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Catalyst Drivers Backwards Compatibility

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 10, 2010 9:59:36 PM

I am using the current Catalyst drivers and would like to add a PCI graphics card to drive a third monitor. I would like to get the least expensive card possible, because the most strenuous thing the third monitor will do is run DVDs and Flash Video. However, according to the release notes for the latest catalyst drivers, the lowest g-cards supported are the HD 2XXX series. This would be fine, but the the 2XXX series is among the fastest cards for PCI, and the prices are a bit inflated. However, is it possible that the new drivers would also work for an older ati card (at least in 2D mode)? Thanks!
January 10, 2010 11:22:46 PM

From what I know it won't work. My wife still uses my old x1800XT, and we have to keep a copy of the 6.12(?) driver around. If you try to use the current ones it will say something about compatible card not found. I would assume you would have the same issue if you tried to use current drivers with an older PCI card.

So what are your options? If you have XP/Win7 then you can use whatever card you want. Both of these OSes allow the loading of more then one graphics card driver. Only vista holds you to one. Another option is to update your motherboard to one that has more then a single PCIe slot. I also just notice you have a G31 board, perhaps you can use the onboard?
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January 11, 2010 4:12:36 AM

Thanks. I actually tried to use the onboard card, but got terrible lock ups and crashes upon booting into the OS. I have tried it under both XP and (at the time) the Win 7 RC. However, if XP/7 support multiple drivers could I run an Nvidia card alongside my ATI? It might be a bit cheaper, but I am not sure.
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January 11, 2010 2:01:08 PM

Correct. You could actually run ANY two cards next to each other, including AMD and AMD. Just keep the drivers around for the older card. For example, you could use the 6.12 drivers for your cheap older x1300 PCI card, as well as the newest drivers for your 4850. The only windows OS that can't do this is Vista, and I wasn't sure what you were running.
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January 12, 2010 3:59:24 AM

Thanks. I will look into different PCI cards then.
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