Sandy Bridge GPU Alongside Dedicated Video Card

Is it possible to use the integrated GPU on Sandy Bridge chips at the same time as a discrete graphics card?

I'm currently using 2 Nvidia cards to drive 3 monitors and I'm considering an upgrade to an i5 2500k. If I get a z68 motherboard, will I be able to get rid of my 2nd nvidia card and use the iGPU to drive one of my monitors?

Windows 7 obviously supports two graphics devices, but I'm not sure if there are "driver" issues, etc.. that would prevent the SB stuff from working with a dedicated card (similar to how you can't use ATI and Nvidia cards at the same time)
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More about sandy bridge alongside dedicated video card
  1. Do you have such an option in the motherboards BIOS? I'm using a P8P67 board so I can't use my SB's GPU anyway.
  2. I don't have a bios... I haven't bought anything yet.

    I know that the z68 chipset allows me to use the iGPU, but I'm unsure if I can use it to output to a display at the same time I'm using a dedicated GPU to drive two more monitors.
  3. I don't know about that but W7 does allow the use of different VGA drivers at the same time so even an Nvidia card and ATi card should work for you if all you are doing is driving separate monitors.
  4. nvidia say not in am email to me, but i'm asking the question elsewhere too, i'm on a dual monitor and don't want to put them both off the same card, so i've a second card, but i don't want to lose pci-e lanes to the second card when I build new.

    So far no-one has been able to answer, nvidias stock answer is disable any other card. I suspect that physx will be broken if it does work as the physx driver will detect another manufacturers gpu, just as it does in an Nv and Ati setup.

    If I find an answer elsewhere i'll let you know
  5. Attached, nvidias response, i'll clarify again that this is not another add-in card.

    Hello Steven,

    Thank you for contacting NVIDIA Customer Care.

    This is Kishen, assisting you with the query that you are having.

    I understand that you would like to know what exactly will happen if you connect one graphic card for a monitor and the motherboard card for the second display.

    Generally this set up is not possible because once you plug in the Add on graphic card that is GTX 470 the onboard graphic card will get disabled automatically, even if it is not disabled even then you cannot get display if you connect to the onboard graphic card, generally we suggest our customers to disable the onboard cards to avoid conflicting issue.

    Please feel free to contact us further clarification.

