CAD Graphics Solution – Converting DVI to DisplayPort

Hi folks,

I recently worked a case with a customer who was setting up a dedicated remote graphics workstation leveraging a Teradici Host Access card for remote access.  The problem they were experiencing was the DellWyse 7030 was connecting to the Teradici card, but they were getting a message “No Signal”.

Here’s the hardware setup:

I had never seen a Quadro K6000 yet, so just to figure out the “lay of the land” the customer sent us a picture of the back of the server – with the Tera card and Video card and current cabling.  The K6000 is kinda unique, aside from having over 2000 cuda cores for graphics processing and using a single-PCIe and two slots wide.  That’s all pretty cool, but the uniqueness is that it has 4 video out ports on the back and it’s made for single user/client video.

However, there’s a problem with the configuration of the 4 ports that can cause some issues when trying to leverage a Tera2240 card.  The K6000 has 2x DisplayPort outputs and 2x DVI outputs, and that’s a problem when trying to light up 4x miniDisplayPort connections to feed 4 monitors on the 7030 endpoint.

The Tera2240 is designed to work with DisplayPort connections only, so it’s packaged with 4x DisplayPort to miniDisplayPort cables to do the Interconnection between the video source (DisplayPort) to the Tera card (miniDisplayPort).

Initially, the customer had configured the solution as in the picture below.  The DisplayPorts on the K6000 are shaded in the picture, but I highlighted them with the Blue circle (there’s a better pic further down), but note that they are unused.

IMG_1207-2

From the image above, the customer had purchased two consumer grade miniDisplayPort (mDP) to DVI adapters to make the connection between the DVI output on the K6000 and the mDP input on the Tera2240.  It seems like it should work because there’s a DVI port on one side and mDP on the other side, right??

Not understanding the solution, they wired it up as above and didn’t understand why it didn’t work and they were getting a “No Signal” message after connecting to the Tera card from the DellWyse 7030.

Let’s break down the parts in the solution real quick, which will help us understand how to put it together and be able to get proper video to the endpoint:

Quadro K6000:  The Quadro K6000 does have 4 video out ports – 2x DP & 2x DVI.  However, there is “precedence” in the default video ports as seen in the host operating system, as to which port has Monitor1, Monitor2,…, Monitor4 video out.  This can be changed inside the OS, but the default is best described by a picture.  Ports indicated as 1 & 2 are your DisplayPort outputs, 3 & 4 are your DVI outputs.

K6000-ports

Tera2240:  As shown below, the Tera2240 card has 4 mDP inputs and are labeled in order.  So, this is just as simple as matching up Video Out ports (from K6000 above) to the Tera2240 mDP inputs in the image below, right??

Tera2240

Well… no.  There’s still a problem – with the converters.

Converters:  After doing some research on video signaling and conversion from DP->DVI and DVI->DP, these are two very different processes.  DisplayPort is a much newer and robust digital video & data transfer interface (go to market ~2008) and is backwards compatible with VGA, DVI and HDMI displays formats.  This is accomplished with a simple passive (read as:  non-powered) adapter that takes the DP signal stream input and strips out everything but the needed signal (based on the adapter output type) and putting it out on the other side of the adapter.  Unfortunately, up-converting from VGA/DVI/HDMI to DP takes a bit more work from a processing side and requires a power input to assist with the computational processing.

So it is important to know what your video source is and what your output is supposed to be and that you get the right adapter for it.


So, putting all of these pieces together, here is what the configuration should look like to provide a Quad Monitor experience leveraging the K6000, Tera2240 & have the video come out properly on the Dell Wyse 7030 Endpoint.

  • K6000 ports 1 & 2 will use the provided DisplayPort to mDisplayPort cables (noted in blue) to connect into ports 1 & 2 on the Tera card.
  • Ports 3 & 4 will use a short DVI cable out (noted in red), which will need to plug into an Active/powered DVI –> mDP up-converter (noted in tan) to translate the DVI signal into a DP capable signal, plugging into ports 3 & 4 on the Tera card, with likely an assist from USB power off the back of the server to power the Active up-converter.

Setup2

Here’s a look at some examples of Active Up-converters to go from DVI–>mDP :
Here…   and…   Here…   off of Amazon.com  (Disclaimer:  I’m not necessarily recommending either of these, they are just examples.  Verify with the vendor that it will work or they have an equitable return policy)

There’s a lot of good info on the DisplayPort spec: here.

Hope this helps.  Hit me with questions.

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