PCI Video Works with PCIe Video?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by RedSun, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. RedSun


    I have a a decent P5 dual-core with 8GB RAM and I'm happy with it. It runs Win Vista x64. Want to wait for some time for the new i5 or i7.

    The full-length Asus mainboard has only one full PCIe slot, 3 shorter PCIe (?) slots and 3 PCI slots. I currently use an ATI PCIe card to drive two 19" LCDs. It is decent.

    Now I'd like to add another or two LCDs. So I need to either replace the ATI to a quad video card, or add another dual video card.

    I tried to add an old PCI card. The driver was installed, but it can not start. I see this a driver conflict.

    The nVidia and Matrox PCIe quad cards are nice, but the prices are high. I can also have a cheap PCI quad card, like nVidia 400 and Matrox G450, but they are old cards and I'm not sure if the 64MB total video memory is enough to drive the 4 LCDs, and if the cards will be supported in Vista and Win7.

    The last option is to buy one nVidia 290 and a 280. This is something I'm least certain with. Any experience is appreciated. I do not have much hope if I just add a nVidia 280 to the ATI card.

  2. You understand the situation pretty well. Not so easy to find a 2nd, compatible ATI card.

    As Nvidia has a driver for Vista, odds are that a NVS 290 and 280 PCI would work for 4 monitors. (If you go this route, you won't be able to use the latest Nvidia driver... you'll have to go back to 186 or 185 or something. They have old drivers archived there, so it's not a problem to get it.)

    Another possibility is to get NVS 285 or 290, PCIEx16, and 285 or 290 PCIEx1. That should work, though it often does not on el cheapo mobos with onboard video. It's OK to mix 290 and 285.

    BTW... 64MB VRam is plenty for trading in a quad card (16MB/monitor).... assuming there is a Vista driver for it.
  3. These issues are 1 reason I stay with mostly xp. Vista introduces too many issues to multi-monitor setups.
  4. Even Nvidia has waffled a bit on its support for >2 monitors in Vista..
  5. RedSun


    Well, I could replace the mainboard with another one that has two video PCIe slots. But with that $, I can just invest in the nVidia 420 or 440 cards.

    For 16MB/monitor, the resolutions and color depths would be very limited. It may be good with 19" LCD, but not sure about larger ones.

    I may just invest in a 420 or 440. Hope one day's profit would cover it :)
  6. I don't know if that's true. I ran 4-monitor rigs with ATI single cards @ 4MB VRam per card and there was no noticeable difference to what we use today.
  7. RedSun


    I only see the 290 and 285 with PCIex16. Can I use the full PCIe card in the short PCIe slot? I'm not joking, just asking.
  8. There are 290 and 285 x1s.... And yes you can use an x16 card in an x1 slot if the slot is "open" on the far end... not a common thing, however. In pictures, I've seen "open end" x4 and x1 slots (and they do run x16 cards), so I know they exist.
  9. Was the card from ATI? Was it made to be compatible with Vista?

    A few mos. ago I bought a 2 monitor card for a Vista box which already had a monitor ati pcie card. So I bought a 2 monitor pci card compatible w/vista & the machine now works with 4 monitors. 2nd card cost $40-50 at newegg.

    Still, I don't bother with Vista anymore since with Xp, I can easily go up to 10-12 monitors fairly inexpensively.

  10. RedSun


    The ATI PCIe card is compatible with Vista. Vista also installed the driver for the old PCI card. I'm sure the PCI card would work alone with Vista. But they just won't work together.

    Some people may have luck with PCIe and PCI mixed. It has a lot to do with BIOS and drivers.

    I did see the PCIe x1 285 and 290. they are rare and hard to find. Also, they are a bit too long to fit my PCIe x1 slots.

    At this point, I do not have a lot of hardware to test the PCIe/PCI combination. I have no need of them if they do not work. So I'm leaning toward either a PCIe quad or a PCI quad card.

    Then there are only about 3-5 cards to consider: nVidia 400, 420, 440 and 450. Then Matrox G450 and the news cards.

    Does this make sense? Thanks.
    #10     Sep 12, 2009