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Possible to run Radeon 6870 and GeForce 8600GTS in same system?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 10, 2012 6:37:10 PM

Before you think I'm nuts, let me explain my line of thinking (which could be completely flawed, I have no idea):

I am building a new gaming system, but my 8600 GTS still runs my old monitor just fine. I bought a new monitor that I'd like to run at 1920 x 1080, while my old monitor maxes out at 1280 x 1024. I don't believe my XFX Radeon 6870 supports Eyefinity for multiple monitors, but (from what I can tell) even if it did it wouldn't be able to run them at 2 different resolutions.

With that being said, I like the idea of having a second monitor for pulling up web pages and doing other things while I'm playing games on the 1080p monitor. I wouldn't be running games on this monitor, it would be almost exclusively for spreadsheets and web browsing.

Is it a good/bad/indifferent idea to put my 8600GTS in one of my extra PCI-E slots and hook my 1280x1024 monitor up to it? Is there a particular slot that would be best (obviously the Radeon 6870 gets the PCI-E 16x slot)?

I'm just not familiar enough with how PCI-E slots and motherboards work to know if I can mix 2 brands of graphics cards, if it's a good idea, and which slot should be used.
May 10, 2012 6:42:33 PM

I am not a pro by any means but I do not believe you computer will allow anything like this. SLI/Cross-fire require a bridge to operate as a single unit.. individually I do not believe two cards can work at the same time..
May 10, 2012 6:49:30 PM

Yeah, I understand that much. Given that they are 2 different brands, there's no way to combine the processing power via Crossfire/SLI (nor would I want to...the 8600GTS is probably much slower than the 6870 as it's much older). I didn't know though if the motherboard was capable of operating them independently.

If this isn't an option, is it possible to run my old monitor at 1280x1024 and my new one at 1920x1080 at the same time? Or would I have to turn down my new monitor to 1280x1024?
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a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2012 6:51:00 PM

Actually they will work separately. Say for example, a GTX480 as a main card and a GTS450 as a dedicated PhysX processor. However, I don't think it will work between Nvidia and ATI. Some guy managed to do it somehow, but I lost track of the thread.

If you could buy the Nvidia equivalent to a 6870 (GTX560ti) then you'll be able to use the cards like that. But you'll have to hook up your monitors to your primary card.

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May 10, 2012 7:08:19 PM
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If all you want is dual monitors, with the 1080 for games and the 1024 for browsing, monitoring, etc. then your 6870 will work just fine. Eyefinity has nothing to do with that. Now, if you want your games to display across both monitors you may have a problem, but otherwise you are fine with just the one card.

I currently have the same monitor setup that you are proposing with a 6870 (and with a x1300 before that). Simply make your new monitor the primary, and extend the desktop to the other monitor. All this can be done through your Windows control panel.

EDIT: In short: yes, the 6870 can output at two different resolutions at the same time without any problems.
May 10, 2012 7:13:03 PM

auntarie said:
Actually they will work separately. Say for example, a GTX480 as a main card and a GTS450 as a dedicated PhysX processor. However, I don't think it will work between Nvidia and ATI. Some guy managed to do it somehow, but I lost track of the thread.

If you could buy the Nvidia equivalent to a 6870 (GTX560ti) then you'll be able to use the cards like that. But you'll have to hook up your monitors to your primary card.


If you manage to find that thread, I'd be very interested to read it. Is it because of the different drivers that it's difficult/not doable; having to run ATI and nvidia on the same system?

I've already purchased the Radeon 6870, so I can't go back at this point (and I got a good price on it, so I don't think I'd want to). Is it possible to run the 2 monitors at 2 different resolutions off just the Radeon 6870? If that's the case, then I think my original question may be kind of pointless...
May 10, 2012 7:13:53 PM

Best answer selected by Mancolt.
May 10, 2012 7:15:24 PM

Just saw your response dleavitt: Thank you very much, that was exactly the answer I was looking for. And thank you Auntarie for your post.
a b U Graphics card
May 10, 2012 7:24:23 PM

Alright, kind of late, but still :D 

I made a few phone calls, asked a friend who knows more about this stuff. Turns out you have to install an Nvidia card as a main one with another as a dedicated PhysX card. Then you'll have to download some hack from teh internetz, use it, do some shimmy-shammy in the BIOS and only then will it PROBABLY work.

So yeah, kind of not a clear explanation, but the best I could do on such a short notice.
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