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A $10,000.00 Graphics Nightmare! Please Help***

By gsquyr1
Oct 6, 2005
  1. A $10,000.00 Graphics Nightmare!


    I have been building and working on a computer for close to 9 months now, and I’m am at the point of no return. I purchased 3 video cards so far in the $800.00 range and was force to send each of them back due to incompatibility. I have tried to work with many local computer companies but they do not want to work on such a high dollar machine. So far I have close to $10,000.00 in the machine, not including software. I would appreciate any SOLID advice, due to the fact that it is not available locally.


    Motherboard: Supermicro X6DH8-G2

    Operating System: Windows X-64 ( note: It is the only OS that will work, I tried 5 other OS packages before I found that this system would work.)

    Specification
    • Mfr Part Number: X6DH8-G2
    • CPU: Support Dual Xeon With 1M/L2 Cache Up To 3.6GHz; FSB 800MHz
    • Chipset: Intel E7520 Chipset
    • Memory: 8*DIMMs Support ECC/Registered DDRII 400 Upto 16GB(Pair Use)
    I currently am operating with 8 GB of ram.
    • SATA/SCSI: 2*SATA(ICH5R) Support RAID 0,1; Adaptec Dual-ch Ultra320 SCSI
    • RAID: Support Adaptec SCSI RAID 2010S(Card Not Included)
    • Video: ATI Rage XL 8MB PCI Graphics Controller
    • Slot: 2*PCI-Express X8, 1*PCI-Express X4, 1*PCI-X/133MHz, 2*PCI-X/100MHz
    • LAN: Dual Intel 82546GB Gigabit Ethernet Controller
    • IPMI2.0 Socket For Server Management
    • Form Factor: EATX
    I would like to utilize the NVIDIA SLI upgrade for the two 2*PCI-Express X8 slots. I work with CAD & Maya, but to date I have not been able to use the computer due to limited graphic processing power on the motherboard. I also have plans to purchase a 50 inch plasma monitor ( Panasonic PT-50PD3-P HDTV Monitor) to go with this system.)

    I have been forced to fight out all the problems with this machine, due to the lack of hardware support. There are not many companies that want to work with you when you build your own system. It seems the CD skips on the phrase “Its not our hardware problem its your software or someone else’s hardware conflicts – you should call them….”

    Question? What add-on video system will work with OS x-64 and the motherboard that I have????????????

    Thank you for any help you may be able to offer.


    To: "Technical Support" <Support@supermicro.com>
    cc:

    Subject: RE: Video Add On????????

    I found two cards that the manufactures say are compatible with the PCI Express x8 slots on the mother board. One mentions that it will work with the Supermicro X6DAL-G and other server motherboards. I am sending the links for you to review. Please let me know if I have a chance of these cards working on the motherboard I have.

    Thanks Greg.

    http://salestores1.com/co61xegt4pcf.html

    http://www.pny.com/products/quadro/fx/600fxPci.asp







    Subject: FW: Motherboard + 32bit PCI compatibility



    Yes this device should be no issue, notice the two index slots on the video
    adapter. One is the 5 volt notch and the other is the 3.3 volt notch.
    Almost all new PCI 32bit video cards are 5/3.3 volt compatible.

    Many customers use 32 bit video adapters in PCI-x slots. Most use ATI and
    Nvidia.



    RJP


    Hi, i'm in search of an answer to a video card question/concern i have. I'll
    start off telling you that i currently have a X6DH8-G2 and upon purchase i
    spoke with tech support about the backwards compatibility of the PCI-X and
    PCI-e slots and he assured me that as long as the device was a 3.3V PCI
    device, it would be compatible.
    Trying to troubleshoot this machine has been quite a chore and before i
    forfeit another re-stocking fee i was hoping to get some insight on a video
    card purchase. I'm currently looking at the nVidia Quadro FX600 PCI (
    http://www.pny.com/products/quadro/fx/600fxPci.asp ). If you could give me
    any insight toward my quest i would be very grateful.







    To: "Gregory M Squyres" <gsquyr1@lsu.edu>
    cc:

    Subject: RE: Video Add On????????

    Gregory,

    First of all, where can you find the X8 PCI-Express video card?
    I haven't see any video card manufacture make x8 PCI-Express video card
    yet but yes they do have x16 PCI-Express video card.

    Your current X6DH8-G2 motherboard is design for Server solution not for
    Workstation solution. If you need to configuration your system as for
    workstation for SLI adapter support then you must use different chipset
    motherboard as such our E7525 chipset.

    http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon800/?chp=E7525


    Thank you,
    DL



    -----Original Message-----
    From: Gregory M Squyres [mailto:gsquyr1@lsu.edu]
    Sent: Friday, September 30, 2005 7:48 AM
    To: Technical Support
    Subject: Video Add On????????





    Trouble in video land


    I have been building and working on a computer for close to 9 months
    now,
    and I'm at the point of no return. I purchased 3 video cards so far in
    the
    $800.00 range and was force to send each of them back due to
    incompatibility. I have tried to work with many local computer
    companies
    but they do not want to work on such a high dollar machine. I would
    appreciate any SOLID advice, due to the fact that it is not available
    locally.


    Motherboard: Supermicro X6DH8-G2



    Operating System: Windows X-64 ( note: It is the only OS that will
    work,
    I tried 5 other OS packages before I found that this system would work.)

    Specification
    * Mfr Part Number: X6DH8-G2
    * CPU: Support Dual Xeon With 1M/L2 Cache Up To 3.6GHz; FSB 800MHz
    * Chipset: Intel E7520 Chipset
    * Memory: 8*DIMMs Support ECC/Registered DDRII 400 Upto 16GB(Pair
    Use)

    I currently am operating with 8 GB of ram.

