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Sanity Check: Running 4 Graphics Cards in This Configuration:

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 5, 2010 3:50:09 AM

I'm new, so excuse my ignorance wherever apparent.

I would like to run (GTX295)x2 as Quad-Sli, 1 9800xxx card as a dedicated PhysX processor (different GPU from the SLi System)...

AND (here's the part I'm unsure about) I would like to run A FOURTH card to handle two more monitors.

I know there are a few MoBoards with the required PCI slots (4 that is) and with some physical space to spare... so I imagine plugging them in would be possible.

But I have no idea what this would mean driver-wise - Quad SLi + 1 PhysX dedicated - demonstrably possible. What about adding one more video card to run additional monitors? Would it have to be a different GPU from the SLi system? (I'm guessing yes), would it have to be different from the PhysX handler? (guessing no)

Would the nVidia drivers have a hemorrhage seeing Quad SLi + 1PCB Distinct + 1PCB Distinct?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 4:04:30 AM

No the 4th card for monitor does not need to be a different model, you can specify which you want for the SLI system, now if it is supported is a different matter.

You might want to get 2X 5870's instead, it will give you 8 outputs (nominally 1xHDMI, 1xDisplayPort, 2xDual-Link DVI per card) & it will have power comparable to 2x GTX 295's, they might be at the most 15% behind the GTX 295's (170FPS vs 200 FPS) but over time drivers would be better.

If you want/need the PhysX for any reason you will need a monster PSU.
Corsair 850W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair 950W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Corsair 1000W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

a c 216 U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 4:05:45 AM

If you are looking for an eyefinity type of setup, why not get 1 or 2 5970's and still use that 9800 as the dedicated PhysX card. 5970's can handle multiple monitors.
Related resources
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 4:06:21 AM

bystander said:
If you are looking for an eyefinity type of setup, why not get 1 or 2 5970's and still use that 9800 as the dedicated PhysX card. 5970's can handle multiple monitors.


You can't unless you hack drivers.
a c 216 U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 4:08:19 AM

There are many hacked drivers out there that allow it. I've done it, and so has many others. I'll link one for you: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/277692-33-nvidia-phys...

It's not so much of a hack. They used to allow PhysX along side ATI cards, they simply put in a bit of code to stop it from working with an ATI present. It was as simple as stopping the check.

I'm not sure what you want the extra 2 monitors for, but if it's just to extend the desktop, then you can use the physX card to expand the desktop which makes it all the more easy to get physX to work.
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 4:11:48 AM

It's the same as torrenting windows, you many mention it as an option, but to recommend it is...
a c 216 U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 4:13:24 AM

Ok, I'll give a legal method, just use an old driver. 161 nvidia drivers and before had full support.
January 5, 2010 4:42:52 AM

Wow, fast responses - I'm definitely trying to stay with nVidia (since I already own the aforementioned GTX295s), but I was a bit vague on my objective:

I'm running 3 monitors total, desktop expansion; I'm not as concerned/interested in eyefinity-style giant surface rendering (and AFAIK nVidia only has analogous tech on the Quadro line.

My specific intent (was trying to keep the question general to help others more generally) is based on what might be incorrect understanding:

I want the Quad SLi to render a 30" monitor I have, I would like the PhysX to not render anything and just do its thing (based on the assumption that doing PhysX AND running 2 other cards is more taxing and I am out for MaxPerf) and I would have the 2 smaller monitors running on the potential 4th card.

I guess I could ask nVidia if this is supported by their drivers or not...

But I'm a little confused by Sabot's reply - my understanding viz. nVidia website was that any GPUs on the MoBo that were of the same line were UNable to be used indepedently - hence the setup on the website of 4 Quad SLi + PhysX card of different GPU?

And yes I'm using the Ultra X4 1600w PSU with a 220v plug :) 
a c 216 U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 4:49:09 AM

Rendering desktop info should not be too taxing, but have you considered getting a higher end physX card that could withstand the extra tax of expanding the desktop on 2 monitors? Just a thought. I don't have any benchmarks to back up it's performance.
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 5:38:14 AM

sabot00 said:
It's the same as torrenting windows, you many mention it as an option, but to recommend it is...


No it's not actually.
He can tell people how to alter their own system, it's covered in the DMCA, however giving away someone else's IP without their permission is not.

It's similar to showing people how to hack HD-DVD copy protection like in my sig, but not providing torrents or copies of that previously protected media to others.
a b U Graphics card
January 5, 2010 6:32:46 AM

Just for sanity's sake it might make a lot of sense buy a second computer and run the other two monitors on that, depending on what you are doing that can be really useful.

That way you can have a browser open while you play a game. Plus is doesn't need to be fancy, probably cost you less then one of your 295s.
!