    Best regards,
    NVIDIA Customer Care
  6. Transcript from a conversation; sorry about the digression part way through. Does he know what he is talking about.
    [11:12:11 AM] Hi, my name is Srivathsa. How may I help you?
    [11:12:50 AM] steve jones: hi i've previously asked #111005-000002 i'd like a clarification on the answer you've given me
    [11:12:59 AM] steve jones: can you see that question.
    [11:13:29 AM] Srivathsa: Hi Steve, Yes, please give me a min
    [11:13:58 AM] steve jones: i'd lke to simultaneously use a GTX470 and the igpu from a i5-2500K on two different monitors
    [11:14:08 AM] steve jones: is the short version
    [11:14:27 AM] Srivathsa: Yes I see the response from our tech Kishen
    [11:14:58 AM] Srivathsa: I apologize, we cannot use both the onboard graphic adapter and also the NVIDIA GTX 470 GPU
    [11:15:05AM] steve jones: he talks about a second add-in gpu, there is no second add-in gpu, its the igpu on the 2500k, which I know is similar
    [11:15:26 AM] steve jones: I thoiught win7 could cope with multiple graphics drivers
    [11:16:42 AM] Srivathsa: I am sorry, its not OS specific, BIOS itself would disable the onboard VGA adater when any graphic card placed on any PCI Express slots of the motherboard
    [11:17:02 AM] Srivathsa: However, please let me know, are you looking for using two monitor or three?
    [11:17:11 AM] steve jones: just 2,
    [11:17:18 AM] Srivathsa: GTX 470 can support both the monitors simulataneously
    [11:17:44 AM] steve jones: and i thought with virtu you could choose which was primary,and therefore they are both active, even if one isn't doing much
    [11:17:48 AM] Srivathsa: We need not use any other graphic card and onboard VGA anyways cannot be usable
    [11:17:59 AM] steve jones: if I put both monitors on the 470 then it does not idle
    [11:18:10 AM] Srivathsa: Yes, we can choose the primary display from NVIDIA Control panel
    [11:18:11 AM] steve jones: and that generates a lot of heat and noise
    [11:18:31 AM] steve jones: so thats why I have a 210 for the 2nd monitor
    [11:18:55 AM] Srivathsa: No, the card is designed to handle both the monitors and thus there wont be any heat issues on the card using two monitors
    [11:19:20 AM] steve jones: no the card does not idle and stays atfull 3d clocks when there are two monitors
    [11:19:38 AM] steve jones: its says so in your manual and i have discussed this with you before,
    [11:19:52 AM] Srivathsa: Yes, the card will provide signal on both the monitors
    [11:19:50 AM] steve jones: but the 210 resolves that problem
    [11:20:27 AM] steve jones: yes it will, but it will only do windows desktop when running at full speed there is no idling when two moitors are used
    [11:20:32 AM] Srivathsa: Please clarify, is one of the monitor is 3D ?
    [11:20:45 AM] Srivathsa: You said 3D clock
    [11:20:51 AM] Srivathsa: So I am asking
    [11:20:51 AM] steve jones: no 3d monitors,
    [11:20:55 AM] Srivathsa:okay
    [11:21:24 AM] Srivathsa: In that case as well, even if both the monitors are working, we dont see any heat issues on the GTX 470
    [11:21:27 AM] steve jones: just running at clocks as if it is running a game, i.e. 607 core vs 50 core for just plain widows
    [11:21:50 AM] Srivathsa: I understand, Game is a full screen application
    [11:22:02 AM] Srivathsa: it always run on the primary monitor
    [11:22:04 AM] steve jones: its more that fact that it uses about 50-60 more watts when at full clocks vs idle clocks
    [11:22:20 AM] Srivathsa: second monitor will only have its desktop background
    [11:22:29 AM] steve jones: game is only on main screen, second screen isother stuff, and hence the 210 is plenty
    [11:22:35 AM] steve jones: speedfan, precision etc.
    [11:23:12 AM] Srivathsa: I understand, Even if the game is running on primary, a video is running on secondary, Still GTX 470 will handle both
    [11:23:23 AM] Srivathsa: Without any heat issues
    [11:23:40 AM] Srivathsa: If incase there is any heat observed, then the graphic card is defective
    [11:23:49 AM] steve jones: oh yes it will handle both quite happily, its actually when i'm just running windows on its own that i have the concern
    [11:23:51 AM] Srivathsa: and that can be replaced under warranty
    [11:24:01 AM] steve jones: idle clocks are very low yes?
    [11:24:15 AM] stevejones: loaded clocks are very high yes
    [11:24:18 AM] steve jones: ?
    [11:24:23 AM] Srivathsa: Yes, GPU usage will be very low when idle
    [11:24:37 AM] steve jones: this is true only when you use one monitor
