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How do I install a PCI graphics card for additional displays?

To install a PCI graphics card you need to follow these steps:

  1. Open up the SGI320 and install the PCI graphics card as illustrated in the Owner’s Guide.
  2. Restart the system and press ESCape at the ‘Starting System’ screen. Go to ‘Startup Settings’ and choose the VGA mode option under Boot Selection. ‘Save & Exit’ and continue booting.
  3. Once in Windows close the New Device Found wizard that pops up. Then proceed to install the latest graphics driver for that particular PCI card. You may also manually install the driver in Device Manager if you are having problems with the Install Wizard. Restart the system once prompted.
  4. Boot again in VGA mode. Right click on the desktop, go to Properties -> Settings, select the monitor plugged into the PCI graphics card and ensure that “Ensure Windows Desktop to This Monitor” is selected.
  5. Restart the system once again, but this time boot normally (not in VGA mode). The desktop should now extend across both monitors.

It is recommended to install the latest version of DirectX under Windows 2000 (version 9.0) Installation procedures may vary between setups/graphics cards. If anyone has discovered a different procedure for installing a particular graphics card then please use the contact section to report it.

Is it possible to use USB devices other than the supplied keyboard/mouse with the SGI’s built-in USB ports? (W2000 only)

A USB port can be freed up by plugging in an ordinary PS/2 mouse into the 320’s USB keyboard. I did this myself and installed a WACOM tablet in the spare port. The setup has now been running with no problems for over a year.

Can I replace my SGI320’s CD-ROM drive with a DVD drive for data access/DVD playback?

Yes. However, it is recommended flashing the PROM with the latest revision as some earlier devices were not recognised by older drivers in the ARCS PROM, preventing you from booting from the Recovery disks. A number of drives have been reported as working well with the SGI320:

  • LG DRD-8160B
  • PikaOne Dual DVDRW
  • Pioneer DVR-A04 (DVD Burner)
  • Pioneer DVD-106
  • Ricoh MP5120 (DVD Burner)
  • Toshiba SD-M1202
  • Toshiba SD-R1202

No additional drivers seem to be necessary under W2000. For NT you should download the manufacturer’s latest drivers.

Playback of DVD movies can be accomplished in one of two ways: either by using a PCI MPEG2 decoder such as the Creative Labs Encore DXR3 (requires 5V expansion unit such as the SBS Bit3 2134), or by using a software decoder. The latter solution requires a fast CPU (600Mhz+) to maintain smooth and full screen playback.

According to many SGI320 users, DVD playback is often better under W2000, using applications such as WinDVD4, PowerDVD (3 and 4) and STHSVCD 5.5. Since most DVD software decoders use DirectX which NT4 does not support in hardware (only software-emulated Direct X3 (SP3+) or Direct X5 with a ‘hacked’ version), performance usually suffers. Zoran’s SoftDVD has been reported as working well under NT.

Why does my SGI320 refuse to recognize IDE drives bigger than 32GIGs?

Some older Super 7-type PC motherboards could not recognize more than 32GIGs of hard drive space. Solving this usually requires changing jumpers or BIOS settings. The SGI320 has no BIOS so if this problem is encountered the answer will lie with the jumpers. Drives as large as 120GIGs have been reported as working with no problems on the SGI320 and there is no reason why larger drives should not work equally as well.

Please consult the manufacturer’s website for more details on the proper settings.


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