Big thanks to all that responded to my original post last night. I dug through my collection of old and useless hardware and actually found a GT 530 video card; it’s only the 1GB version, but I don’t think it really matters all that much. I plugged it in and did a little testing and it worked, with accelerated video via the GT 530 on both the internal and external displays. I might even go a little crazy and see if I can drive a third monitor by hooking up directly to the HDMI port on the card, but that’s more out of curiosity than anything else. I did try a few other cards, like a GT 630, to see if they would work the same, and found that no, they didn’t work the proper way, the way the 530 works.
My testing was limited to a base installation of FSX:SE. With detail settings set in the middle I was able to get fairly consistent 60FPS (program set to maintain 60 FPS instead of going unlimited) at full resolution (1920x1080 on the internal display, 1920x1200 on the external). There were the usual FSX pauses, but that’s just part of its, uh, charm. Sure, it’s an old program, but one I’ve been using for years and I know it well enough to know if it’s running correctly. This performance was about the same as when I tested it using the 4GB GT 730.
I was also able to update all but one of the drivers. It was a time-consuming process, but it worked at worked reliably. The trick was to go into Device Manager and just right click on, well, just about everything and tell it to update each driver. The only one that still causes crashes on installation is ‘PCI Express Root Port’ which is still using the 2006-vintage Microsoft driver. Various websites have basically said to ignore it, and ignore it I shall.
I’ll have to dig through the junk bins to see if I have a PCIE mini card that includes Bluetooth. I’m sure I have one (or three), and if not I can probably scrounge one out of the piles of notebooks/laptops that seemed to have migrated to my house. I’ll probably swap out the SSD; I’ve been testing with a decent late-model Samsung 256GB unit, but it seems like a bit of a waste to leave a good drive like that in this machine. I do have a 480GB Inland ‘Professional’ (hah!) that’s not currently in use; you get what you pay for, and I didn’t pay much for it. Its performance is crappy in comparison to Samsung/SanDisk/Crucial drives, but still a lot better than a conventional hard drive. Since there is an available SATA port I’ll probably add a regular ol’ hard drive to supplement the SSD, and it should fit in just fine once I yank out the 3.5" HD.
It’s taken a week of playing around and experimenting with this thing to get it to this state, but I’m pleased with the results. Once again, a big thank you to all of those who helped me get the video issue figured out. You really came through for me and I am extremely grateful.