I have a laptop with GPU 940M and a desktop with GPU GTX 980. Both are capable of performing deep learning task on their own using Pytorch or Tensorflow.

How can I use them both together for a deep learning task? Do I have to connect them together through a server?

If so, what are the keywords to search for a tutorial?

  • The 940M is so weak it's really not worth it, especially given the lack of VRAM and the overhead associated with sharing information between the two computers. Moving between system RAM and VRAM is often a bottleneck already; while you can do distributed compute with Tensorflow, I would seriously not recommend it. – JMY1000 Jun 25 '19 at 7:20

A server is just another computer. Therefore, you don't need one in order to have a network between your two computers. Instead, you have a choice:

  • You can purchase a switch and connect your both machines to the switch.

    The cheapest switches cost less than ten dollars, and allow to plug five or eight devices. Note that you also have to have two Ethernet cables. Ensure first that both of your computers have a network adapter.

  • Or you can buy a crossover cable to connect the computers directly without a switch.

    While this solution is cheaper, it is also the least scalable. If, in the future, you would want to connect a third device, you wouldn't be able to do that if every device has only one network adapter.

  • If you have a router, there is possibly a way to either connect two devices through Ethernet to it, or to use Wi-Fi. In this case, you don't need to purchase anything extra.

Once you have your local network set up, you can start exploring the capabilities of distributed computing.

  • Thanks for the response! I just checked that my laptop does not have an Ethernet port. Would it be possible to create a network connection using a USB cable instead? My WiFi connection is not the best, so I am leaving that option as a last choice. Thank you also for including information about the third device, as I do plan to get another PC in the near future! – Dylan Jun 14 '19 at 23:49
  • You can buy a USB network card. It's a small device which connects to USB port of your computer, and has an Ethernet port on the other side. – Arseni Mourzenko Jun 15 '19 at 7:24
  • Awesome! I will definitely be getting that. Thank you very much! – Dylan Jun 15 '19 at 7:52

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