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Windows 7: Running a 4/6 screen windows 7 environment

13 Dec 2009   #1

windows 7 pro
Running a 4/6 screen windows 7 environment


Basically my question is, what's the best way of running a 4/6 screen windows 7 environment?

The detailed question is:-
I've just got a Dell XPS 8000 with a Nvidia GT 220 in it.
I'd like to run at least 4 19 inch screens. On my previous system (XP Pro 64 bit) I added a second PCI graphics card, which allowed me to run the 4 screens.
It's not for gaming, it's for developing, so I just need a lot of desktop real estate, more than 3D rendering power.
(Btw, I went for win 7 pro, due to the XP Pro Virtual machine, allowing me to run the 32bit cisco VPN client I need, in a 64 bit environment).

I installed the old PCI card I had a Nvidia GeForce FX 5200, but this seems to cause an issue with the GT220 card and the device manager reports it's stopped working (error code 43. I've googled it, seems a pretty generic error code, from what I can tell I think it's installing xddm drivers, which is the problem with wddm driver needed). I remove the card it BSOD's windows is unable to repair it, and I have to go back to a system restore point.

I see I have 2 spare PCIe x1 slots and a PCI slot on my motherboard.
Any suggestions?
Ideas I've toyed with are
1. Buy a PCIe x1 graphics card, possibly a quad card(but which one, nvidia or non nvidia)
2. Buy another PCI Graphics card,possibly a quad card( again which one? )
3. Can I spilt the HDMI and DVI outputs to give me 4 screens of 1280x1024. (or even 3 screens)
4. Scrap the GT 220, buy a PCI x16 card, then get another dual PCIe x1 card.(going to be very expensive I think)

Any help appreciated.



P.S I have spent some time googling this without any luck, so hopefully some other people might find this a useful post.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #2
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64

Henry welcome to the forums.

Your problem with the GT 220 and the FX5200 is a driver conflict. Problem is that while both cards are using bits and pieces that are similar, but are both using a different driver model; WDDM 1.0 for the FX5200 and WDDM 1.1 for the GT 220. The only way to get around the WDDM issue is if the WDDM 1.0 card uses a totally different driver; your GT 220 with and old ATI PCI card for example.

Quickest and cheapest option for doing what you're looking to do is one of these, - SPARKLE SFPC84GS256U2LP GeForce 8400 GS 256MB 64-bit GDDR2 PCI HDCP Ready Video Card - Desktop Graphics / Video Cards

Both cards would use the same WDDM 1.1 driver model, so there shouldn't be any conflicts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Dec 2009   #3

windows 7 pro

Thanks Stormy13 for the help and the welcome, will get another card and update the forum with my results.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Dec 2009   #4

windows 7 pro

Just wanted to say thanks, for your help Stormy13. Quick update, managed to get hold of a Nvidia NVS 440 card PCIx16 of a mate, will add the PCIx1 card when I finish paying for Crimbo!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Running a 4/6 screen windows 7 environment

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