Highlighted
BrianJT
Copper

Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

I recently got a PCI-X 1x video card (Nvidia Quadro NVS 290)that will fit in the PowerEdge 1950 pci express slot.  I installed the card and booted the machine machine but I only get video on the onboard graphics chip, the PCI-X video card shows no video.  

Is there anyway that I can disable the onboard graphics chip so that it will use the Quadro card?  If not, is there at least a way that I can get video on both the onboard and the Quadro card?

0 Kudos
14 Replies
Dev Mgr
Diamond

Re: Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

I assume you mean PCIe 1x videocard?

 

There's no way to disable the onboard video. Your best bet is to try all (both) PCIe slots in the server and see if any (either) works for the card.

 

Check if the OS sees the 2nd videocard (install drivers if needed) and enable dual monitor. Then switch the primary and secondary.

 

One note: the system will use the onboard as the primary videocard at all times most likely, so if you ever need to work in the bios, you may need to move your monitor/kvm to the integrated videocard temporarily at that time (unless you have a DRAC, in which case it wouldn't matter).

Member since 2003

0 Kudos
BrianJT
Copper

Re: Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

Thanks for the reply.  I was able to sucessfully install the video card into the server.  Like you said, the onboard chip remains the primary video card, but I was able to configure Fedora 10 to use the PCIe 1X card as a secondary card.

0 Kudos
LeeJC1973
Copper

Re: Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

Hi

I'm having a problem getting the same card to work within a 1950 running bios 1.5.1.

Can I ask which bios you are using to get both devices running? As at the minute on power up the 1950 holds at post, and refuses to do anything.

Cheers

Lee

0 Kudos
Yablargo
Copper

Re: Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

I am having this problem right now as well.

 

I was running 1.3.7 bios. I have 2 Quadro NVS 290 PCIE-1X cards.

 

For the sake of reducing complexity of hte problem, I have only 1 Quadro NVS 290 card inserted. Machine boots, get video out of primary vga (EVEN if it is disabled in win7-- this is odd.. Didn't think that was possible.)

Device manager shows the Quadro NVS 290 working perfectly, BUT i don't have access to any of the displays in the display control panel, it only shows the 1 standard vga. Tried updating the drivers on the RN50 card,  the quadro card, no dice.

 

I updated to the most recent bios (as of 9/21/2010) and still no dice. Windows doesnt report any problems, but I can't use any addin cards. I have also a geforce 8400 PCIE-1X card, same result.

Please help Smiley Sad  We just ordered a bunch of the cards, replacement drives, etc for these 1950s

-Matt

0 Kudos
atmuris
Bronze

Re: Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

Matt,

Did you ever get this resolved? I am in the same situation right now. Please update this if you figured it out.

Thanks

Satish

0 Kudos
FreeFrag
Copper

Re: Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

Hi Satish and Matt

 

Were either of you able to resolve the issue as I have the same problem but can't find a resolutione?

 

Thanks

Chris

0 Kudos
atmuris
Bronze

Re: Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

Hi Chris,

I was not able to resolve the issue, bought two different graphics cards and returned both. 

But found some one who managed to do it, unfortunately there is no way to talk to him. Found this on newegg and in the reviews someone named "zampaz" said its little tricky but he didn't explain the trick.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161354

"HIS H545H1GD1 Radeon HD 5450 Silence 1GB 64-bit DDR3 PCI Express x1 Low Profile Video Card with Eyefinity"

Please pass the information if you could resolve it.

Thanks

Satish

0 Kudos
atmuris
Bronze

Re: Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

Chris,

Take a look at this link, he is explaining how to convert a 8x card into 16x card.

I haven't tried this yet.

http://www.tkdan.com/SC420/

0 Kudos

Re: Disabling onboard video and upgrading video card on Dell PowerEdge 1950 server

Atmuris, that link you referenced modifies a motherboard x8 PCIe slot making it mechanically open ended thus allowing a 'higher lane count' card to be inserted into a 'lower lane count' slot. It does not convert a x8 card and magically make it x16 Smiley Happy.

Do note that the PCIe spec allows a lower lane count card to fit in higher lane count slot without issue, that is ,as an example, an 8x card can be placed into a 16x slot. However, the reverse is not true as the spec does not support it.

Fortunately, the PCIe spec is rather robust and allows cards to negotiate their lane use and power needs at start-up Smiley Happy  thus a simple hack is usually enough to get a modded x16 graphics card to work in a x8 slot (on a server motherboard). I say usually since graphics card manufacturers do not always design in a way that allows this as it's not in the spec and so they don't bother.

The mod is simple enough and involves using a fine tooth hacksaw blade to cut away side contacts 50, 51 & 52 from the graphics card connector itself, thus effectively creating a cutout/key (that mimics the manufactured cutout/key between pins 11 and 12) and allows the card to be inserted into an 8x slot (of in my case my PE T610). No mods were needed on the server motherboard. Obviously the rear of the card hangs out past the connector so i insulated it with gaffa tape prior to insertion as a precaution. The card was tested in two different slots and auto negotiated using the full 8 lanes in the x8/8 (x8 mechanical x8 electrical) slot and the full 4 lanes in the x8/4 slot while consuming 32W max (which is greater than the 25W max per slot recommended by Dell but this is based on cooling issues so it will not cause problems unless i fill up all the other slots).

Do note that not all motherboards and graphics card combos will work without a hardwire of the PCIe "presence detect logic". For an x8 slot, this means connecting/soldering a wire between pin A1 and B48 either on the PCIe connector or on the graphics card itself. In my case this was not needed on the T610 PCIe slot or XFX GF7600 GS graphics card Smiley Happy

The risk with cutting the slot on the graphics card is that the circuit board tracks may be close to the tops of the printed pins and unseen (since they are multilayer boards) but at $40 for an old DX9 capable graphics card, it was cheaper that an wear extender without the hassles that these bring by raising the card in the chassis.

Once the graphics card was plugged in, the 'disable on-board graphics' option was accessible in PE T610 BIOS so on-board graphics was disabled and the monitor connected to the new graphics card. Now i have my monitor running at its native 2550x1440 resolution Smiley Happy

Some basic info on PCIe can be found at http://www.pcisig.com/developers/main/training_materials/
PCIe pinouts can be found at http://pinouts.ru/Slots/pci_express_pinout.shtml
Another PCIe x16 to x1 video card conversion at http://www.invisiblerobot.com/pcie_x1/

From these resources, you should have a better idea of what to do, though no guarantees can be given.

Lastly, NVIDIA and ATI licensing requirements has made it rather difficult to use multiple graphics cards on non certified motherboards! Not impossible but difficult (and it's on my todo list).

Oh, and if the BIOS does not allow for disabling your on-board graphics function, other issues may occur which could be challenging to fully resolve.