PowerEdge Hardware General

2 Bronze

Higher Video Resolution

I am running a Power Edge 6800 with Windows Server 2003 and would like to increase my screen resolution. The maximum is currently 1024 x 768. Is there a third party video card available that can replace my current DRAC card that the system will recognize and provide me with at least 1600 x 1200 screen resolution? (would prefer 1920 x 1200) Dell technical support has indicated that Dell does not offer any options in this area. A USB to DVI external video card was suggested, but not sure if system/software will recognize this configuration.

Any ideas?


Replies (6)
7 Gold

I'd suggest to RDP into the server. RDP doesn't have the resolution limitations that the videocard has.

Adding a videocard to this server will be a 'trial-and-error' situation as the bios on server usually weren't designed with videocards in mind, so you'd have to try a videocard that fits to see if it'll work (unless someone else posts that they tried a certain card in this specific server model (you'd need to match the same card as well as PCI/PCIe slot).

Member since 2003

3 Zinc

Keep in mind that if you add a separate video card to your server, it may or may not work despite whether BIOS allows disabling integrated video. If it integrated video can be disabled and discrete graphics work, you will loose some of the features that iDRAC provides and you will no longer be able to locally or remotely view the last boot up or crash screens. If this iDRAC feature is important to you AND you still want/need higher resolution, then your in a bind.

Pity Dell has not updated their integrated graphics in some time, isn't circa 2008 tech.

Hopefully the new 2012 servers would have had new and improved integrated graphics as well as be able to be populated with commodity x16 PCIe graphics cards to provide massive sli graphics and cuda capabilities for those that want such functionality..

2 Bronze

The DRAC feature is not that important to me. In fact I would be willing to remove the card and the associated cable to enable a higher resolution. I too find it hard to believe that Dell does not offer any alternatives in this area.

As far as Dell providing more options in the 2012 models, they do not (at least on the ones I have checked), so the issue remains. Would have thought some third party vendor would have developed a work around for this.

7 Gold

Servers don't need high resolution support; you just need to be able to see enough to be able to configure the application or service and check the OS from time to time if you can not connect using VNC/RDP.

If you want a system with support for wide-screen, higher resolutions, 3D, etc, you would want to look into buying a desktop or laptop. If you need a rack solution, Dell offers the Precision Workstation R-series (rackmounted workstation so you can have a videocard in a rack server effectively).

Member since 2003

3 Zinc

Dev Mgr, everything you said is true but we live in a world where people buy things and use them in ways not expected by a manufacturer. Just look at the trucks (SUV's) you see on our roads being used as passenger vehicles. In this case, manufacturers learned quickly and gave buyers what they wanted and it became a huge profitable segment.

The reality as i see it is that there is little valid reason for Dell not to provide at least one mechanical x16, electrically x8 PCIe slot on all server motherboard just as there is little valid reason not to allow integrated devices to be disabled. The only reason for such forced limitations is to dictate how one can utilize what they have purchase by making any other use difficult.

In any context, there is nothing wrong with an owner re-purposing a product but it's annoying and wrong when a manufacture takes active steps to limit any re-purposings in the hope of selling you another product. In my case, could i have bought a more suitable workstation, probably yes, could i have bought it for the price i paid for my server, most certainly not.

In the early days, Dell used proprietary power supplies, memory, etc in the hope of locking in parts resales. They moved on and became more industry standard compliant which benefited everyone. With server grade hardware, it seems everything is tweaked and certified by each manufacturers rather than improving the industry standards. Specifically raid cards and hard drives come to mind, dell can't use hp hdd which cant use lenovo hdd, etc, while all hdd are based on tweaked server grade drive firmware.

Apple has always been overly closed and proprietary but moving further by using it's own hdd firmware and standard connectors in a proprietary way. I don't buy Apple. If all manufacturers continue to go this way, i won't have anyone to buy from. Open standards are always better.

The computer world was built on open industry standards but it seems every manufacturer is eyeing Apples closed garden methods with some envy. If all manufacturers migrate to such a closed world, it will be to everyones detriment which is why i am always happy to see people re-purpose things.

Hacking (in the old sence) is a good thing.

2 Bronze


I thank you for your reply and your explanation from the manufacturer’s perspective. There are times, especially in these tough economic times where businesses cannot always approach solutions from the purist standpoint. It is true that in the perfect world higher resolution should not be an issue on a server, however, due to the economic circumstances and reduced budgets we find ourselves asking our equipment to last longer and in some cases serve dual purposes. This is the case in my request as I find myself using the server as a workstation from time to time to resolve SQL Server issues and other programming issues. In this case higher resolution would make the task at hand much easier.

In addition to the explanation listed above there is the “customer request”. I have noted that I am not the only one who has ventured down this winding path, which would indicate that the customer base desires the option to have higher resolutions (from time to time). I am not sure why a manufacturer would take such a hard stance on an issue such as this. Please note some of the comments from other user forums and the steps some of these creative people have taken in an effort to achieve a higher resolution. They are quite extensive to say the least, so there must be some type of market out there that should be addressed.

Thanks again for your input


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