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View Full Version : nForce 7xxx + AM2+ GeForce 9800 + 2536x1600 display: Is this at all possible ?


Tommy Svensson
08-03-08, 04:20 AM
I want an nForce based motherboard (because NVidia supplies drivers for Linux and I know it works very well with Linux). I also want an AMD Phenom X4 processor (AM2+ socket), and my third requirement is a GeForce Gfx card that can drive an Apple Cinema 30" display or more likely Samsungs much cheaper equivalent with a resultion around 2536 x 1600.

Here is the problem as I have understood it from reading lots of reviews (I seriously hope I have misunderstood something): All motherboards I have found that have an AM2+ socket and supports the Phenom X4 processor and uses the nForce chipset use the nForce 7xxx usually the 780a. All 7xxx nForce include an integrated Gfx card supporting only 1920 x 1200. The integrated card is the primary card so even if I plugin an external GeForce 9800 it will only be used when more 3D power than the internal card can manage is needed according to all reviews. So the internal card only uses the external card to get more processing power when needed. So whatever external card I choose I will never get a resolution more than 1920 x 1200 since that is the limit of the internal card.

Please someone, tell me I got it all wrong! Or that it is possible to disable the internal card and make the external primary. I have not been able to find a motherboard supporting AM2+, but with an older nForce.

Thanks,
Tommy

Tommy Svensson
08-08-08, 05:47 AM
I'm a bit surprised that I'm getting no responses to this.

I guess that not many people use displays with higher resolution than 1920x1200, and thus does have no experience with this question.

I am however assuming that Nvidia staff are reading these forums. They should be able to answer.

All I really want confirmed is: Is it possible to (in BIOS settings or otherwise) to disable the internal gfx card and use the external as primary card. Yes or No. And if it is not disabled in BIOS, but with some tool in the OS, can it be done with Linux.

/Tommy

saturnotaku
08-08-08, 06:00 AM
You probably would have had better luck had you posted this in the Linux forum. The one that's on the main forum page when you scroll down a little further.

Tommy Svensson
08-08-08, 07:18 AM
My first post was in the Linux forum. I didn't get any response there either and the core of the question is not OS dependent, but more hardware oriented.

I basically want to know if I buy a nForce 7xxx based motherboard and a GeForce 9xxx Gfx card, can I somehow use the GeForce 9xxx card as primary, and thus make use if its higher display resolutions.

I want nForce since I know it works well with Linux, but the question of being able to fully use the external Gfx card has nothing to do with Linux.

My problem is that I tend to give to much information, which sometimes confuses people :-). I should just have put the question as i just did in this entry and nothing more.

CaptNKILL
08-08-08, 02:19 PM
If you plug your monitor into the 9800, it is your graphics card. If you plug your monitor into your onboard video, that is your graphics card.

There aren't really any primary\secondary video cards unless that's a linux specific thing.

On a windows based PC, plugging the monitor into an external graphics card bypasses the onboard.

Also, the 7xxx series (7050, 7025, etc) are completely different than the 780a which has Hybrid SLI support if you connect your monitor to the onboard while also using a discrete card. Unless you're using Hybrid Power to save on power, there isn't any reason to use Hybrid SLI. If you want to use Hybrid SLI, you will be limited to whatever resolutions the onboard video can output. If you need a resolution that the onboard video cannot provide, you'll have to give up Hybrid SLI and just use a discrete card. In this case, it won't matter what onboard graphics chipset you're using.

Tommy Svensson
08-10-08, 08:35 AM
I have no interest what so ever in the hybrid SLI.

The thing I haven't been able to figure out from all the information I've read is if the "Hybrid SLI" is possible to turn off, so that the external card can be used exclusivly. Your post indicates that it is possible to turn off. Is that done in the BIOS ? Is it on or off by default ?

"There aren't really any primary\secondary video cards unless that's a linux specific thing."

No it has nothing to do with Linux. From what I have read, if the "Hybrid SLI" is on the internal onboard card is primary (the word primary was used by all of the reviews I read) and the external card doesn't even get any power unless the internal onboard card need the external for extra performance. So just plugging your monitor into the external card would not work unless you can disable this "Hybrid SLI" feature.

Also if you only can turn off the "Hybrid SLI" and not the whole internal onboard card then there still will be 2 gfx cards available for the OS to find. I doubt that any OS will use all gfx cards found simultaneously. You probably will have to tell the OS which to use.

Not being a native English speaker I'm a bit confused about the word "discrete". The only meaning I know for that word makes no sense at all to me in this context, but I'm starting to suspect that "discrete card" means the external non onboard card.

CaptNKILL
08-10-08, 08:45 AM
I have no interest what so ever in the hybrid SLI.

The thing I haven't been able to figure out from all the information I've read is if the "Hybrid SLI" is possible to turn off, so that the external card can be used exclusivly. Your post indicates that it is possible to turn off. Is that done in the BIOS ? Is it on or off by default ?

"There aren't really any primary\secondary video cards unless that's a linux specific thing."

No it has nothing to do with Linux. From what I have read, if the "Hybrid SLI" is on the internal onboard card is primary (the word primary was used by all of the reviews I read) and the external card doesn't even get any power unless the internal onboard card need the external for extra performance. So just plugging your monitor into the external card would not work unless you can disable this "Hybrid SLI" feature.

Also if you only can turn off the "Hybrid SLI" and not the whole internal onboard card then there still will be 2 gfx cards available for the OS to find. I doubt that any OS will use all gfx cards found simultaneously. You probably will have to tell the OS which to use.

Not being a native English speaker I'm a bit confused about the word "discrete". The only meaning I know for that word makes no sense at all to me in this context, but I'm starting to suspect that "discrete card" means the external non onboard card.
You'll probably be able to disable the onboard in the BIOS. If you can't do it there, you can always do it somewhere in the operating system. In Windows I would just disable it in the device manager.

Also, the Hybrid SLI features have to be enabled by the user as far as I know, so even if you didn't disable the onboard video, it shouldn't control your external card unless you tell it to do so. And I don't know about Linux, but in Windows your resolutions can be controlled per display. So if you have a monitor connected to your onboard graphics, that monitor will be limited by the onboard's maximum resolution. If you connect a monitor to your external card, that monitor will only be limited by the external card's maximum resolution. This is why there really isn't any "primary" unless you're using some kind of SLI.

And yes, you're right that discrete refers to the external card.

BTW, your English is very good. :thumbsup:

Tommy Svensson
08-12-08, 01:28 PM
You have given me enough info for me to consider trying the nForce 780a based motherboard. An other alternative I'm considering is simply to get a Mac Pro. It is however far more expensive. I haven't yet decided if it is worth the extra cost, and I'm no big fan of Apple either. I have never had so much trouble deciding what hardware to get before :).

"BTW, your English is very good"

Thanks. It should be reasonable. I lived for 7 and a half years in Seattle from age 14 to 21. But it was 19 years ago I moved back to Sweden. All the American shows on TV and that I work as a software developer keeps the English skills up. The built in spelling checker in firefox also helps :).

CaptNKILL
08-12-08, 01:33 PM
Don't get a Mac. Resist the dark side. :p