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I want better graphics on a Dell 2900 server, to replace onboard 16M vga. The machine has PCI-E 4X and 8X sockets but no 16X socket (so most graphics cards are excluded immediately). However it does have 2 old PCI sockets.
I've tried a GeForce 64-bit PCI 8400GS 512Mb PNY card (which works fine in a desktop) - but the Dell just constantly reboots with that card in, it never even starts windows.

Now I've tried a cheap PCIE X1 card (Also GeForce 8400GS but 256Mb) - with this card in place the system hangs on POST - still never gets to start windows. Perhaps the server has a problem with the 8400GS chipset?

Does anyone know of either a PCI or PCIE X1 card that they know definitely works with a Dell 2900 Server?

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Just how good a card do you want/need? what's your application? need to know this so we can understand the power requirement. – Chopper3 Dec 23 '09 at 21:44
I'm not running games, just want more screen area - theres a big 1920 x 1200 monitor available or a couple of 1650 x 1050s - that should be enough for me. The current display is 1024 x 1280 max - I like to go into the server room to work on the console and run hyper-v VMs direct. Apps are Visual Studio, SSMS, sometimes SharePoint Designer - general developer stuff - and occasional internet browsing (but don't tell the boss ;-) – Tom Brown Dec 23 '09 at 22:12
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I have used the PCIE x1 Nvidia NVS 440 and 280 in Poweredge 2950. Our company had a customer that needed a 2U rackmount workstation with 6 24" displays at 1920x1200. We were able to get the 2950's running XP x64 with a 440 and a 280 installed, so it had 6 displays. These cards are by no means high-end but much better then the integrated video.

Please note that we also tested the NVS 290 in the 2950 and couldn't get it to work. So not all the NVS will work.

Also, one issue we ran into trying to run with 2 440's installed was IRQ conflicts, we found we could run with 2 440's if we disabled one of the integrated NICs in the BIOS. This freed up another IRQ.

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Thanks The IRQ tip looks useful, I'll try that first with my existing cards. – Tom Brown Dec 23 '09 at 22:16

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