Radeon HD in a Poweredge 1950 or 2850

Hi. I'd like to retrofit my older servers with a good GPU to take advantage of the new GPU-computing capabilities. Is it possible to get a radeon hd running on a Poweredge rackmount server? Is there anyone whose done it?

I'm not interested in "it will probably work"-- I'd like someone who has actually done it. I couldn't get it to work. I took a pcix4->x16 adapter, plugged it into the 1950, powered an hd 5770 from an external power source, and installed the latest catalyst drivers, and couldn't get it to detect. is this even possible? I heard somewhere drivers and chipset both didn't support it, since the pcie slot is on a riser.

Has anyone successfully done this?

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More about radeon poweredge 1950 2850
  1. hi,
    looking for same answer to same question. been told by dell it is not possible with the 2850 as you cannot disable the onboard vids in bios nor by adding a vid card and it auto-detects and disables them.
    If you or anyone has had any luck please let me know.


  2. I ended up not being able to do it. what I tried:

    pcie x16 cable extender so the video card could fit
    additional power supply modded to be on to power the card without using the server PSUs
    latest drivers / dell patches

    couldn't get it to work with these specs. I heard a rumor somewhere that something to do with pcie slots on a riser didn't have the right lanes to do a video card.

    if anyone out there has a working solution, I'm all ears!
  3. Hi Chaseshaw and servergms, I've got this down to a fine art. I've picked up about a dozen ex-government boxes for under $50 each (I got one for less than $10!), beefed them up a bit, then sold them on. I posted this on a different forum recently where a question was asked about a PowerEdge 1800:

    "I'm more familiar with 1850s and 2850s which have all had PCI slots, but you didn't mention having removed the DRAC card. That turned out to be the main stumbling block for me, and I've been able to upgrade two 1950s with PCIe cards relatively smoothly following the same sequence: remove the DRAC and power up, disable and uninstall device drivers for any graphics adaptors or displays that appear in the Device Manager, then shut down and disconnect your monitor from the integrated VGA. Install your new graphics card and boot up to install your drivers. This first boot with the new card and no drivers is the worst bit, and as garbled as the screen appears, or if it goes to sleep, don't be tempted to restart - it has taken up to 30 minutes for me. Once you've installed your drivers you should be sweet. Never connect anything to the built in graphics again, trust me! Apologies if the 1800 doesn't have a DRAC, I've never opened one."

    followed by:

    "I should add that I've used Gigabyte Radeon HD 5450s and a Zotac GT 520 in PCI slots in 1850s and 2850s, and have tried about a half a dozen different PCIe cards from various manufacturers in 1950s without any problems. PCIe extension ribbons cost about $5 on eBay and once you mount your video card externally your options are greatly expanded and supplying extra power becomes much easier."
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