[AG-TECH] Video boards...

Yuan (Eric) He heyuan at ku.edu
Wed Aug 1 05:41:21 CDT 2001

Precisely they're the problems for ATI and NVIDIA cards. It's too bad
that my ASUS motherboard cannot help a bit on the IRQ issue. It seems to
me as well the best solution is using fewer cards. I'm about to test a
Matrox G200 quad head PCI card soon (but Marty's message worries me
again, let's see). But I also heard there's an ELSA GeForce quad-headed
AGP card available. I'd like to pursue that as well. 
-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Beavers [mailto:jbeavers at microsoft.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 2:12 PM
To: Yuan (Eric) He; ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Video boards...

Plug & Play IRQ allocation is something that can or cannot be done by
the OS (AKA the user while running Device Manager under Windows)
depending upon the BIOS.

The general trick with multimon is to run different graphics cards for
each monitor, because it's a common issue that many driver writers don't
take multimon into consideration and therefore have conflicts when two
instances of the drivers are loaded and run at once (this has been a
continuous issue for ATI drivers BTW).

An exception to this is Matrox which has always had both excellent
drivers and multimon support.  I've been running multiple Matrox cards
in one system since 1997.  The NVIDIA issue I've submitted is precisely
caused because the NVIDIA driver writers didn't explicitly deal with all
scenarios of multiple NVIDIA cards in one system and they get a race
condition which confuses the driver instances, something they'll now be
working on.  They don't have many users who attempt to run three or four
video cards in one system ;-)

 - jcb

-----Original Message-----
From: Yuan (Eric) He [mailto:heyuan at ku.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 10:44 PM
To: Jay Beavers; ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Video boards...

Thanks a lot for the info. The ASUS board was chosen by the vender for
our rack-mountable computers for a new portable node. I worried about
incompatibility issues as soon as I heard their choice (I used ASUS
motherboard for my home computer as well), but never figured I would run
into so much trouble this time :( Anyway, the vender likes it a lot and
assured us there's no problem with win2k (probably they never put so
many video cards in one box like what we did). I'll check more on the
IRQs and latest patch for BIOS, and let you know if there's progress.
But beyond the motherboard, video drivers do cause problems as well. I
tried using two ATI Xpert PCI cards along with the G450 AGP, one of the
ATI card chose the same IRQ no. as that G450 used, so that though
Windows detected the card, it couldn't use it for display. What's more
frustrating is that win2k does not allow assigning IRQs by user (at
least on that ASUS board). And this is why I use the G200 PCI instead.


Yuan (Eric) He
The University of Kansas

-----Original Message-----
From: Jay Beavers [mailto:jbeavers at microsoft.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2001 10:39 AM
To: Yuan (Eric) He; ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Video boards...

As a long time buyer of ASUS equipment for home use, I heartily
recommend against using their motherboards with Windows 2000 or Windows

I've run into far too many compatibility issues with ASUS motherboards
over the years, mostly centered around ACPI power management and Plug &
Play IRQ allocation for the PCI bus & AGP support in the BIOS.  While
the computer I'm writing this on is running an ASUS CUSL2 motherboard,
it's one of the last ASUS boards left in my home.  Even this motherboard
had serious AGP performance issues until I applied a beta BIOS patch I
found floating around ASUS Germany ;-)  That said, it's running dual
monitor NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS AGP / 3DFX Voodoo3000 PCI without issue.

What you're probably running into is an IRQ allocation issue (all video
cards on one IRQ?) perhaps combined with an AGP bug in the BIOS.  Is the
blue screen IRQL_LESS_THAN_OR_NOT_EQUAL (which is some guys code for
'your hardware is broken')?  Update the BIOS to see if that helps.  It
it doesn't perhaps try another brand of motherboard or make the BIOS IRQ
allocation problem easier by putting fewer PCI cards in the machine.

 - jcb

-----Original Message-----
From: Yuan (Eric) He [mailto:heyuan at ku.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 8:08 PM
To: Jay Beavers; ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Video boards...

I got trouble with NVIDIA chip as well. I installed two TNT2 PCI cards
(without an AGP card installed) on an ASUS Dual Socket 370 motherboard,
but Win2K simply crashes into blue screen at its start-up. I tried using
a Matrox dual-head G450 AGP + one PCI TNT2, the same thing happens.
Finally I replaced the two TNT2 cards with one Matrox G200 PCI and one
ATI Xpert PCI. Now I got three cards work together
(MGM450_AGP+MGM200_PCI+ATIXPERT_PCI) under win2k. But there's still
something I don't really understand: (1) Win2k won't start every time,
the machine occasionally needs to be reboot for several times before it
let you log on, just like Jay's problem. But as long as win2k boots,
every video card works just fine. (2) PCI cards are very picky at slots.
Now I let G200 stay in slot 1 and Xpert stay in slot4. But this is the
only scheme that I found can work for all three cards. I can't exchange
G200 and Xpert for their slot numbers; neither can I put Xpert in PCI
slot 2 or 3. I can understand there may be interrupt conflicts between
certain pairs of PCI slots or PCI/AGP slots, but it's weird to me that I
have only one choice! Any idea from Jay or other people? Thanks!


Yuan (Eric) He
The University of Kansas

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov [mailto:owner-ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov] On
Behalf Of Jay Beavers
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 6:16 PM
To: richardc at cs.utah.edu; ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Subject: RE: [AG-TECH] Video boards...

I am using 1x NVIDIA GeForce2 GTS AGP and 3x NVIDIA GeForce2 MX PCI
cards in one display machine under Windows XP.

There is currently a bug in the NVIDIA GeForce driver for Windows that
causes a subset of boards to be recognized upon boot.  Rebooting the
machine (many times in the case of four boards) will eventually result
in all boards being recognized.  I have filed a bug report with the
NVIDIA team and it is scheduled for fix in the near future.

 - jcb

-----Original Message-----
From: richardc at cs.utah.edu [mailto:richardc at cs.utah.edu] 
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2001 1:51 PM
To: ag-tech at mcs.anl.gov
Subject: [AG-TECH] Video boards...

Hi all,

Has anyone gotten a GeForce MX AGP and PCI cards to work as a video 
display machine? How about ATI Radeon?

Richard C.
SCI Institute

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