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Considering the price of graphics cards, I was wondering how hard it would be to turn a computer into a graphics card for another computer. I imagine I would have ...
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  1. #1
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    Post Turn PC into Graphics Card


    Considering the price of graphics cards, I was wondering how hard it would be to turn a computer into a graphics card for another computer.
    I imagine I would have to have a home-made connector that fits into the slot for the graphics card. The wires from this connector would then be strung to the second computer - but where to jack in at? I was thinking the Ethernet adapter plug. Obviously a program would need to be written that uses the second computer's processor as the graphics processor, and the 2nd PC's Ram memory as the Graphics memory.
    In this case, the second computer is a 2.6GHZ e-machines with a max. Ram capacity of 2 gigabites, and a 10/100 Ethernet adapter.
    The soldering I can handle - I worked as a QC in a factory producing milspec 454-h hardware for the military when I was a teenager. Currently, I'm trying to write my first Linux OS for the machine just mentioned, but I have a loooong way to go.
    As to why I would consider doing such a thing, imagine this: A painter who makes $450 a week buying a $3.000 graphics card! (Try pricing a 2.5ghz, 2gbt graphics card, and you'll see what I mean.)
    Maybe it's not even possible...but if it is - what a rewarding task that would be! (Hmmm....I wonder what such a program would be worth, on the open market. A program that could turn a quad-core, 8...oh, well, I guess you get the idea.)
    So, I need resources. Help! Anyone? Anyone at all?

  2. #2
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    Not going to work...

    A Core 2 or AMD chip is a "general purpose" processor - it can be programmed to do many things. A video chip has *many* high speed processing pipelines *designed specifically* for rendering graphics. It would take *many* more general purpose CPU's to have the capability of a single high-end video card. If this were the case, why would Sony spend $$$ designing the vid card for their next console system if they could just drop in some CPU's from Intel/AMD?

    In fact, video chips (GPU's) are *SO* much faster at specific types of calculations, they are being used to build clusters/supercomputers *and* simulation programs are being coded to be run on the GPU instead of the CPU.

    Example

    The original Bull NovaScale supercomputer setup was based on 1068 nodes, which will result in a total of 8544 processing cores for a peak floating point performance of 192 TFlops. Apparently the design was recently upgraded with 48 nodes of Nvidia Tesla S900 GPGPU cards with 96 (GT200) GPUs. The expected performance is now about 300 TFlops. In comparison, BlueGene/L, currently the world’s most powerful supercomputer, peaks at 596 TFlops an uses 212,992 processing cores. Second is JUGENE with 65,336 cores and a peak performance of 223 TFlops.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I was looking at some mother boards this morning, and I did find it odd that they were putting GPUs on the motherboards - you can learn something new everyday!
    Yeah - I was thinking it would be a lot of trouble, but I'd rather ask than remain ignorant!
    Something else I noticed, and just haven't made the time to find out, is the capacity of the machince I'm using now. It's a dual-core, but I was given the 32 bit operating system. (I knew NOTHING about computers when I bought it!) Anyway, I know I can put 2 gigs of ram in it (1.5 at present), but shouldn't I be able to put 4 in it, if I change the OS to 64bit? (I'm running Vista - and this one, too, is an emachines...I had to go find a new bios the first time I turned it on! Wow. So that's why I'm trying to build my own OS! I think it's time to find that out! Thnx again!

  4. #4
    Linux Guru coopstah13's Avatar
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    you would have to check your motherboard manual to determine whether or not it supports 4 gb memory and then run a 64-bit OS to make full use of it (though some 32-bit windows OS version will detect and let you use more, just process limit will be 2 gb)

    bios problems are hardware related, not software

    building your own OS is a substantial amount of work, are you really that dissatisfied with the choices available (bsd, solaris, linux, windows)?

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