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PCI Express x1 Video card not working


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PCI Express x1 Video card not working

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I am trying to upgrade my Vostro 400 with a new video card, and when I change out the old card and reboot, I just get the 6 beeps that the POST video test failed.  I can remove both cards and run off of the onboard or put both old and new cards in their slots, the old is a PCI Express x16 and the computer will run off of the old video card. 


The card I bought seems to fit spec, but it is a Nvidia GT 520.  Hardware requirements are:

300W Power supply ----- Check - 350W

Intel P4 or greater -------- Check - Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600

1 GB RAM ------------------ Check - 2GB

The only spec I don't know for sure about is:

PCI Express compliant MB with one DUAL-WIDTH x1 graphics slot, I can't find any details about my vostro as to the 'width' of the x1 slot, but did find that you can't 'down-plug' a PCIe card to a lower width.  Is this my problem, and how would I even find this information out?






All Replies
  • Try this in BIOS.

    Video BIOS Test Failure. So it's a BIOS problem.

    Init Display First PCI Slot, Onboard, PCIEx (PCI Slot by default)

    Video Memory Size 1 MB, 8 MB (8 MB by default)

    DVMT Mode FIXED, DVMT (DVMT by default)

    DVMT/FIXED Memory


  • Andy, the PCIe spec seems to define a couple of terms.

    A basic x1 link has peak raw bandwidth of 2.5Gbps and since its bidirectional the effective raw rate is 5Gbps. I haven't heard the term 'dual width' but have heard the term 'bidirectional' meaning it can read and write at the same time. (I have heard the term 'dual link' but in reference to the DVI display connector on a graphics card).

    Up-plugging refers to insertion of a smaller link card into a larger link connector, for example a x1 card into a x4 or x8 or x16 connector, and is supported

    Down-plugging refers to insertion of a larger link card into a smaller link connector, for example a x16 card into a x8 connector, and is not allowed (though the spec do not allow this it can be done with mechanical and electrical mods but that's another story).

    Down-shifting is plugging a card into a connector that does not have all lanes routed and in general this is not allowed except for x8 connectors with only x4 lanes.  

    So in general, the x1 graphics card should work in any slot and if it doesn't it's likely a BIOS issue or limitation.

    In any case i thought the Nvidia GT520 was a x16 card so it's a little confusing what you are actually doing.

    Anyway, try the x1 card in the x16 slot as it's not clear that's where you inserted it. If no luck on the x16 slot, try the BIOS tweeks electromagnetic suggested.

    If your trying to run the old and new cards in SLI, be warned drivers won't allow that unless the motherboard manufacturers have paid their license fee and BIOS has appropriate flags set and cards are of same generation (a x16 + x1 card in sli doesn't seem logical anyway).