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Disable (unmount?) dedicated Graphics card when VM not in use

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Hello folks,


This is my Story...


EDIT: Spoiler Codes dont work? ... weird...

so I just installed Unraid 6 on my Gen8 Microserver...
... and will return it straight away, because its too noisy, and too expensive for the low performance.

After a few cheap catches on my local HW Forums and ebay, my new Build is planned as follows:

Asus Z9P-U8 Motherboard (Intel C602, Socket 2011, Integrated Aspeed Graphics)
Xeon E5 2670 (8 core with HT and VT-d, 2,6Ghz) (100€, millions of them on ebay)
32 GB of ECC DDR3 Ram (60€ was a steal)
2*256 GB Cache SSD Samsung 840 Evo (have those already)
3*4 TB WD Red Nas Drives (have those already)
480 Bequiet PSU with Gold Efficiency (found this one in the basement)

The rig will be located in my bedroom (studio apartment) so im mostly concerned with Noise. 
Luckily I found some High end fans in the basement spare box together with the PSU, so it will be whisper quiet and cool. 
For anyone interested, its a few Noiseblocker eLoops as well as Noiseblocker Blacksilent Series. 
The motherboard is the most expensive part of the build (250€), but it is one of the few server/WS board that supports S3 Sleep with Wake on Lan. 
If I can't sleep because of noise, I will suspend the server during nighttime.

Because I have now way to much power on my hands, I want global access to my new Workstation/VM build via VPN and only carry an ultrabook around,
regardless of the tasks. At the moment this is my Macbook, but I'm waiting for a new "premium" Chromebook to release in Europe.
This plan requires one (ore more) dedicated GPUs in the Unraid Rig... 



... and these are my questions:


Can you disable (e.g. completely turn off / cut power consuption) and enable PCI-E Graphics Cards at will?

If yes, is it possible to tie this to a VM?


My dream scenario: Unraid server running 24/7 (or maybe S3 with Wake on Lan) and the graphics cards are only turned on when I fire up a VM that actually uses them. If I power down the VM, the graphics card will be turned off completely.


I have a few "old" Graphics Cards lying around (GTX 570, Hd 5770) and I dont want them to make noise or consume power when nobody is using them.

Because its older cards, even idle consumption is still an issue.


Is any of this possible?


Thanks in advance!

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Posted (edited)

I am trying to do the same thing: An Unraid 24/7 file server running a workstation VM with passthrough GPU that is only powered on when needed, but so far the GPU is not powering down when the VM is in any way.


Is the answer to this question so obvious it doesn't even merit a response?

Edited by Pinch

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From my observations, the gpu does power down when not in use, however it isn't completely off.


When I start a VM that uses the GPU the power consumption (measured at the wall) jumps 100-200watt, even with the vm idle doing nothing.  My assumption is that this is the GPU drawing power as the consumption before starting a VM is around 70watt which seems too low if it included GPU draw.


The fans on the GPU are on though, so it must be actually powered up.


This is an AMD RX480 so its entirely possible that newer GPU's have a way of "powering down" when not in use which older ones do not.

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