Set up GPU drivers for N-series VMs running Windows Server

To take advantage of the GPU capabilities of Azure N-series VMs running Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2012 R2, you must install NVIDIA graphics drivers on each VM after deployment. Driver setup information is also available for Linux VMs.

For basic specs, storage capacities, and disk details, see Sizes for virtual machines. See also General considerations for N-series VMs.

Supported GPU drivers

Connect by Remote Desktop to each N-series VM. Download, extract, and install the supported driver for your Windows operating system.

NVIDIA Tesla drivers for NC VMs (Tesla K80)

OS Driver version
Windows Server 2016 376.84 (.exe)
Windows Server 2012 R2 376.84 (.exe)

Tesla driver download links provided here are current at time of publication. For the latest drivers, visit the NVIDIA website.

NVIDIA GRID drivers for NV VMs (Tesla M60)

OS Driver version
Windows Server 2016 369.95 (.zip)
Windows Server 2012 R2 369.95 (.zip)

Verify GPU driver installation

On Azure NV VMs, a restart is required after driver installation. On NC VMs, a restart is not required.

You can verify driver installation in Device Manager. The following example shows successful configuration of the Tesla K80 card on an Azure NC VM.

GPU driver properties

To query the GPU device state, run the nvidia-smi command-line utility installed with the driver.

NVIDIA device status

RDMA network for NC24r VMs

RDMA network connectivity can be enabled on NC24r VMs deployed in the same availability set. The HpcVmDrivers extension must be added to install Windows network device drivers that enable RDMA connectivity. To add the VM extension to an NC24r VM, use Azure PowerShell cmdlets for Azure Resource Manager.


Currently, only Windows Server 2012 R2 supports the RDMA network on NC24r VMs.

To install the latest version 1.1 HpcVMDrivers extension on an existing RDMA-capable VM named myVM in the West US region:

Set-AzureRmVMExtension -ResourceGroupName "myResourceGroup" -Location "westus" -VMName "myVM" -ExtensionName "HpcVmDrivers" -Publisher "Microsoft.HpcCompute" -Type "HpcVmDrivers" -TypeHandlerVersion "1.1"

For more information, see Virtual machine extensions and features for Windows.

The RDMA network supports Message Passing Interface (MPI) traffic for applications running with Microsoft MPI or Intel MPI 5.x.

General considerations for N-series VMs

  • For availability of N-series VMs, see Products available by region.

  • N-series VMs can only be deployed in the Resource Manager deployment model.

  • When creating an N-series VM using the Azure portal, on the Basics blade, select a VM disk type of HDD. To choose an available N-series size, on the Size blade, click View all.

  • N-series VMs do not support VM disks that are backed by Azure premium storage.

  • If you want to deploy more than a few N-series VMs, consider a pay-as-you-go subscription or other purchase options. If you're using an Azure free account, you can use only a limited number of Azure compute cores.

  • You might need to increase the cores quota (per region) in your Azure subscription and the separate quota for NC or NV cores. To request a quota increase, open an online customer support request at no charge. Default limits may vary depending on your subscription category.

Next steps