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317 posts

Ultimate Geek


#268278 9-Mar-2020 16:58
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I can't seem to find information on whether I can use a USB 3.0 video graphics card as the only graphics card available in a PC.  I want to use both PCI-e slots for another purpose and remove the current NVIDIA card.  Would that be possible?  I only see references to using a USB graphics adapter for a 2nd monitor.  Is that all it can be used for?

 

The PC is quite old.  I'm concerned the old BIOS may complain about no graphics card during boot up, and I may not be able configure the BIOS if required, although that's not so important.  But will I get anything out of it once Windows 10 boots?

 

Thanks.


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  #2435228 9-Mar-2020 17:20
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I'd be very reluctant to do this.  Normal graphics cards will operate in a basic VGA mode when no drivers are loaded or the drivers are bad for some reason.  USB graphics won't do that, so if the computer did boot and there were issues, you'd have a hard time troubleshooting.

 

IIRC loads of people used to run Linux PFsense headless (including machines without video cards), but I'd expect this would require a motherboard that would allow you to boot with no graphics card.

 

Consider setting your machine up with a remote access method like Remote Desktop or AnyDesk or similar, pull the graphics card after turning off any BIOS warnings you can find, and see if you can remote into the machine.  DO this first with the graphics card installed and check timings (e.g. 90 seconds to boot to the desktop, but another 45 seconds before RDP or AnyDesk allowed you to connect) so you know what to expect if things are working correctly.  Note that its possible some remote control programs will freak out at no installed graphics and not work, so perhaps configure the machine to shut down gracefully when the power button is pressed briefly, and you could check Event Viewer to see if the machine appeared to boot and shut down normally.

 

Could you keep PCIe graphics and instead of using both PCIe slots for your requirements, use one PCIe slot and a USB connected thingee instead of a second card? 

 

Any chance your machine is old enough to have an AGP graphics slot?  I happen to have a new-old-stock AGP card in my junk pile.





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  #2435232 9-Mar-2020 17:29
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What motherboard are you using? Are there any PCI or m.2 slots? You could switch to a PCI graphics card or use a PCI-E extender on the m.2 slot





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  #2435468 10-Mar-2020 09:31
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Win Updates updates the driver . The new driver doesnt work. You now have nothing, no display at all.

 

Not far fetched
In the past Ive had alot off issues with Winupdates installing new USB Video drivers that dint work (requiring a driver rollback)

 

They arnt the most reilable thing on average anyway .

 

If you have an old school PCI slot, you can use that for graphics just to boot the thing into windows (buy a PCI vid card off trademe)

 

 


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  #2435481 10-Mar-2020 09:49
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No onboard graphics?

 

Windows can use a USB screen as the primary easily enough, but it won't work for the BIOS and might prevent booting.

 

 

 

I know windows can do it because that's how my work laptop is setup when connected to the USB 3 dock.


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  #2435490 10-Mar-2020 09:56
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Has your motherboard not got integrated graphics? It was pretty common on older boards.


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  #2435563 10-Mar-2020 11:56
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Dugimodo:

 

No onboard graphics?

 

Windows can use a USB screen as the primary easily enough, but it won't work for the BIOS and might prevent booting.

 

 

 

I know windows can do it because that's how my work laptop is setup when connected to the USB 3 dock.

 

 

Rememebr some CPUs don't have inbuilt graphics so even if the motherboard has connectors there's no guarentee they will work.





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  #2435655 10-Mar-2020 13:34
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Intel CPUs generally have graphics card capabilities, AMD not so much. I used a USB 3.0 card as part of a dock, a Dynadock. It tends to chew through significantly more CPU and take more time to update the screen. It's ok for word processing, but not too much more.


 
 
 
 




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Ultimate Geek


  #2435689 10-Mar-2020 14:14
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It turns out it does have onboard graphics.  I can't remember why I purchased a PCI-e card for it as that was several years ago.  It's possible the onboard started playing up or wasn't good enough. I want to transition the PC to be a server of sorts, so don't need fancy graphics any longer.  I suspect I'm sorted.  Thanks for the replies.


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