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x3400 7975 Video Card?

x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
Ok, so i'm just about at my wits end here. I have an IBM x3400 7975 and i'd like to add a video card to it and throw on Win8 x64.

Thinking power might be an issue, i removed one CPU, one hdd, the Optical Drive, as well as COM2. I have gone so far as to pull out my old USB Floppy and 1.44 disks to flash and update, from the beginning, the ServeRaid and BIOS.

Please Note: You CANNOT disable On-Board Video in the BIOS. There is Not an option to disable onboard video.
Here is my system:
  • 1 Power Supply ~ i believe it's 835w
  • 1 CPU 2 GHz Xeon e5405 ( 4 core )
  • 16 GB RAM
  • Severaid 8k SATA
  • 2x 15k-rpm 73GB SAS Hdds
  • 1 HIS Radeon ( ATI/AMD ) HD 5450 Pci-e x1 Video Card installed in slot 2. Drivers are on the Windows 8 Disc
  • ATI ES1000 / RN 50, on-board video bios cannot be disabled.
  • Keyboard, Mouse, Optical, and Sound are All through the powered USB 2.0 hub built into the monitor
  • Monitor Dell w/4 port usb 2.0 ~ connected through DVI
Slots
  • 1 - PCIe x8 (x4) 25w
  • 2 - PCIe x8 25w
  • 3 - PCIe x8 25w
  • 4 - PCI-x 2.0 133mhz x64
  • 5 - PCI-x 2.0 133mhz x64
  • 6 - PCI
As for my BIOS
  • PATA, SATA, COM's, Parallel ports are all disabled.
  • RAM is set to Interweave, the onboard Planar Nic, USB, and SAS are enabled; everything else is disabled.
  • For the PCI-e slots, only the first 3 get loaded at boot ( i'm pretty sure i can disable slots one and three, but meh... )... i put the video card into slot 1, but the system clearly didn't like it - nic, onboard video, and the external card were all the same irq and it didn't like it i'm guessing... so at slot 2, the card is auto assigned to irq 10 ( nic and video are irq 5, usb 9 ).
Serveraid 8k
  • Set to SATA, i'd like Raid 0
Process
  • Format Drives through Severaid, reboot
  • Verify
  • Init, Verify
  • Create RAID 0, Verify, Shutdown after full restart
  • Attach Optical Drive to USB and put the Windows Disc In
  • Install Windows
  • Upon 1st reboot of windows, i get a blank screen
Since i can post, and have windows go through the boot, enter my key, format, and install, but then the screen blanks out, or i get constant rebootsnosmiley.

I can tell you, if i attach an analog cable between my monitor and the onboard video slot, no matter what, the monitor shows through the video card only. It will switch between DVI and Analog upon reboots w/o issue. Formatting both drives takes 50 minutes, each verify takes 30 Minutes, and Windows is about 20 minutes ~ a 3 hr processsad Please give me at least a day between trials.

So it's a windows problem right? Am i missing something? Should i change some settings somewhere? Do you need more info? Any thoughts? Should i get a new video card? Is this possible?

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

I think you are overloading the slot, the power draw is too much for the system. Why the hell would you want to load windows 8 on it? it's not a PC. So even if it did run, it would give different results than a PC, if you want to see what the windows 8 would be like on a server, and you don't need that stupid tile system, load server 2012.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
Well there seems to be a wealth of IBM x series systems on the market now. These are excellent computers, 8 cores at 2ghz with 8 gb ram ~ need i mention the striped drives? I picked this one up for 200 USD.

Seems a lot more people have WinXp/Vista/7/8 available than Server. It would make a great workstation or even a 10 year system for non technical users. However, i don't know anyone still running at 1024x768, and it's a shame to put these systems out to pasture.

So i'm disabling the PCI ROM Control Execution, in the BIOS, for all slots except 2 ( for the video card ). Also i am removing one more drive to have a simple volume. Basically i'm down to the board, cpu, ram, sas controller, pcie x1 video/graphics card and a single hdd. There should be enough power available.

It would be good to see this working as either a desktop or a workstation.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

Of course there is a dearth of IBM systems, and there will be, they are trying to get out of the hardware market. They want to exist as a software/cloud/services and no hardware business by the year 2015, Ginny has hinted as this is the roadmap for the 2015 plan. They tried to sell the server company to Toshiba when they sold off the retail division last year. Then they tried to sell it to their buddies Lenovo, who was interested in buying it to shore up there pathetic server lineup, but IBM wanted twice what the division was worth, and Lenovo told them no way, we got screwed buying the PC company, only going to fool us once. So as companies see the writing on the wall, they will dump Big Blue in favor of Dell, and HP. And then there is no reason for them to buy IBM software, so IBM will have to reinvent itself again, or fail to exist as a company in less than 10 years, but I will be gone by then.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

Why do you think it's a power issue. It's probably just not compatible in the sense that nobody ever would have seen putting a different video card in a server because that's not what it was designed for (running workstation OS).

