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Author Topic: Windows 7 Server Edition for Mining Rig?  (Read 2113 times)
ImI
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May 12, 2013, 02:16:52 AM
 #1


Hi,

Windows 8 has brought some driver issues. I could install the Windows 7 Server Version.

I never used a Windows Server Edition. Just a normal Windows 7 + Serverstuff or not a good idea to switch to?

ImI
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May 12, 2013, 03:10:34 AM
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I've never heard of such a thing as Windoze 7 Server Edition.  Did you just dream that up?  Or are you talking about Windoze Server 2008?

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May 12, 2013, 03:14:23 AM
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I've never heard of such a thing as Windoze 7 Server Edition.  Did you just dream that up?  Or are you talking about Windoze Server 2008?

I think that's what he's talking about.
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May 12, 2013, 04:52:56 AM
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Windows 7 Server edition = Windows 2008 R2

And it works fine as a miner, just need to make sure of one setting:

Under System Properties, Adv Tab, Performance Settings, Performance Settings Adv Tab, under processor scheduling, make sure that 'Programs' are selected over 'Background Services'.
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May 12, 2013, 11:08:41 AM
 #5

I've never heard of such a thing as Windoze 7 Server Edition.  Did you just dream that up?  Or are you talking about Windoze Server 2008?

Its the Windows 2008 Server, a friend of mine told me he had Windows 7 Server available but thats nonsense.
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May 12, 2013, 11:09:23 AM
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Windows 7 Server edition = Windows 2008 R2

And it works fine as a miner, just need to make sure of one setting:

Under System Properties, Adv Tab, Performance Settings, Performance Settings Adv Tab, under processor scheduling, make sure that 'Programs' are selected over 'Background Services'.

Thx! I ll give it a try then.
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May 12, 2013, 01:15:44 PM
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I wanted 2008R2 on my main box I also have hyper-v images on but decided against it because AMD didn't list drivers.  I have enough headache keeping the miners up (like this weekend some firewall change at work killed 3 out of 4 of my cards productivity for over a day).  So I put windows 8 which also has hyper v.    Its on a dual LGA 2011 board that can go up to 512GB of ram Smiley

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May 14, 2013, 04:11:12 PM
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I wanted 2008R2 on my main box I also have hyper-v images on but decided against it because AMD didn't list drivers.  I have enough headache keeping the miners up (like this weekend some firewall change at work killed 3 out of 4 of my cards productivity for over a day).  So I put windows 8 which also has hyper v.    Its on a dual LGA 2011 board that can go up to 512GB of ram Smiley

Just an FYI, the drivers for 2008R2 and 7 are identical.  If they list drivers for Windows 7, you can use those in 2008R2.

Unless the drivers themselves are going to restrict you, but I'm pretty sure things like video card drivers don't do that.  Smiley

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May 14, 2013, 07:40:54 PM
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I have my home server which runs Home Server 2011 (Same core as 2008 R2) with no issues.  Just runs 1 card though. 

If you have to pay for the license a Server 2008 R2 license is going to run you ~$650 vs ~$150 for Windows 7/8...
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May 14, 2013, 08:19:31 PM
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If you have to pay for the license a Server 2008 R2 license is going to run you ~$650 vs ~$150 for Windows 7/8...
Reading through this thread, I'm still scratching my head wondering why anyone would buy Server 2008 to mine when Win 7 is far cheaper and Linux is free!
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May 14, 2013, 10:54:21 PM
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And then there are people like me who paid for a one-year Technet subscription and got more licenses than one could possibly use for just about everything Microsoft makes for $350.  Cheesy

I have one license key for 2008R2 that gives me 500 activations.  Smiley

And that's not counting all the others.  I had to use a spreadsheet to keep track of all the license keys (everything from Windows XP through 7, Server 2003 through 2008R2).  Had this since 7 RTM came out, have yet to use up any of the activations on the keys.

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May 16, 2013, 06:45:03 AM
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I use server 2008 R2 SP1 with the latest beta ATI drivers.
Works fine.
I run mine in gui mode so I don't have to bother about using System account, so I've set it to auto login, with no lock time.
You may have to install the drivers manually, as by default catalyst didn't want to install openCL.  Just go find the MSI and run it.
I also use mine as a HyperV box, hence not running it as server 2012 as yet because, well basically, I don't need to as yet and can't be bothered.
If I add a second machine I'll put this one back as my standard desktop, dev and gaming machine, and I will run my miner on either server 2012 or server 2012 with no gui (datacentre).

