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Should I use my integrated graphics w/ a card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 13, 2011 2:07:06 AM

I have an ASUS M4A78T-E mobo with integrated ATI Radeon HD 3300 video. I have a new Nvidia 460 GTX I just ordered on the way and I'm wondering, with a dual monitor setup, what would be the best way to go here... obviously my main monitor will be plugged into the 460 GTX for best gaming performance, but for my 2nd monitor I have two choices, plug it into the 460 GTX or turn on the integrated HD 3300 and drive it from that.

I do not run games on the secondary monitor, it's really only used when I'm doing non-game/non-graphics activities. So if it's just sitting there idle while I'm running a game on the 460 GTX on the primary monitor, would it take some load off the 460 GTX if it's only driving one monitor? What will give me the best performance here?

My understanding is that running the integrated HD 3300 in UMA + sideport mode uses some system memory for the graphics, is that correct? It's got something like 128M built-into the HD 3300 and I have a bios option to set the UMA frame buffer size (currently set to auto, not sure how much memory that means, I'm guessing 128M??).

My system is running Win 7 64-bit on 6GB of RAM so I do have plenty to spare a little for the HD 3300.
a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 2:28:50 PM

Better off just running both monitors on the card.

The second monitor will take not anything from the card that is noticeable while gaming. No real benefit from using the onboard graphics and the discreet card at the same time and possible some disadvantages.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 13, 2011 2:32:07 PM

^ I agree with Pallimud
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January 13, 2011 4:18:57 PM

actually sometimes the GPU cannot get into 2-d mode if you have two monitors attached to it. 2-d mode means lower clocks, less power consumption and hence less noise.

Unless your card clocks down even with two screens, its best to run the secondary screen on the IGP.
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
January 13, 2011 5:28:24 PM

The 460GTX with nvidia drivers is smart enough to down clock when in 2-d mode, even with two monitors. I think any modern card with modern drivers will do that just fine.

But... if you are cautious, just run something like MSI Afterburner and see if it is down clocking when not playing games.
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January 20, 2011 9:58:16 PM

I was really surprised that it works as flawlessly as it has so far. I expected all kinds of problems, especially since I've got two different vendor's drivers running - ATI for the mobo and nvidia for the graphics card. But I turned on my integrated graphics, plugged a monitor into that, and Windows 7 64-bit just worked... with absolutely no settings changes on my part. It installed the ATI driver over the internet and fired right up. I've been running BattleField Bad Company II and Mafia 2 on my PCI/E card with this setup and absolutely zero problems, it performs identically to when both monitors were plugged into the nvidia card.

I did receive my new nvidia 460 card the other day and plugged it in. It's the MSI N460GTX and I could not be happier with the quiet fan on there - it's really fantastic, since I was bummed my old arctic fanless cooler on my dead XFX 9800 GTX+ didn't fit this new one. But the fan on the MSI is absolutely silent - mission accomplished.

Anyways I plugged in the 460, booted in safe mode, installed the latest nvidia drivers, rebooted, and everything is just working perfectly. I like the idea of having the integrated video on, in case this card eats the dust. You can't blame me since that's what just happened. When the integrated video is off, the PC will not automatically turn it on if no PCI/E card is detected (which would have been really nice, thank goodness I had a spare video card so I could boot up and get into the BIOS settings!!).

Obviously this is not some kind of hybrid SLI mode or anything, which would be rediculous with something as slow as the ATI chip, but it works great for dual-monitor.
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January 20, 2011 10:07:22 PM

Don't mean to thread jack but did you try 3 monitors 2on the 460 and one on the onboard? i have the same mobo and was wondering about that ability
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January 20, 2011 10:16:56 PM

I'm wondering is physx disabled even on your 460 because you have a ati gpu on your system?
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January 23, 2011 2:53:11 AM

No, Physx games (Mafia II) work. mafia II happens to be really slow with physx enabled, so I leave it off, but it works fine.
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January 23, 2011 2:54:45 AM

Best answer selected by esassaman.
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a c 169 U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
January 23, 2011 6:43:15 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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