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

Each slot has a 25w limit....So just a guess, but I mean, it isn't a workstation, it doesn't have the same chipset, or the same interface as a desktop system, and therefore should not be expected to be able to just take any off the shelf card, even if it has the correct bus, that it will work. IBM will tell you, we only stand behind serverproven devices, and configurations, that is why they made the serverproven website, if you get something that works that isn't supported, then great for you, but if it isn't working, don't expect any help from that quarter.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
Well i'm down to one hard drive, and i checked the specs on the pcie x1 bus. In theory it boots at 10w and goes up to a max of 25w. The other thing is, from the looks of the card, it's a mobile graphics chipset.

What might give me/us a better idea is looking at the log files from the set up. However, i'm running into issues with finding the hard drive when i boot from UBCD. Any thoughts? These are SAS and not SATA drives, so i don't think i can just remove the hard drive and plug it into a SATA adapter.... can i?

Still trying, and i'm switching to Win 8.1 preview to see if anything changes.

Thank you all for all your thoughts....

It is a shame about lenovo and yes, IBM wants a few k for a few hours to tell me they don't support what i'm doing lol

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
* sighs * i did something stupid - i made two changes at once, then added a 3rd just to mess me up more :\

Basically i disabled NMI reboot in the bios, and it works... however, i also tried the Win 8.1 preview... so i'm in.
It loaded with two two Microsoft Basic Display Adapters. One was enabled, the other had issues ( the one with issues was the onboard device ).

I plugged in the cable, and then my display driver was updated :( So now it reads the correct Video card Ati/amd hd 5000 series... As much as i hate to redo a working system, i'm going to try to put on Win8 pro x64.

However, before i do this, any logs you think i should post?

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

UBCD would never find the hard drives, it doesn't contain the raid adapter drivers, And no you can not plug a SAS drive into a SATA adapter, you could however plug a SATA drive into a SAS adapter. The old Non-Maskable interrupt. That kinda makes sense, you basically told it to ignore an interrupt to the CPU from a hardware fault. Might it continue to work, yes, may it blue screen later, yes.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
Ya, i'm waiting on the blue screen lol ~ this is really a bad idea.

I think i might keep this up for about a week just to see if i can gather some info from the log files. See if it tips me to where the issues lay. I looked on ebay, an extra power supply would be 30 and a pair of matched cpu's go for 30. The video card goes for about 100 :s. The log shows one power down issue, where it took about 10 minutes and i forced the restart... then there are some messages about the ServeRaid.

The description for Event ID 9 from source arcsas cannot be found. Either the component that raises this event is not installed on your local computer or the installation is corrupted. You can install or repair the component on the local computer.
The following information was included with the event: \Device\RaidPort0
the message resource is present but the message is not found in the string/message table

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

Do you think it's worth the hassle/money? You're sort of trying to convert a horse into a zebra.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
You know, that is the ultimate question here...Money and Time. Somewhere i'm thinking, if i can get one to work, then i might be able to build up these systems for 500 or so ( 200 for the system, 200 for windows, 80 for the video card, and 20 for usb sound ). There seems to be an issue with restarting, but shutting down works fine. The video issue occurs on reboot, not shutting down ~ corrupted display.

Speaking of money, it seems the onboard NIC doesn't support Jumbo Frames thumbsdown Seriously, what is the point of Gigabit ~ and a server ~ if you aren't going to have Jumbo Frames? So maybe for this system i might go out and get a new NIC. I'm maxing at 10 MB/s and 10% usage ~ such a waste. My XP 32bit Pro goes at 50 MB/s.

This could be a pet project for me ~ idk, right now it's only taking a little of my time, and has me curious.

I'm installing Adobe CS6 Master and going to play around with it a bit. Pre CS6, with drivers, Office, av, plug-ins, etc, the foot print as 16.8 GB. So far, the shutdown issue is the only real problem. This will be interesting though to see if i can get some data corruption.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
Well i stopped by a local office supply store, and meandered around their tech section. I found a cheap Gigabit adapter for $10 USD, and am now sustaining 16 MB/s. However, in disabling the system Planar onboard nic, i now get a boot prompt - Error 1807 Ethernet is disabled by user... Press F1 to Enter Set Up or Enter to Continue.

Is there someway to stop this message? I know i disabled it.

Also, i was looking around cpu-z, and noticed they offered a BIOS validation product. My drivers all checked out fine :) However, it says my BIOS isn't up to date :( This is what it lists.

BIOS Type: Unknown
BIOS Date: November 25th, 2010
BIOS ID: Phoenix ServerBIOS 3 Release 6.1.U
BIOS OEM: IBM BIOS Version 1.74-[SPE174AUS-1.74]-
Chipset: Intel 25D8 rev 177
SuperIO: Unknown
Manufacturer: IBM
Motherboard: IBM eServer x3400-[7975AC1]-

Any idea, or can someone please point me to the missing update? Thank you

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

That is the latest bios, cpu-z is wrong.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
ty :)

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

@UnclScott

You had sucess on running your IBM server with a external Video Card?

