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Installing a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU card into my ML350p Gen8

Frequent Advisor

Installing a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU card into my ML350p Gen8

Last night I successfully installed a GeForce GTX 1080 card along with all Nvidia and vendor drivers into my ML350p Gen8 server running Windows Server 2019. This is something I have been burning to do for a while. I know others have asked about this on various forums so I will share my experience.

Prior to installing any video card be sure to enter your BIOS and enable the Optional Video under Advanced Options. You can set the Optional Card as primary and the Embedded video as optional. If the Optional Card is not present then the system kicks down to using the Embedded Video. This would give you a way out so to speak if your Optional Card bonks out or you need to pull it. I wouldn't dare disable Embedded Video just yet.

At first I wanted to install the card into PCIe slot 3. It is associated with processor #1. Being a double wide card there is no room between it and the plastic air baffle. The fans could spin but I'm not sure how much air would circulate to cool the card. I decided to move the card to PCIe slot 6. This slot is associated with processor #2.

I used a 10 pin to dual 6+2 pin cable from Kareon Kables for powering the card. They have both an online shop and an eBay store. Be sure to plug the 10 pin end into one of the black connectors by the motherboard. The white connectors are used to power the drive cages from what I understand. My cable was 12 inches long and it was just barely long enough to slip under the fans and come up to plug down into the power connections of the card.

With the card inserted and plugged into a monitor you would think it doesn't work upon powering up the server. It turns out the Earily System Initialization only comes out of the Embedded Video. After that step is done video from your GPU is enabled and the Embedded Video goes blank. You will see a new splash screen. Also, some of the text you normally see during POST will be in color. It kind of reminded me of BBS login screens from the early 90's.

Windows Server 2019 booted up just fine but at a low and fixed resolution. Drivers for the card must now be installed. Nvidia offers two versions of their drivers: a standard version and a DCH version. The versions are almost same functionally in that they install the drivers and the GeForce Experience. However, the DCH version will not install the Nvidia Control Panel. The Nvidia Control Panel would have to be installed through the Microsoft Store. Windows Server 2019 does not come with the Microsoft Store! The Store also is not officially supported in Server. Smart talented people have manually installed the Store onto their machine but it seemed cumbersome, complicated, and unnecessary. The much easier and much simpler solution is to use the standard version of the driver. To get the standard driver go to :

Use the pull down menus to select the proper product. I installed the Windows 10 64-bit version on my Server 2019 system without any hitches. This will get you the drivers, the Nvidia Control Panel, and GeForce Experience. After all that is installed you can change resolutions. Programs that leverage GPUs, like everything from games to distributed computing platforms to whatever, will see the hardware.

Next you will want to install a GPU clocking and monitoring engine. Yes - overclocking! I believe it's a "must-have" whether you want to squeeze in a few extra frames per second or decrease compute times. My 1080 card is from Gigabyte and they offer Aorus. You can use any engine from any brand. A 1080 is a 1080 is a 1080 regardless of brand wheather it's Gigabyte, MSI, or EVGA. MSI's tool is considered the best but I decided to stick with Aorus just because. No reason, really. It's known to be a little simplistic and buggy but I'm not a power user. Once I find my stable settings I leave it alone.

BOINC recognizes the GPU card and sends it work units. I was able to fire up some games and they worked just fine on high or near highest settings.

I would like to add a second GPU card in PCIe slot 3 but am seriously worried about how close the card sits against the air baffle. Running in that slot I'm afraid the card would run hotter than normal and choke a bit. The official Nvidia Quadro cards must be single width.

I hope this information helps someone one day!

Frequent Advisor

Re: Installing a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU card into my ML350p Gen8

One thing I forgot to mention!

After installing the Nvidia drivers with GeForce Experience you will see an error that says wlanapi.dll is missing or cannot be found when you try to launch GeForce Experience. The fix is very simple. Open Server Manager and install the Wireless LAN Service feature. You will need to reboot the computer after installation. I don't know what GeForce Experience needs from the wlanapi.dll file.

And one thing I just came across that I should have checked before even starting!

I completely missed double checking with the user guide before going ahead with this installation! The text is quite clear on which slots support installing a GPU card. One line in particular stands out to me.

In a two-processor configuration, Hewlett Packard Enterprise recommends installing the graphic card in PCI slot 6.

That's what I ended up doing anyways.

Note to myself - RTFM!

Occasional Visitor

Re: Installing a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU card into my ML350p Gen8


What power supply do you have and what do you recommend?

Thanks in advance.

Frequent Advisor

Re: Installing a GeForce GTX 1080 GPU card into my ML350p Gen8

I have 2 x 750W supplies in my machine. Unfortunately, I can't recommend anything one way or another because I don't know how much (or how little) hardware you have in your machine.

My machine currently has:

  • 1 - HPE P430 card
  • 1 - GeForce 1080 card
  • 1 - FebSmart USB card
  • 8 - 16 GB DIMMs (128 GB total RAM)
  • 2 - Xeon 2697 V2 processors
  • 8 - SFF drives across two SFF cages
  • 1 - Optical drive
  • 2 - Consumer SATA drives in my media cage

I'm also running one of my Ethernet ports at full throttle

Nothing has burned out yet.