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QUAD Monitor Setup using TWO nVidia cards

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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Anonymous
a b C Monitor
October 31, 2009 6:56:04 PM

What I want:

Connecting 4 monitors to my PC.
Two monitors need to be 3d accelerated, the other two just need to display photos and play videos.
I do not plan to use the SLI feature as I need those monitors to extend my desktop.

What I have:

ASUS PSN-E SLI Motherboard
nVidia 8800 GTS (Dual DVI)
nVidia 9400 GT (DVI, VGA, HDMI)
Win XP Pro

My Question:


I just plugged the 9400 GT into the second PCI-e slot and nothing happened...
I assumed that both cards would use the same nVidia driver and since I'm not using the SLI feature it should not matter that the cards are not identical.
Was I wrong?
Is there a way to fix it?
How do you guys connect 4 monitors? (appart from buying a 4-head Quadro FX)

Thank you very much!

-Joachim
Walt Disney Studios

October 31, 2009 7:15:35 PM

I use quad displays on my dell vostro 420. For me the setup consists of an Nvidia 9800GT and 8400GS (second card is from HP, its PCI-1x, since this computer only has one full size graphic slot). Anyway, the nvidia drivers cope with this scenario allowing each of the four monitors to be adjusted for rotation etc. Only thing is the two monitors attached to second card are slow at moving windows etc but okish enough. For you it should work, perhaps try latest nvidia drivers. I have mine working on xp, vista, 7x64rc.
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
October 31, 2009 8:13:02 PM

Update:

I have a little SLI switchboard on my motherboard - by switching it I would enable SLI, but also limit both Pci-e 16x slots to 8x.

Since the 9400GT is a 16x card I am in trouble right? Or does it not matter if I stick a 16x card into an 8x slot?

Also - should I enable the SLI switch even if I don't want to run the two cards in SLI?


Thanks Kapute - it's good to know someone managed to do this at all =)
Related resources
October 31, 2009 11:19:16 PM

It seems from reading tomshardware et al that most SLI chipsets only give 8x speed in SLI mode (exception being X58 chipset for core i7, maybe others) but it doesn't matter since things are quick enough either way. Maybe try with switch in both positions to see what works unless there is some information in motherboard handbook saying otherwise. The dell I have uses a G45 chipset with integrated graphics, interestingly with just the 9800GT in pcie-16x slot cannot use the onboard graphics, but using PCIe-1x card you can also use the integrated graphics. I had originally intended only using 3 monitors, using the integrated graphics, but had to buy the other card (at great expense i might add) when it wouldn't work.
Anonymous
a b C Monitor
November 1, 2009 12:00:33 PM

Problem Solved!!!

I had to switch the ASUS P5S E SLI into SLI mode in order to use both graphics cards in non-SLI mode. =)

The nVidia 8800 GTS and the and the 9400 GT now work side by side using their own drivers. Both are PCI-e 16x cards running at 8x with absolutely NO speed loss.

NOTE: Win XP and Win 7 support two different display drivers while Vista dosn't! (How crappy is that ?!)

I've got 4 monitors plus a TV connected now and extended my desktop across all 5 screens. Games work perfect and I can simply drag running videos across graphic cards to my TV.

Thanks for your help Kapute!

!