive bios without changing the hardware straps that control the PCI device ID. These are non-gaming features that allow you to share the card between multiple virtual machines and things like that.

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NVidia caught onto the soft modding of drivers mechanism to get Quadro features a while ago. The link explains that you mod the INF of your card's pci-e ID into the Quadtro drivers, they load and work but you get no performance gain. The card itself needs the PCIe ID modified via resistors to be seen as a Quadro/GRID card upon which the Windows drivers then enable the pro features. It's a hardware-based protection of the Quadro drivers.

I think he meant modifying the driver with a disassembler/debugger. You find where the driver checks the card's HWID and change that code to do whatever you want.

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but, is it really worth the trouble. Years I almost bought a quadro and I through research it was thought that those cards didn't have the [gaming] performance of the GTX cards.

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No, they are not necessarily "optimized".

The differences are mainly that Quadro cards are underclocked (compared to GeForce counterparts for lower power), but they have unlocked extra features in drivers.

Example - I have two GTS450 cards. I tested them before and they where sucking in AutoCAD. I modded their BIOS to appear as Quadro 2000 (yes on Fermi you can still do that, as opposed to Kepler that requires resistor modification).

Tested them again and the AutoCAD part improved. Gaming performance remained unchanged. Compared with a Quadro K2000 that I have at work (higher specs than Quadro 2000), the modded GTS450 win hands down, due to higher clocks.

Obviously the power consumption is higher on my modded cards because of that - they are dual slot cards with supplemental power connector as opposed to single slot and no power connector for the real Quadro's.

As for the PhysX on Quadro - it can be installed separately (useless IMO, but it can be done):

http://www.nvidia.com/object/physx-9.13.1220-driver.html

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