Silly question relating to graphics cards?

Liam Proven lproven at
Thu Sep 6 11:54:05 UTC 2012

On 5 September 2012 15:21, compdoc <compdoc at> wrote:
>> The 3D accelerators don't *just* do 3D. They also do hardware video decode
> and so on.
> I've been asking on IRC but haven't gotten answers, so maybe you can tell me
> - does a server need more than a PCI video card?
> Does a server use the video card to accelerate rdp or vnc sessions on the
> host, or in VM guests running on the host?

Depends on what the server does, but for most purposes, no; most
servers have onboard video now anyway so do not even need a PCI card.

There are some types of computation that can be accelerated by what is
called general-purpose graphics-processing unit code (GPGPU), but
actually, it's fairly rare for ordinary code. It is good, for example,
for certain specific types of mathematical modelling, which is why the
Folding at home client uses it and some other distributed-computing
projects too.

But code has to be specially written & compiled with a special
compiler for GPGPU applications; you can't just say "run this ssh
encryption engine on the GPU rather than the CPU".

So, no, generally, servers don't need a fancy GPU.

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