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SLI + Dual Monitors Question

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
May 9, 2011 6:25:56 PM

Hi guys.

I am thinking of doing a graphics upgrade before Skyrim comes out, since my motherboard and PSU support x8/x8 SLI i think i want to give that a go. The only thing is that i don't know a lot about it but i have been reading up on it. My first problem is that i want to also buy a second monitor for audio recording and also to put music/web browser/facebook etc on while im gaming, can i do the latter in SLI? I tried googling this but most answers i found were pretty unclear.

Also are there any more problems/downsides i should be aware of? As far as i know, the advantages and disadvantages seem to be:


Can be better bang for your buck.
Can be a good upgrade path
Bragging rights
Also some (like me) just want to try it because it's interesting. (Like water cooling)


Need a better PSU and motherboard
Sucks more power
Takes more space
Produces more heat
Not all games support it
Bad multi monitor support

Thanks in advance for any help guys :) 
May 9, 2011 8:13:09 PM

I believe that dual monitor support should be supported on all modern cards, no need for Crossfire/SLI. Dual 460 SLI should have a bit more power as one 480, so the reviews say, but your PSU should hold up. You pretty much nailed almost all of the facts. Just have to look at the scaling between the cards, see if it's worth your money.
May 9, 2011 8:24:45 PM

Yeah i am not doing GTX 460 SLI so i can use 2 monitors, i want to do it just as a general graphics upgrade. I just wanted to know whether i could play a game using SLI while having my desktop/web browser etc. on another monitor.

Also i have checked on the scaling and the GTX 460 is amazing for SLI, two of them comes out just less than a GTX 580. The multi monitor thing is my only problem.
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Best solution

May 10, 2011 12:28:31 AM

No problems on multimonitors. When the graphics are in SLI they act more as one bigger card than as 2 individual cards. Just connect both monitors to a card and good to go.
May 10, 2011 4:54:03 AM

Best answer selected by jmsellars1.
May 10, 2011 4:54:18 AM

May 10, 2011 5:02:09 AM

Yeah it definitely works fine. I've used dual monitors with sli and it works great. (2 gtx 260s in sli). I've also done the same thing with crossfire 6950s.
May 10, 2011 5:12:36 AM

Thanks for the help! Just to be absolutely sure, i mean to have both going at the same time without having to change settings every time i want to game.
May 10, 2011 5:37:40 AM

Yes, you don't have to change anything. The 2nd card is merely a slave once you SLI.
a c 81 Î Nvidia
May 10, 2011 5:43:08 AM

You mostly covered all your SLI pros and cons, but you didn't touch on the dual monitor pros and cons.

- bigger desktop area
- good to monitor programs while using another.

- Requires higher GPU core clock and near full video memory clocks at all times.
- Causes primary card to idle much hotter as a result of previous con.

The cons can go away with a 2nd card not in Crossfire/SLI (but probably not worth it unless it also helps with physx or another purpose).
May 10, 2011 4:58:04 PM

Ok if one card is going to be hotter than the other i'll make sure to buy a decent one for my main one. My Palit isn't that great for cooling so ill use that as the secondary one and buy an MSI cyclone one i think.
a c 171 Î Nvidia
May 10, 2011 5:44:17 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey