View on GitHub

Raspberry Pi PCIe Devices

Raspberry Pi PCI Express device compatibility database

ASRock Rack M2_VGA

ASRock Rack M2_VGA
Functionality Driver Required? More Info
None (so far) Yes GitHub Issue

Videos Related to this Card

Description and Notes

The M2_VGA is a tiny M.2 form-factor video card that features the SM750 GPU. This GPU doesn’t have a 3D rendering engine, it only has 16 MB of RAM, and it’s meant more for basic graphics like you’d find in a kiosk or an appliance—or as a very simple and power-efficient graphics processor for a server.

It requires an M.2 M-key to PCI express adapter (like the MZHOU adapter I used) to plug into the 1x PCIe slot on the CM4 IO Board.

The card also requires a separate 4-pin molex power source, so I used a separate Molex power adapter to supply power to the board; you could also jumper power to it from the IO board if you’re so inclined, but figuring that out is up to you :)

The SM750 GPU chip requires a driver to operate, and there is an open source driver in the Linux kernel ‘staging’ directory. The driver has been panned by some as having poor coding practices, and has not been updated to use the drm subsystem in Linux, so it could take some work to get it working… but let’s give it a try!

sm750fb (open source) driver

To get the sm750fb driver loaded, you have to recompile the Linux kernel for Pi OS.

Go to Device Drivers > Graphics support on the menuconfig step, and select the Silicon Motion SM750 framebuffer support driver to install.

After copying over the new kernel and modules, and rebooting, the entire Pi locks up and requires a hard power reset. Go figure.

See the linked GitHub issue for more details on how I tested this card. I’ve even tried contacting kernel maintainers who are or were listed as working on the module in the past, but to no avail.