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Two Graphics Cards Non Sli

  • Graphics Cards
  • Dual Monitors
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
May 11, 2009 8:42:54 PM

So a weird and probably considerably stupid question but none the less i knew this was the place to go. I want to run dual monitors, one for gaming and a smaller low end one for manging music chats etc while gaming. I know my current card (Radeon 2900XT) can support dual monitors but want to know if its possible to hook up a second hard (in this case a cheap left voer Nvidia 6800) to manage little things. The reason i dont want to run dual monitors on my 2900 is ebcause ive read that you lose quite a bit of performance if the monitors are not both at the same exact resolution and same refresh rate etc. Any help would be appreciated.

More about : graphics cards sli

May 11, 2009 8:55:52 PM

You can do it, but the catch is that both gpus have to use the same set of drviers. So in your case, combining a nVidia card and an ATI card is out :( 

As for the performance drop, if you have both monitors go ahead and try them out on that one card and see what happens. If it doesn't work out then you can always figure out what to do from there, but if it does work adequately then you can save yourself some money
May 11, 2009 8:56:08 PM

It depends on your OS. Some OSes (like Vista) only allow one video driver to be loaded, so both of your cards would have to use the same driver. Others, such as XP, allow multiple drivers to be loaded, so you could use any 2 graphics cards.

What OS are you using?
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May 11, 2009 9:03:04 PM

Xp allows you to use multiple drivers? hmm...i didn't know that.
May 11, 2009 9:05:11 PM

I've personally never used a config like that myself, but I remember seeing the question several times on these boards before. It always came down to what OS the OP was running.
May 11, 2009 10:16:26 PM

Windows 7 also supports multiple graphics drivers. Grab a copy of the release candidate.
May 11, 2009 10:21:03 PM

^ Truly? That is good news! Do you have a link where i can read up on this?
May 11, 2009 10:42:51 PM

Yep that is true XP and 7 supports Different graphics drivers.
a b U Graphics card
May 11, 2009 11:30:07 PM

Yep...they returned to the idea that you could run different display drivers simultaneously.

XP works too. There are numerous articles about doing it in XP.
May 12, 2009 12:58:03 AM

Well damn, I am of course one of few people who love vista. I would go windows 7 RC but am too concerned after i had it crash on a laptop. Well this will be an excellent idea when 7 releases. Maybe i am over complicating this process though. my main goal here is to run games on one screen and chat clients and things of that nature on the other, anyone have recommendations or is this even possible? Do i have to run the games windowed for this to work? Sorry this is the in depth stuff i am still trying to learn.
a b U Graphics card
May 12, 2009 11:19:00 AM

That's very possible.

I have mine in SLI and run dual monitors, but you can certainly run 2 different GPUs and set up the apps to work in separate screens.