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May 16, 2013, 06:51:45 AM
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PS - I have had no troubles running CGminer (except the initial conf file setup etc) on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.  My additional servers use them,just my primary is still on 2008R2SP1.
Also, give Windows2Go a whirl if you want to stay on the windows route. I'm moving mine eventually to Windows 8 on Windows 2 Go sticks.  Even on USB2 it should be all fine - except for the long boot times.
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May 16, 2013, 04:54:29 PM
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a, what I missed?
What is the point of mining on Windows server?

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May 17, 2013, 12:39:39 AM
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Hi Vuli,
I think that depends on the person to be honest.

My main reasons are:
 * I have a rediculous amount of licenses for Windows and it's server counterparts ranging from 2.0 up to 8
 * Ease of usage.  Setting up a windows box is dead easy for CGMiner and ATI cards.  Just install windows onto a VHD, set it up in BCDEdit and then boot to it.  Stick in the ATI drivers and afterburner, cgminer, drop your conf file like usual, and if you have to, force a hardware overclock.  Setting up a linux live distro with permanent storage on a usb stick when you don't have any optical drives, and getting drivers etc on to it involes more effort.
 * If using windows to go, do the same, you can then duplicate the stick and put it in any pc you come across, regardless of hardware (unless you OC, then you have to OC each PC differently)
 * if you are using the newer generation with any of hte newer Core intels (and I Think some of the AMD processors), you'll also get better power management.  Although 5 kw/hr isn't a huge boost, but it helps.
 * I play games on server if I can't be bothered rebooting.  Just come on in, and let my games run through an NVidia card I have attached to the rig.  The AMD/ATI cards mine, my NVidia card lets me play games through steam.
 * HyperV, RDP support and software - I can use the same machine for work when I need to, so I don't have to stop any of my machines from mining when I work from home.

Additionally I'm an engineer, so apart from being able to design hardware for better cooling etc, I also program - and for the past 10 years I've primarly dealt with Windows and Server coutnerpart platforms, so when I want to write some UDP controls, or modify some hardware to remotely reset computers (instead of having to use ILO through a HP server) I can do that too, or jsut control CG miner, and give it a nice pretty gui to boot in comparitively less time that it would take me to write the same for linux.  I also find it easier to automate and rewrite whatever I need to.
I also use any machine in an idle state to run CGminer or Cudaminer over SMB, no rebooting required - just let them go.

These reasons would be different for different people - but in general from what I've seen people like using windows due to ease, and practibility if they are multitasking (ie using it for mining AND something else they would normally use their PC for).

Windows Server editions compared to the non server editions can be similar or different however.
2008 R2 is SIMILAR to 7, but not everything is the same.  However in general most stuff will work in both.
Windows 8 and Server 2012 are more closely related however as they share alot more common code - and an annoying metro start screen.  So you can basically use either of them after you uninstall all the metro crap.

As for stability - I've actually found that the ATI drivers run better under Server R2SP1 than Win7 when overclocked.
Under R2SP1 each of my gigabyte 7870s get around 550 to 600mh/s using cgminer for btc.  (I had a sapphire, but it was pretty much a dud when it wasn't underclocked so I got rid of it for about $60 profit).   I can't overclock it to that point in Win7 or linux live (never botherd to boot into win8 on that computer as I don't have guild wars 2 installed on it), once they hit around 1150mhz they start to die and don't mine above 470mh/s stabiliy.

So, casting a general assumption, I'd say that server R2SP1 appears more stable than windows 7 for ati mining due to less load on the GPU (my win7 build is overburndend by a rediculous amount of software - it's been running since 2 weeks before public release on a sig edition win7 build).  It appears to run better than linux out of the box due to availability of the newer ATI Beta drivers which seemed to fix a bunch of errors that my cards suffered on the release builds.

So that in general could be a few reasons why some people prefer windows.

Another reason is that people can't be bothered learning (or re-learning linux) after using windows for so long Smiley
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