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Dual ATI video cards with DELL Optiplex 760

Posted on 2009-05-14
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I've got a brand new DELL OptiPlex 760 and am attempting to run two add-in video cards.  1.  ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 - PCI and 2. ATI Radeon HD 3450 - PCIe.  The problem I'm having is regarding the 7500.  The device will not start and gives this error code under device status:

This device cannot start.  (Code 10)

I have a total of three monitors.  The 3450 came with the PC and has dual monitors.  I wanted to add a third monitor and attempted to run that off the onboard graphics card.  The folks at DELL told me this wasn't possible with my motherboard and told me to order another add-in card.  so I ordered the 7500 and am having the problem mentioned above.  Any suggestions?
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Question by:SupermanTB
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24391544
You running Vista or XP?
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24391553
If it's vista the problem is the cards don;t use the same driver, you'd need to get a newer model ATI pci video card that uses the same driver as the 3450. Here's one for example. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131082
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24395193
I'm running Windows XP
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by:Callandor
ID: 24395466
How did you get a Mobility Radeon 7500 in a PCI form?  That's a notebook video card, and it's pretty old as well.  You may want to use something more standard that's newer, like a Radeon 9250.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24395510
The device manager says Mobility Radeon, however, the card I actually have is below.

http://www.provantage.com/diablotek-v7500-p128~7DIAB00F.htm

I installed the drivers from the disk and assumed those were correct.  I also tried to get the drivers off the ATI website, but they weren't available.
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by:Callandor
ID: 24396106
The fact that device manger did not correctly identify the card leads me to think the card is too old or not compatible with your driver.  You can't load two different Radeon drivers, and using two different manufacturers is difficult.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24397680
Is there a particular reason you can't load two different Radeon drivers?  I've never heard of this before.
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24398025
Usually because the drivers won't play nicely with each other. There is a work around that I have seen work(I usually work with nvidia cards) is to remove all the drivers and software for both cards, restart then load the oldest driver first(7500) then the driver for the newest(3450). If that doesn't work I'd return the dinosaur(can't believe they are selling them for $42) and get a pci card with a newer chipset like the one i posted earlier.
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by:Callandor
ID: 24398387
>Is there a particular reason you can't load two different Radeon drivers?Is there a particular reason you can't load two different Radeon drivers?

The hardware has fixed address locations.  The drivers interact with the hardware using those addresses.  If you had more than one driver, how does each one know when it's supposed run, and for which card?  It would get confused and crash your system.  When you load a driver, it checks for an existing one and uninstalls it before it installs itself.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24399234
Because I've had a similar setup on several computers with two Nvidia video cards and everything works fine.  Unless there is something specific to the Radeon cards, I'm absolutely 100% positive that two video cards from the same manufacturer can be run on the same computer without much difficulty.

Unfortunately in this occasion I have ATI cards instead of Nvidia cards which brings me here.
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by:Callandor
ID: 24399568
People use multiple video cards from the same manufacturer all the time - this is not the same thing as trying to use two drivers.  The trouble in your case is that you're using a card which is so old it isn't supported in the drivers anymore.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24399607
I'll be happy to try another card if that's what we conclude, but I'm absolutely positive I've used two different video cards, from the same manufacturer using two different drivers.   For example, the computer I'm using now uses both the NVIDIA Quadro NVS 440 & the NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE.  I can see both devices in the device manager and both video cards function properly.
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by:Callandor
ID: 24401151
The two cards you have are in different families, which might account for why they don't interfere with each other.  The 7500 and HD3450 both use Catalyst, but I don't think ATI bothers to make sure the 7500 works with it anymore.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24411506
OK, well it sounds like the 7500 is just a crappy card and I need to use something else.  Is there a PCI card that you feel confident would work in place of the 7500?
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Callandor earned 250 total points
ID: 24413990
There's the HD2400 Pro PCI that jamietoner recommended: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814131082
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24415467
and that will definitely work?
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by:Callandor
ID: 24415779
I've used the same driver on cards above (HD4850) and below (9250), so I am confident it will work.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24415960
Just to play devil's advocate before I go so far as to return the other cards and order two new ones.......you don't believe there is any merit to DELL telling me that the motherboard is incapable of supporting two video cards?
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by:jamietoner
ID: 24416834
The motherboard supports it but the tech is trained not too.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24421354
OK...last question, then I'll order the suggested card.  One of the tech's did mention that the motherboard is not SLI compatible, which is required for dual video cards.  Do you all believe there is any truth there?
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by:Callandor
ID: 24423582
The tech is focused on high end gamers who use two identical cards for SLI.  He's wrong because SLI applies only to nVidia cards (ATI uses Crossfire), and he's wrong because a PCI-e card plus a PCI card does not require an SLI motherboard - just one PCI-e x16 slot and one PCI slot, which most new motherboards have.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24424502
Excellent, well I'm off to order the suggested video card.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24426331
I just ordered the suggested card.  I'll be going on vacation next week.  If they arrive before I go, I'll install and post a reply.  If not, it will be about 2 weeks.  Thanks guys.
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Assisted Solution

by:jamietoner
jamietoner earned 250 total points
ID: 24427052
The motherboard will support as many video cards as you have expansion slots. It's true the board doesn't support SLI or Crossfire but that's not needed for multiple monitor support, SLI and Crossfire are mainly for improving graphics performance in games and a few other apps. Guess we will hear more in a couple days or a couple weeks.
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by:SupermanTB
ID: 24552913
That suggested video card worked great.  Learned something new.  Thanks so much for the help.
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