Two 1GB cards => 1GB vram or 2GB vram??

If there are two PCI-Express 16x slots, and you fill each with a 1GB video card, for a total of 2GB, is it true that both get used ONLY if you're running SLI?

In other words, with SLI, you are using both video cards and thus 2GB,

BUT if you're NOT running SLI (but instead just running 4 monitors for stocktrading charts), the motherboard is using VRAM from only the first card, with the 2nd card used only for display port oututs, so you're really getting only 1GB of VRAM for the 4 monitors?

I've also heard the exact OPPOSITE, as well, so there is a lot of confusion even among computer builders around this!! Please help explain if you know.

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  1. Best answer
    In SLI you are using both GPU but your memory is the same as is installed on the card in this case 2 x 1GB cards = 1GB.
    If you are using the cards independently they each have 1GB vram.
    Basically opposite to what you said.
  2. You're only gonna get 1gb of vram, but you're utilizing both gpus memory and bandwidth, I don't see much of a problem of vram tho, 1gb of ram is enough unless you're running multiple displays for gaming and using all the screens at the same time

    Even the 5870 itself has 1gb and it's still can be used for eyefinity

    Of course, 2gb of ram would be much better at higher resolutions
  3. Thanks everyone. You guys know more than the computer builders! :)
  4. Best answer selected by zepprx.
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