I have this same idea too to install a graphics card on my x3400 7976, you had luck on this project? The machine is working fine, stable?

Thanks.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
It's a qualified yes of sorts. So far, i'm running 3 15k rpm drives. The first is a volume, the next two are in a raid 0 config ( i moved the 16gb page file to the raid drive and have a few files there ). I have yet to add in the other cpu to test out the power.

It seems, the trick is to disable the NMI reboot and everything works fine. But i Disabled NMI reboot ~ so i'm cheating. Also, because of bios prompts, i've had to set the BIOS to continue with errors.

However, i have gone through and flashed/updated everything. I'm using CS6 Master collection and Office 2k7 Enterprise without issue. On a side note, i've even played on online Java Based/HTML 5 based game. I wouldn't say this is a gaming system, but let me tell you, when i click an app, it opens as soon as i click it. Zero delay. Seems good so far :)

I'm using an HIS HD 5450 Radeon Video/Graphics Card; amd/ati. Slot one i can't get to work, so it's in Slot 2. It's PCI-E x1 and uses a mobile chipset. These are designed to use less than 25 watts.

Please note though, when i check the Win 8.1 Event Viewer, i'm getting a ton of errors/warnings from my ServeRaid controller, as well as messages about incorrect shutdowns. I am NOT allowed to restart the system, I need to shutdown and then reboot. I'm thinking somewhere, my video card might just be corrupted/bad, but i can't find a way to confirm this :(

Somewhere, somehow, it reboots, and the video does not come back on. I hear the 2 beeps ( error 1807 the ethernet is disabled by the user ), and then the single post beep, and there is hdd activity as Windows loads. I wait for the activity to stop/slow, then i press the power button to shutdown. Then i turn it back on. It's painful on the 2nd Tuesday's of every month and when you first install all your software, aside from that, it runs continuously.

I suppose, i'm thinking of getting an SSD to replace the SAS. Once, when i was on Win 8 Pro x64, i was able to install the card and run a windows experience. Everything was 6.x except for desktop graphics, which was a 2.7 for some reason.

The other detail is, the onboard NIC is slow, so i threw in a $10 USD PCI card with Jumbo Frame support, and disabled the BIOS. Also, practically everything in the BIOS is disabled ( though i have headless/mouse/keyboardless + USB enabled ). I removed COM2 connections and the DVD ROM. Everything is running through the monitor USB ports ( sound, keyboard/mouse, Portable DVD, Jump Drives + External Drive ).

Truth be told, i'm fully expecting this system to crash really hard, but not until i really need a working system, or i'm working on something critical that has yet to be saved. So ya, as long as you're not working in a hospital, nuclear facility, doing standards/tests for space and/or the military, it works.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

I'd call that an unqualified PITA, but if you're having fun................

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
The whole NMI thing was the real PITA so far. Also IBM's site had download speeds of 6k, and they have some corrupted files. Aside from that, and once you know, you're good. I'll say, i was ready to ebay this system until the NMI setting.

So i'm all in. Last night i splurged on 2 matched e5440 (2.83 GHz) cpu's for 50 USD, a single e5440 (2 GHz) was 30.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
From an average of 7 Very Long tests, here's what passmark gave this system. Hopefully by Wednesday of next week, i'll get the two new CPU's in, and i'll test again



Gotta find a better video card - that was really the killer in terms of benchmarking.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
So i got my cpu's in the mail, but don't have the vrm yet :( so here's a Benchmark from a single e5440 2.83 GHz



The new cpu seems to have increased the video card's performance by 10%, but it's still REALLY SLOW.

On a side note, anyone know what's the fastest and most RAM for this board? I noticed on IBM's site, they only list one, 4 GB x 2 option and PC2 5300 ( DDR2 667 ). Since DDR2 goes up to 800 ( PC2 6400 ), and there are now 16 GB sticks, i'm wondering if anyone knows of faster compatible RAM? Currently i have a bunch of 1 GB and 2 GB modules to get to my 16 GBs, and i'm curious about upgrading. From what i can tell, the board supports 32 GBs max.

Thank you again

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
Final Rating. Can't help thinking though, i should of purchased a PCI-e NIC and disabled the legacy PCI bus.



Thanks again for all your help.

RE: x3400 7975 Video Card?

(OP)
So using an x8 to x16 adapter, running with a molex to 6 pin power adapter, and using a x16 PCI-e nVidia GT 8800 i get this.

]

Increased 600 on the passmark system scale. This is proof of concept. Note however, there was no DX 11 Test. Now i'm going to check if the NMI was caused by a possible bad video card.

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