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Dual video cards (PCI-e/PCI) not working

Posted on 2008-11-17
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Hello,

I have a Gateway GT5678 computer with Windows Vista x64. I'm attempting to set up a three monitor display with two video cards. The PCI-e video card is a GeForce 7300 while the PCI card is a GeForce 8400.

I have displays 1/2 plugged in to the 7300 (#1 is DVI, #2 VGA) and I'm attempting to drive the third monitor by the DVI output on the PCI card.

Both cards work independently of each other, but the minute I install them both, only one is detected (typically the PCI-e card). If the PCI-e card is enabled, monitors 1 and 2 operate correctly. If the PCI card is enabled, only monitor 3 operates correctly.

Am I missing something or is there no way to have both PCI-e and PCI working at the same time?

Also, onboard video seems to be disabled anytime either card is plugged in so apparently I can't use that.

Assuming running the two cards at once is not possible, are there ANY options for enabling the third monitor? I want them setup independent of each other so I have three separate work areas, not one large screen.

Thank you for any assistance.
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Question by:Scott927
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 22984706
Have you tried it with a 32-bit OS?  The hardware should work (http://forums.nvidia.com/lofiversion/index.php?t57265.html), but the 64-bit drivers may not.

Matrox makes several multihead video cards: http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/graphics_cards/ - the Parhelia QID may be what you are looking for.
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Author Comment

by:Scott927
ID: 22985898
Well the 64-bit drivers seem to work, as both cards operate independently of each other. I'm reading that it just may not be possible to operate two video cards on Gateway's motherboard, but I'm hoping that's not the case.

Matrox's Parhelia looks like it only supports three monitors in resolutions up to 1280x1024. Ideally I'd like to operate at 1680x1050. I'll look into some other multihead cards though.
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garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 22986839
Apparently your BIOS won't allow a PCI video card in addition to the PCIe device --> probably due to the switching between the PCIe slot and the onboard device.

There are two options that should work:

(1)  A Matrox Triple-Head-To-Go  [http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815106014 ].   This will connect to one of the outputs on your current card and will support dual displays at 1680 x 1050.   Note that you need the "Triple-Head-To-Go" ... NOT the "Dual-Head-To-Go" -- even though you're only going to drive two monitors with it.   That's so you can get dual widescreen support at 1680 x 1050.

(2)  A USB video adapter.   Note that many of these will only support 1024 x 768 resolution; but this one supports the 1680 x 1050 widescreen you want to use:
http://sewelldirect.com/USB-to-DVI-External-Video-Card-High-Resolution.asp    You simply use your current PCIe card for two displays, and add one of these for the 3rd.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Scott927
ID: 31517677
Thanks! The external USB video card worked like a charm! Went to Fry's where they sell 5 or 6 different models.
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