    * SATA/SCSI: 2*SATA(ICH5R) Support RAID 0,1; Adaptec Dual-ch
    Ultra320
    SCSI
    * RAID: Support Adaptec SCSI RAID 2010S(Card Not Included)
    * Video: ATI Rage XL 8MB PCI Graphics Controller
    * Slot: 2*PCI-Express X8, 1*PCI-Express X4, 1*PCI-X/133MHz,
    2*PCI-X/100MHz
    * LAN: Dual Intel 82546GB Gigabit Ethernet Controller
    * IPMI2.0 Socket For Server Management
    * Form Factor: EATX


    I would like to utilize the NVIDIA SLI upgrade for the two 2*PCI-Express
    X8
    slots. I work with CAD & Maya, but to date I have not been able to use
    the
    computer due to limited graphic processing power on the motherboard. I
    also have plans to purchase a 50 inch plasma monitor ( Panasonic
    PT-50PD3-P
    HDTV Monitor) to go with this system.)





    Question? What add-on video system will work with OS x-64 and the
    motherboard that I have????????????





    Thank you for any help you may be able to offer.
     
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    First off, welcome to Techspot, I hope we can help you.

    Second, which version of xp do you have? The win xp x64, or the windows xp pro x64 version?


    Also, it should have worked with win xp pro, except that'd be limited to 4gb of ram I think.

    According to this.
    http://www.supermicro.com/support/resources/OS/E7520Compatibility.cfm
    It looks like if you use the win xp pro x64, then some items don't work, like sata raid an scsi(I assume there aren't 64bit drivers for those yet).


    I don't know all that much about workstation type pcs, but I don't think you can use sli on boards other than the ones based on nvidia nforce professional chipsets(for workstations), and your board is intel chipset based. My guess is that your dual x8 slots are to have more than 2 monitors(each card supports 2 monitors), if needed. So if you need 3 displays you could have 2 video cards, 2 monitors on one, and 1 on the other.

    I'm assuming you'd be looking at cards like nvidia's quadro series, which I know nothing about, except they are expensive :).
    Like this. (4400 or 4500).
    http://nvidia.com/page/qfx_uhe.html

    With those cards, I think there are 64bit drivers.
    http://nvidia.com/content/drivers/drivers.asp
     
  3. gsquyr1

    gsquyr1 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for the reply. I have 2 SCSI HD’S and a 10,000 RPM SATA drive. Everything I have in the system works fine. The Problem that I have is the x8 slot configuration. Every company makes an x16 slot video card, but the x8 cards are far and few between. I can’t get a response from the Supermicro techs, other than change out the mother boards and start from scratch. The server mother board that I have (Supermicro X6DH8-G2) built upon, only has the (2*PCI-Express X8, 1*PCI-Express X4) slots. At this stage of the game, I would just like to find ”ANY” graphic card that will work with this mother board and the X-64 operating system. The two cards that I found will fit the x8 slots are: http://salestores1.com/co61xegt4pcf.html

    http://www.pny.com/products/quadro/fx/600fxPci.asp . How do I know if they will work with what I have for certain? Shouldn’t someone be able to give me a definitive YES or NO? Mainly, I’m speaking of the motherboard company or the video card manufactures.
     
  4. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,388

    Ok, I think(not 100% certain), that a pci-e x16 card can work in an x8 slot, provided that the slot is designed the same as pci-e x16(some pci-e x8 slots have extra crossbars or are shorter to prevent regular cards).

    An example of using an x16 card in an x8 slot would be the nvidia nforce 4 sli boards. These boards have 2 pci-e x8 slots(for sli), but you can put in any two pci-e x16 graphic cards and it works fine, it just is limited to the bandwidth of pci-e x8(which isn't really limiting it).


    You are correct, the motherboard manufacturer should know what cards are supported, after all they designed the board. Also, if the graphics companies want to sell a card, they also should be able to tell you if it's compatible.

    Edit: It seems most pci-e x8 slots aren't long enough to fit a x16 card.
    I did find a card that should fit though, it fits in any pci-e slot since it's pci-e x1. Matrox pci-e x1 card.
    http://www.matrox.com/mga/workstation/3dws/products/mill_gseries/g550_pcie.cfm
    The pny card you listed said it's pci(which wouldn't work in a pci-e slot), and the colorgraphic card has strange output ports, they look like 1/8" audio jacks. I guess it might come with adapters to convert to dvi or vga. If it does have adapters to connect to a normal monitor, it should also be suitable, like the matrox.
     
  5. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi gsguyr,
    As your email trail has lead you towards- that IS a server motherboard, not a workstation motherboard. For that reason, they didn't bother to put an AGP or PCI-Ex16 slot on it.. figuring even horribly slow integrated graphics would be overkill. They are given just enough video/2d power to drive a screensaver, as they are designed to sit in a computer room.

    You can't put a PCI-E x16 card into an x8 slot. They are too long plus designed for the 16-lane PCI-Express traffic.

    Albatron Taiwan makes a bridge/daughter board that allows for an AGP 8x card to "piggyback" on their daughter board into a PCI-E x8 slot. I'd be concerned about voltage though and limit this to a molex-connector style AGP card. It would also need to be a low-profile card to fit the case/external connector. I'm unsure if these are available in the US yet.. still new in Taiwan:
    http://www.albatron.com.tw/images/ad/homepage/ATOP.html

    Anything else you can find for the PCE x4 or PCI-X slots is going to be no better or not much better than what you already have integrated. This is the penalty for mainboards dedicated for server/computer room use: not much flexibility for videocard upgrades. You're much better off considering a mainboard swap to a dual-xenon, workstation mobo with AGP 8x or PCI-E x16.

    Sorry for the bad news. Good luck!
     
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