[rescue] quad head pci video cards

Curious George jorge234q at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 5 22:44:32 CST 2009

Hi James,

--- On Mon, 1/5/09, James Birdsall <jwb-tech at picarefy.com> wrote:

> Curious George wrote:
> > In my case, I have a couple of "servers" (i.e., machines designed
> > to be essentially headless) that I use as workstations.  Since
> > they were not designed with this in mind (crappy onboard video),
> > there are no provisions for AGP, PXI Express, etc.  Hence my
> > need to find a (dual headed because I like lots of screen
> > real estate) PCI video card.
> If all you need is a dual-head PCI video card, there should

Yes, there are lots of options -- but knowing *which* options
make *sense* is a different story!  :-/  (I don't track PC
hardware... too many frigging different options, varieties,

My G450 AGP was just "given to me" and happened to fill a
need.  I have no idea if it was the right/best choice but,
it happened to work... :>

> be lots of options. ATI made a lot of models and I have a

Yes, that's the problem ---------^^^^^^^^^^^^^  :(
It *seems* like you can find any particular video card
in 18 different *flavors*.  I.e., "G450" does not imply
AGP.  And, apparently, they come with different amounts of
memory, sometimes single headed, sometimes with hardware
support for playing DVD's, etc.

(sigh)  I just can't sort out the hodge-podge of different
options, etc.

On top of that, newer cards have long since abandoned PCI
in favor of AGP.  Then, *faster* AGP speeds.  Now PCI Express.
etc.  Cripes, I pity the MIS folks who have to support these
infinite varieties!  :-/

> bin full of such cards, some still unopened. It depends on
> what chipset you need and OS you're looking to run. If a
> Radeon 7xxx or 9xxx on 32-bit PCI suits your needs, let me
> know. I'll be glad to send you one or two for the cost
> of shipping, they're just taking up room for me.

Do you have an exact model number that I could chase down?
I suspect the "xxx" wildcards imply there are a bunch of
different models, etc.?

The G450 has been quite satisfactory for me -- but, the servers
don't have AGP slots available so that's not an option.  I try
to run each monitor at 1280x1024 -- so, the G450 sees the display
as 2560x1024 (not sure how that equates to these ATI models).

I use both of the machines for 3D CAD so I try to use a deep
color pallette (currently, 32b).  Though I suspect that a 16b
deep would not produce any *noticeable* difference in the video.

Are there any other variables that I haven't mentioned?
I suppose the shape of the PCI connector is also significant
as I know some of my boards only fit in certain slots (I
think these variations have to do with 3.3V vs 5V, 32b vs 64b,
chocolate vs. vanilla, etc.)

Should we take this off-list?


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