Want to run headless server without video card - but it won't boot

Clocker

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Howdy-

Building a server around an AMD CPU with a 970 chipset motherboard. I am used to my older Intel C2Q system where I could boot it up without any video card installed at all (no integrated video either) and it worked fine. With this newer board, I set it up with a video card installed but when I pull it out and turn it back on, the system will not boot at all. It just sits there. Any tricks to get it to booth w/o a video card ? Or, alternatively, what is the lowest power video card I can put in this damn box?

Thanks,
Clocker
 

Chewy509

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See if there are any boot failure options in the BIOS, and disable as needed/available.

And what do you mean by low power? I assume low Wattage... then an AMD HD5450 based solution will give the lowest TDP for a modern card. (6.4W idle / 19W max). nVidia, a 8400GS ot GT610 based will also work but at a higher TDP. (25W).

IIRC 970 based boards need a GFX adapter to boot...
 

Clocker

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Thank you for looking!

Yeah, there are no BIOS options on this board in the UEFI BIOS to ignore any boot errors (like in the old AMI BIOS for the system this new board is replacing where I could tell it to ignore the fact there is no video card).

Since the video card will really not be used for anything I am looking for something with the absolute lowest idle power consumption I can find. Even an old PCI card will work if it is low power.
 

Chewy509

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Even an old PCI card will work if it is low power.
Unless your dealing with something really old, (a 2D only card), even an old GeForce FX5200 PCI will consume 25W. (IIRC, regular PCI 32/33 slots can provide up to 25W of power, and most PCI gfx cards do use that).

Also quickly checking most review sites didn't start to include TDP as part of their review until the GeForce 8000 / AMD HD2000 series were released, so it's very hard to get numbers on the older GPUs.
 
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Clocker

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I could always exchange the M/B for one with integrated video (760G I preseume). I wonder how much more efficient those are than having a discrete video card doing about 20W? I know it sounds kinda silly to waste the time on it but I would like to see how low I can get the power consumption just for fun.
 

Chewy509

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Integrated should give you the lowest power usage, as you're not having to drive all the extra electronics on the discrete card. (between PCIe bridges, RAM, etc, they add up).

Mind you if you want the lowest possible power requirement, nothing is really going to beat:
1. Atom based ITX/mATX system. (up to 30W at full load) - http://www.silentpcreview.com/article1247-page4.html
2. ARM based SoC, eg RaspPi, etc. (Should get sub 5W total at full load)
 

Clocker

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Yeah I decided to stick with this 970 based board I have just in case I want to upgrade to an FX-8XXX CPU some day. This box is a jack of all trades, including performing some encoding duty. It handles all of them. I picked up the XFX HD 5450 you mentioned... Amazon was actually a few bucks cheaper than Newegg for me.
 

Clocker

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I cancelled my order. Seems like the old GeForce 7300LE is the card to get. ~9W at idle, Win7 64-bit drivers readily available, ~$10 shipped (used) on eBay with no rebate to mess with.
 

Clocker

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Well, it turns out that SOME motherboards require a video card, and some do not. I returned the MSI because I read that it had some issues with the 125W TDP processors and ended up getting the Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3P (new model that is supposed to support even 140W processors). For kicks decided to boot it w/o the video card and it beeped twice and then loaded my OS. I wonder if it is a Gigabyte thing...the two I tried worked fine w/o a video card.
 
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