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Switch between 2 graphics cards?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 5, 2010 2:11:35 PM

Hopefully this isnt a silly question. Im looking at building a new machine for myself. Im quite an avid gamer and am looking at the higher end ATI cards, possibly even stretching for the 5970. However Im also getting more and more into 3d art and design and use Maya quite a lot. Id really love to get a nice workstation graphics card but thats gonna require having 2 seperate machines, 1 for gaming, 1 for 3d work.

So what I was thinking, would it be possible to put both graphics cards into 1 machine and switch between them. Of course I dont mean on the fly, but even disabling 1 card in the bios and using the other. It would require a restart any time I want to switch between gaming and 3d work but I could live with that. Does this sound feasable? Has anybody seen or heard of it being done?

I presume for this to be practical I would need a motherboard that allows me to enable and disable my individual pci express slots, does anybody know of such a motherboard? Any help on this would be great as it seems to be possible but Ive no doubt the good folks of this forum are more in the know then I am.

Cheers,

Dave

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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2010 9:20:34 PM

first things first
you need 2 pci-e slots assuming your Maya is a pci-e

and second in most bioses it will give you options for boot up devices such as video card slots and boot up disks

with that said all you would need to do is make sure your psu can support it you have 2 pci-e slots
switching cards in your bios should be easy and yes there would need to be a restart
now in the chance windows doesnt play nice with 2 differnt video cards in it
you can just turn off your computer adn swap one out for the other
and be carful somtimes drivers don't play nice
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2010 9:59:17 PM

What you could do is get Windows 7 as that is the only OS that can handle running two drivers at the same time and get a motherboard with 2 PCIE slots, any Intel LGA 1366 or 1156 socket motherboard has them. Then all you would need to do is get a monitor with dual inputs and your done (dual inputs so you can switch between them with clicking a button on the monitor instead of having to unplug the monitor and connect it to the other card, for convenience.) Or run dual monitors, one to each card. You should not have to restart or mess with the BIOS in this setup.
a b U Graphics card
March 5, 2010 11:51:04 PM

paperfox said:
What you could do is get Windows 7 as that is the only OS that can handle running two drivers at the same time and get a motherboard with 2 PCIE slots, any Intel LGA 1366 or 1156 socket motherboard has them. Then all you would need to do is get a monitor with dual inputs and your done (dual inputs so you can switch between them with clicking a button on the monitor instead of having to unplug the monitor and connect it to the other card, for convenience.) Or run dual monitors, one to each card. You should not have to restart or mess with the BIOS in this setup.


maybe i've missed some massive groundbreaking feature of W7, but since when the hell can you run two different video cards in the same machine? and without rebooting?!

either i've missed something major here (quite possible, but still surprising) or this info isn't correct.

could someone else chip in? its gonna bug me til i find out...
!