Running 3 Monitors with a PCI-E and PCI

Evga Geforce 9500 gt 512 mb ddr2 pci exp...
June 10, 2010 at 18:48:10
Specs: Windows 7
I have a Vostro 200 running Windows XP SP3 32 bit. It has 1 PCI-E x16. 2.0, 1 PCI-E x1 and 2 Regular PCI slots. I am attempting to run a 3 monitor system and have run into some problems. I started out with a dual monitor setup using the 512-P3-N954-TR, outputting dual DVI. Everything worked fine at this point. I decided I wanted to add a third, so I purchased a standard PCI video card, 128-P1-N309-LX, for my 3rd monitor. After installing the 2nd card, the computer booted up fine, Windows xp starting trying to install the hardware, and possibly was trying to use some of the drivers that came with the first card. I put in the supplied cd and installed the drivers for the PCI card and rebooted. It got to the Windows XP logo and blue screened. The only way I can get the computer booted up with both cards installed is in safe mode. I tried installing the drivers separately in safe mode and had no success.

I thought about using the integrated graphics as a 3rd monitor option, but it is automatically disabled when an add-in graphics card is present.

I am interested in SLI configuration or Crossfire, but am afraid that because I only have 1 x16 slot, I would be unable to do so.

The only option that I have come up with is to 1. try another PCI card of a different brand (I've heard opposing opinions) or 2. Go with this card

ATI 100-505588 FirePro 2450 512MB PCI Express x1 Multi-View Workstation Graphics Accelerator

Which supports 4 DVI out of the box with a x1 slot.

I need desperate help on what I should do and if any of these findings I have are incorrect.

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June 10, 2010 at 21:24:18
What are your reasons for wanting the three monitors? I ask because there are Matrox solutions that can even do 4 displays. These cards are designed for business and are not suitable for gaming. They are also fairly pricey.

To stick with your original concept. I theory almost any two cards should work. As a practicality it is best to use cards that use the same unified driver. If your first card is an ATI based then use a second ATI based. Same goes for nVidia.

The card you link is basically the same type as the Matrox I mentioned above. These are designed for stock traders and CAD design.

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June 12, 2010 at 15:22:59
A different option for the PCI card is here. This way the original geforce 9500 is matched with another 9500 on the PCI slot.

Unless the system has dual PCI-E slots or is designed with the onboard to use in hybrid-SLI you will not be able to achieve that mode.

The best you can hope for is to run the 3 displays you are trying to run.


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June 12, 2010 at 17:54:57
Thank you all for your great advice, we ended up deciding that buying a new computer, with 2 x16 slots would be our best move. We were just trying to make that dell do something it wasn't meant to do.

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