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I have a motherboard without any internal GPU, so I have to have a GPU to get my server to start. The problem is that i have no use for it other than it doesnt boot without a gpu. The HD 5570 I am using at the moment produces about 65 degrees in idle (passive cooled).

This is unecessary and heats up all other components. Is it possible to completely disable the GPU from drawing power when booting into Debian?

There are no BIOS settings which I can disable this with, i have looked.

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I am almost sure it will still get warm, no matter how you will disable it. It is receiving power via physical connection. As for MOBO, I can suspect it is not GPU that is preventing from booting, but bios protections, it might be "displaying" "GPU MISSING, press f1 to continue" for example. You should check if you can disable this behavior, if not, check what KEY needs to be pressed to resume normal boot.

p.s You can try add 'nomodeset' in grub command line, it should prevent kernel from loading video drivers at all.

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  • I tried nomodeset, it disabled the GPU, but it was still producing heat, a lot of heat. If it was possible to bypass it with a keystroke. Is it possible to emulate this to make it pass this failure without a keyboard? – jockebq Aug 13 '20 at 19:24
  • To my knowledge it is up to BIOS, if it supports "continue on errors" option, it will not stop booting if it detects some 'soft-errors". As for heat, I believe it is nothing you can do about it, your motherboard is powering GPU board anyway, I'm not aware of a way to disable power delivered via PCI – Devourer Aug 13 '20 at 19:28
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By default the driver (amdgpu) will put the video card into the lowest performance mode which means nomodeset can actually ... increase power consumption because the GPU boot clocks might not be the most power efficient. In short, there's nothing you can do to force an even lower power consumption than there already is. If you're concerned about temps, install a fan or replace the GPU.

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