    [11:24:55 AM] Srivathsa: and GPU usage would be near 100 % while playing graphic intensive game
    [11:25:25 AM] Srivathsa: No, even while using two monitors, it holds good.
    [11:25:30 AM] steve jones: correct, in windows with dual screens you get high clocks and low gpu usage this still equals lots of power
    [11:25:37 AM] steve jones: hang on a sec
    [11:25:46 AM] Srivathsa: Clock speeds on the card is standar
    [11:25:57 AM] Srivathsa: standard* sorry, Okay Iam on hold
    [11:26:20 AM] steve jones: in your realease notes for 280.26
    [11:27:55 AM] steve jones: GPU Runs at a High Performance Level (full clock speeds) in
    Multi-display Modes
    This is a hardware limitation and not a software bug. Even when no 3D programs are
    running, the driver will operate the GPU at a high performance level in order to
    efficiently drive multiple displays.
    When multiple displays are connected and active, the GPU will always operate with full
    clock speeds in order to efficiently
    [11:28:21 AM] Srivathsa: yes i see that
    [11:28:20 AM] steve jones: page 37 from your document release notes 280.26
    [11:29:32 AM] steve jones: this is what I mean, dual monitors foce high clocks all of thetime, hence I want to use the 2500's own GPU on a z68 board to power a second monitor and not the 210 that I have as a second card
    [11:30:07 AM] steve jones: the machine is also my work machine and is very noisy in excel/std windows apps if I run dual screens both off the 470
    [11:30:26 AM] Srivathsa: I understand, but unless we disable the onboard GPU, we cannot get the NVIDIA graphic card working
    [11:30:37 AM] steve jones: thats fine, so it won't wor
    [11:30:39 AM] steve jones: k
    [11:30:51 AM] Srivathsa: So, unfortunately we cannot get both working
    [11:31:11 AM] steve jones: OK, that just means i need to choose a mobo with enough pci-e lanes
    [11:31:16 AM] steve jones: to cope with two cards
    [11:31:42 AM]steve jones: I know bandwdith is not really a problem yet, even at x8,
    [11:31:56 AM] Srivathsa: Yes, With the two PCI Express slots
    [11:32:08 AM] steve jones: but i'm hoping that the 600/700 series gpus will be a lot more powerful
    [11:32:31 AM] Srivathsa: Its preferred to choose the one with both the slots as PCI Express X 16 slots
    [11:32:39 AM] Srivathsa: bandwidth does matter
    [11:32:47 AM] steve jones: I probably need 3 as i want to run x16/x8 or x16/x4, and use a pci-e 4 slot for the second
    [11:33:08 AM] steve jones: bandwidth is not saturated on x8 yet,
    [11:33:13 AM] steve jones: but i want future poof
    [11:33:43 AM] steve jones: anyway I now know what I am looking for
    [11:34:34 AM] Srivathsa: okay, Please see this web link
    [11:34:34 AM] Srivathsa:
    [11:34:51 AM] steve jones: I want Z68, so I can use quicksync
    [11:34:52 AM] Srivathsa: This kind of motherboard can run both the GTX 470 and also the GeForce 210
    [11:35:16 AM] Srivathsa: Okay, Then please verify for motherboards with two PCI Express slots
    [11:35:28 AM] steve jones: but it will only run at x8/x8 yes?
    [11:35:48 AM] steve jones: thats fine, I can look now for myself, thankyou for your help
    [11:36:10 AM] Srivathsa:
    [11:36:29 AM] Srivathsa:
    [11:36:35 AM] Srivathsa: I hope these web links would help
    [11:36:39 AM] Srivathsa: Thank you,
    [11:36:46 AM] Srivathsa: Have a great day !!
    [11:36:48 AM] steve jones: very familar with anand and toms
    [11:36:51 AM] steve jones: thanks
    [11:36:56 AM] steve jones: will this get emailed to me/
    [11:36:59 AM] Srivathsa: Okay
    [11:36:58 AM] steve jones: /
    [11:36:59 AM] steve jones: ?
    [11:37:12 AM] Srivathsa: Yes this chat conversation will be emaile
    [11:37:17 AM] Srivathsa:
    [11:37:20 AM] steve jones: cool. thanks
    [11:37:29 AM]Srivathsa: You are welcome
    [11:37:32 AM] Srivathsa: and also,
    [11:37:33 AM] steve jones: have a god evening/morning
    [11:37:37 AM] steve jones: good
    [11:37:49 AM] 'steve jones' disconnected ('Concluded by End-user').
  7. Just a small update.

    I am running on a temporary motherboard - MSI with H61 chipset and I can plug in a LCD screen into the external GPU (GTX560Ti) AND integrated GPU (HD3000 in i5-2500k) and they both work. At once.


    Regards, OndraSter :-)
  8. does physx work, as it can be auto-disabled when it spots another type of gpu, i.e. ati
  9. I have not really tried physx. GPU-Z reports PhysX for both GPUs :D

    Btw sorry for the digging of the old thread.
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