Install Two Nvidia GeForce 210 in Dell SC440 to Setup 3 or 4 Displays

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Currently running 3 monitors, including one touchscreen.

These two particular Nvidia GeForce 210 PCI-e x16 video cards are each made by different companies — Zotac and EVGA.  The Zotac card is a couple years old, but the EVGA card was purchased this weekend to run the touchscreen third monitor.  Both PCI-e cards were recognized on boot-up and the multiple displays are configurable under the Nvidia Control Panel software.

You might say, “Hey dude, the Dell PowerEdge SC440 Server does not have any PCI-e x16 slots to hold two PCI-e video cards.”  Well, there is actually one x16 slot that has been limited by design to only hold an x8 card (like a Raid controller) because there is a plastic divider manufactured into the middle of the x16 slot.  My guess is that Dell wanted to prevent this slot from being used for add-on PCI-e video cards because this SC440 Server is not meant for gaming or workstation use.  However, the original BIOS does not limit recognition of the video cards.   I didn’t look for any flash updates.

So, how do you install these video cards without any usable slots?  You can either (a) modify the crippled x16 slot by carefully cutting the plastic divider with a heated knife (not getting any of the melted plastic on the copper connectors), or (b) buy a riser/adapter that fits in the x8 portion of the slot but provides an x16 riser slot to hold the card.

Orbit Micro sells a PCI Express x8 to x16 Adapter here: and the current price is $42.   I have an extra brand new adapter that I will sell to you for $22 plus shipping.  However, using the riser/adapter means that you will also need to re-engineer the bracket that holds the video card in the back of the case.  It’s not difficult, but I have done this both ways, and I prefer solution (a). Then, again, I didn’t wreck the contacts in the slot of the motherboard when I cut the plastic divider with a heated blade.

For the second GeForce 210 PCI-e card, you can use a metal file to “file-open” the back end of the other x8 PCI-e slot so that the front half of the x16 video card will fit in the front end of the x8 slot, and the back half of the card will hang over the end of the x8 slot.  Note, the x16 video card will function with half the lanes connected.  No problem.

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