Booting between different installed graphics cards
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Booting between different installed graphics cards
I have two PCI cards installed on my system (Unfortunately no AGP slots except for a crappy onboard AGP Trident Blade3D). They are:
1) nvidia riva tnt2 32MB - for linux support and satisfactory graphics.
2)silicon lynx3d 2.5MB + TV-out - to watch DVDs on my TV.
What I would like to do is to switch between these two cards whenever I need to without having to remove one and put the other in to my PCI slots. Currently both are already in and installed on my PCI slots, but BIOS (AWARD) only initialises the first card it finds (this is the nvidia card) and the other one cannot be used. I guess connecting a secondary monitor to the second PCI slot (silicon tv-out) would do the trick. But I was wondering whether it could be done via the BIOS (Award BIOS). I went into 'PCI/PnP config' and only saw 'change INT from auto to any value between 3-15'. I tried changing that, but no difference. Could anyone help me?
Any help would be highly appreciated.
Edit:Moved to the Linux - Hardware forum
Last edited by mcleodnine; 09-01-2003 at 03:06 PM.
Linux is a protected mode operating system, this means that, once the computer is booted the BIOS goes dormant and Linux manages the entire running of the computer by itself. Therefore the BIOS will not affect your setup.
X is perfectly capable of using two graphics cards simultaneously. Simply use a second Device and Screen section in your /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 file. You may need to add BusID options to the Device sections to clearly identify which device pertains to which card. Then add a Screen line to your ServerLayout section to specify the new screen.
Thanks very much 4 ur reply. X was able load both cards and
I can connect the monitor to any of them. But my Silicon Card just shows its BIOS version and halts, while the nVidia takes even longer to load. Maybe it's something with my XF86Config..? I will try again, but if it fails, I will get back to u.
It still doesn't work. So I checked what would happen if I disabled my Silicon TV-Out card, enabled my onboard trident agp and added it to my XF86Config and load it with. The Trident AGP worked together with the nvidia card [though the trident showed the magnified upper corner portion of the screen.] The Silicon TV-out worked standalone, but although initialised in "DUAL" mode, it does not function, whilst the nvidia halts at the nvidia splash screen. I would really appreciate any help on this. Here are parts of my XF86Config.
Identifier "Multi-card SingleTV"
Screen "NVIDIA Screen"
Screen "SILICON Screen" #RightOf "NVIDIA Screen"
Screen "TRIDENT Screen" #RightOf "SILICON Screen"
InputDevice "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
InputDevice "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
InputDevice "DevInputMice" "AlwaysCore"
# This option is what spreads the workspace across the two monitors
Option "Xinerama" "true"
Your X config appears sound, although I am unsure as to why you disabled the Trident adaptor. This will most likely just give errors trying to load the third screen. Check the silicon card's BusID and driver. I am guessing that your second graphics card needs some kind of special initialisation which it isn't receiving because it is using the very generic vesa driver. I see you have commented out another driver line in that section. What problems did you experience using that driver?
Well, I actually wasn't intending on using the Trident, just the nvidia and siliconmotion, I just added it for testing I guess I should remove that. The siliconmotion card does not work with the "siliconmotion" driver, X log shows some complaint about "SMI_GEReset called from smi_accel.c line 263", for which I haven't been able to find any fix from the web. Anyway I ignored that, hoping I will find a fix soon and used the "vesa" driver instead [for which it works if I use it as the primary card]. There is no complaint in the X log when I try to use both the nvidia and silicon together, there is a signal from the card, but nothing useful, and the nvidia card sort of halts.
I think I found out what the problem is. I think for some reason my SiliconMotion lynx3d card does not wan to (cannot?) function as a Secondary Display Adapter. I decided to try out my Silicon Adapter as my primary adapter with the nVidia being the secondary adapter, and it worked in linux and windows. But I would rather have the nvidia as primary, so I would appreciate if anyone who has any idea why would reply to me on this. Thanx.