TechSpot

ATi Radeon 9250 x 2

By Sam York
Apr 3, 2007
  1. I've found a fair few posts on this card, think mine's a slightly original problem though so I'll post a new thread!

    Bit of background first. Unlike most of you here, I guess, I'm not into games in the slightest on my PC. I use it as a digital audio workstation and the most important considerations to me are stability, multiple monitors and not pinching any of my system RAM.

    For the past two years or so I've had a PC with the following spec:
    P4 3.2HT
    2GB RAM
    Abit IC7 mobo
    Radeon 9250 128MB AGP
    M-Audio Delta 1010LT
    Intel Pro 100/S NIC

    I've been running two screens off it, no problem, in fact this is about the best machine I've ever built, performing flawlessly with everything I've thrown at it.

    Recently went to add another two screens (hey, I was given them, and screen real estate is VERY important for audio :) ) and thought 'well, that Radeon 9250 has done me proud, no worries etc, I'll just get the PCI version of the same card'.

    So I did. Dual output Radeon 9250, 128MB Ram, except on PCI.

    Turns out to be something of an error.... the machine either fails to display anything on the 2 original screens or hangs halfway through POST (after CPU detection, before RAM), depending on which PCI slot it's installed in. 3rd & 4th screens both display 'no input signal' at all times.

    Obviously my situation is different to most other posters on this card, as I still want to use the original AGP card when the PCI one is installed!

    Any ideas what's causing this? Can't be Windows drivers as it doesn't even boot that far, I'm thinking its defaulting to the same IRQ as the other one or something?

    Help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Sam York

    Sam York TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, update from ATi tech support via phone:

    I've found out that its apparently extremely uncommon for motherboards to support 1 x PCI & 1 x AGP graphics adapters, and to contact motherboard manufacturer for more info.

    Surprisingly this fact isn't mentioned on the ATi or Abit websites (no info as to whether this mobo is compatible or not), or anywhere else I've looked.

    I'm working for the moment on the assumption that Alfredo at ATi is correct, but would like 100% confirmation if anyone else knows anything?

    Seems a bit unfair that this information isn't provided, to save me spending money I don't really have on equipment that doesn't work!

    I think the cheapest option open to me is scrapping the AGP card and buying a 2nd PCI one (which will apparently work; I'm only drawing 2D windows on screen so PCI should be fine)

    Or is anyone aware of anything reasonably cheap that'll do 3 or 4 outputs on an AGP card?
     
  3. Ralphmex

    Ralphmex TS Rookie Posts: 55

    Well i have the same problem here, i have an ATI X1300 with two monitors connected to it, but i want to enable the onboard VGA to connect a third monitor, but apparently it is not possible, i was thinking on buying as you said a PCI videcard to do the job, but now i realize some mobos donĀ“t support AGP and PCI Videcards simultaneously, damn!
     
  4. Sam York

    Sam York TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, a further update.

    I've found out that supporting PCI & AGP is fairly common, lots of working configs posted all over the net. This leads me to doubt what ATi have told me, perhaps he misunderstood me and was referring to PCIe? He wasn't first language English, certainly.

    The other thing to consider is that ATi apparently state that two Radeons in one PC is an unsupported configuration, so anything they say must be doubted given that other people have got it working!

    Still waiting on an email back from Abit so we'll see what they say.

    Your situation is slightly different. AFAIK most onboard graphics will be AGP if the board supports it, it's an either/or thing. Adding PCI may work but not 100% reliable its going to.

    Back to the drawing board.... I want to try and change the order of the video cards in the BIOS as someone's suggested trying that, but I can't open the BIOS!

    There's a forum at www.realtimesoft.com that may be of more use to you, I've just found it.

    (BTW, they make an awesome multi-monitor prog called UltraMon as well, it's not worth using 2+ screens unless you have this as well, fixes all the little Windows niggles)
     
  5. Sam York

    Sam York TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Final update (got it working last night):

    ATi were talking rubbish, I can only assume that he thought I meant PCIe.

    The solution was to go into the BIOS and select it to boot AGP video before PCI (default), then install the PCI card, after that all booted fine and drivers installed without any hitch.
     
  6. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,919   +9

    To which PCI slot? Did you change the slot IRQ configuration?
     
  7. Sam York

    Sam York TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Nope, didn't need to do anything that involved.

    I forget the exact BIOS wording (my PC and my internet PC are in two different locations as I don't currently have net in my flat), but there were two options, to choose between AGP & PCI video to be loaded first. PCI was the default (wonder why?) so I tried AGP.

    Card worked in the first spare slot I shoved it in, about 3 or 4 down if I remember rightly so it's unlikely the BIOS setting referred to a general PCI slot, just to look on that buss for a video card.

    Seems a bit weird since most of the advice given here refers to booting the PCI first, but it works....

    Have tested it for slightly longer period now and its fine, no problems with flickering or anything, nor spanning windows across monitors on different display adapters as some people on here have mentioned.

    In fact the whole lot is running on the 2 yr old 9250 drivers from the old card as that's what Windows found when it installed it. See no need to install anything more up to date, if it ain't broke....
     
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