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How do I configure a Lenovo M58e workstation to use both the m/board graphics and a PCI-Express graphics card?

Posted on 2010-11-10
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
We have a Lenovo M58e workstation and installed in it an ATI Firegl 7300 graphics card. The intention is to use both the onboard VGA output and the dual DVI outputs of the ATI card to drive three monitors with the Windows desktop stretched across all three.

This is for a medical implementation so we need two high resolution monitors and a separate Windows colour monitor to navigate the application. The O/S is Windows XP 32 bit SP 3.

There are four configurations for the Video Setup in the BIOS:

Automatic - The default setting. With this set, the PC detects the new graphics card and disables onboard VGA, so only the two high res monitors are displayed.
ISG - Internal System Graphics. With this set, it displays the colour monitor, but disables the ATI card, so only one monitor is displayed.
PEG - PCI-Express. Gives the same result as the 'Automatic'.
PCI - Obvious really. We have yet to obtain a PCI card to see what result this gives.

The next course of action we are going to try is to obtain a PCI graphics card (although they are as rare as hen's teeth these days) to see what that does.

If there is another course of action that we can try, that would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:Froomshanker
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by:nobus
ID: 34109731
you can use a 4 monitor card :  http://www.nextag.com/4-monitor-graphic-card/stores-html
i must say i did not use them yet
you can also contact Lenovo - and see what they suggest - maybe a bios update can help ?
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by:Froomshanker
ID: 34109886
Thanks, but the two high resolution monitors are 5MP medical monitors and they need quite a decent refresh rate. Hence the fairly high spec ATI card.

I'm also contacting Lenovo about this to see what they have to say.
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by:CyberDave1
ID: 34110540
It doesn't look like the bios gives the option to keep the video card working when a PCI-E card is plugged in.
You can go with a second PCI card, that would work, if you can find one.  
Another option is to purchase a new 3 port card to replace your dual screen card, or get an external Multiple Monitor Adapter -- search for Triple Monitor Solutions. If you plan to get a new card, the high-end solution providers online usually list the video card models that they sell with their packages.
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by:anupvs
ID: 34110556
Hi,
In most cases, the presence of the card in the PCI-E slot shuts down the integrated processor, and you can only use the integrated processor if you tell the computer to ignore the PCI-E slot.

But if you are using ADD2 display adapter you have the option to use both. At the same time you need to get a ADD2 dual display card.

ADD2 can work in parallel with PCI graphics.
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Author Comment

by:Froomshanker
ID: 34110758
FYI, I have confirmation from Lenovo that the chipset will only work with either the onboard graphics or an installed card, not both. It may be the case that it will work with two cards installed, so that's the route we are pursuing.
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by:anupvs
ID: 34111015
May be correct.. But Lenova itself have an ADD2 DVI-D adapter which will work along with onboard graphics for the same model system. You can confirm with Lenova. But it has got only one DVI port.

And if you verify the top options for m58e you can see that they have upto four monitor options using their USB-DVI Monitor adapter.
ThinkCentre VGA and DisplayPort ; or graphic card with two USB-to-DVI:
– Two monitors attached to ThinkCentre ports or graphic card ports
– Two monitors attached to two USB-to-DVI adapters:
• Two USB-to-DVI adapters attached to two USB ports
• One analog or digital monitor attached to each USB-to-DVI adapter
• Maximum resolution: 1280 x 1024 (Normal); 1440 x 900 (wide)

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Froomshanker earned 0 total points
ID: 34154137
Thanks Anupvs, I have taken a look at the ADD2 adaptor. This will not suit us in the situation as it provides connectivity for one extra monitor to work off the onboard graphics and uses the PCI-Express slot. So we would end up with two monitors, one VGA and one DVI (which most probably would not be a high enough resolution anyway).

I have now tried a PCI graphics card in the Lenovo workstation. All attempts to drive both cards at once have failed. Lenovo support have confirmed that contrary what I was previously told, the M58 can support EITHER the onboard graphics, the PCI-Express or PCI graphics. It cannot do more than one at a time.

The monitor resellers Rothband have brought another graphics card to our attention: the Matrox Xenia Pro http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/products/dcb/medical_imaging/xenia/ . This will support up to three monitors at the resolution that we require. The disadvantage is that it has a telephone number sized price tag. So we are considering options.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Froomshanker
ID: 34186328
I have found that using one specific PCI-Express card is the only acceptable course of action in this situation.
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Expert Comment

by:Marc Barash
ID: 38208014
Froomshanker:  I find myself in a similiar situation with a Lenovo M90p Tower (trying to use the dual-video onboard graphics adapter (VGA & DisplayPort) with a GeForce 210 PCI-e card. I can use one or the other, but not both together to make a 3 display setup. I use a Wacom Cintiq Pen/Tablet for digital art. Did you forgo using the onboard video altogether? I read on the Lenovo forums that a 3 monitor setup is possible with onboard-video, but my BIOS doesnt give me the option "Enable Multi-Monitor Support" as listed here: http://support.lenovo.com/en_NL/downloads/detail.page?DocID=HT062228
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