How To Use Two Graphics Cards


Which Graphics Card Should You Use?

For gaming and 3D charting that requires a lot of graphics power, use the discrete Nvidia card. If you are not interested in gaming or 3D charting, the integrated Intel graphics card, which is embedded in the CPU, is good enough and it consumes less energy than Nvidia card does, resulting in less energy consumption and longer battery hours.


Setting up your own Crossfire and SLI systems

Assuming you have plenty of cooling, a compatible motherboard, and a power supply powerful enough to power the extra graphics cards, installing those cards in a system for SLI or CrossFire is relatively straightforward; the process isn’t much different than installing a single graphics card.

Begin by shutting down the system and unplugging it from the electrical outlet. Next, insert the graphics cards into the requisite PCI Express x16 slots on the motherboard and connect the necessary supplemental 6- or 8-pin power feeds for your particular cards. Then install the SLI or CrossFire bridge connector (or connectors) to link the cards together.

With the exception of a few low-end products, Nvidia GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards running in multi-GPU configurations require a bridge connector to link the cards together. For more than two graphics cards, you must use larger 3-way or 4-way bridges, or multiple single bridges.

Once everything is properly seated and secured, connect your monitor (or monitors) to the primary graphics card—typically the card in the PCI Express x16 slot closest to the processor on the motherboard. Then power up the system, let your operating system boot, and install the latest drivers for the graphics cards.

After you install the necessary hardware and drivers, you must enable CrossFire and SLI in your graphics control panel. You can find CrossFire settings in the “AMD CrossFireX” section (above) under Performance in the Catalyst Control Center, and SLI settings in the “Configure SLI, Surround, PhysX” section (below) of Nvidia’s GeForce drives.

After installing the graphics drivers, you may receive a notification that the system is SLI- or CrossFire-capable and be prompted to enable the feature. If not, simply open your graphics control by right-clicking on a blank section of your desktop and selecting either ‘Catalyst Control Center’ for AMD Radeon cards or ‘Nvidia Control Panel’ for GeForce cards from the menu, then navigate to the necessary menu to enable CrossFire or SLI. Find SLI-related settings can be found in the “Configure SLI, Surround, PhysX” section of Nvidia’s GeForce drives, and CrossFire settings in the “AMD CrossFireX” menu in the Performance section of the Catalyst Control Center.

SLI Mosaic and EyeFinity [ edit]

SLI Mosaic (Nvidia Quadro cards) and EyeFinity (AMD cards) binds multiple GPUs together to drive a large array of outputs. Using this you can output to many more monitors, which seem like a single large monitor to Windows.

Although multiple GPUs are used in this mode, the extra GPUs do not add performance to the system. In fact, using this mode will actually result in worse performance than an identical output canvas on a single GPU. This is because a single GPU is still doing all of the work, and the extra one(s) are just outputting the final image. The cost of synchronizing and moving images between the GPUs is extra overhead a single GPU configuration doesn’t have.

If a splitter such as a DataPath splitter can be used with a single GPU instead of multiple GPUs, that will perform better than using multiple GPUs.

Nvidia Specifics [ edit]

SLI Mosiac should not be confused with regular SLI, which involves connecting multiple cards for better single or dual screen performances.

You can see a table of supported SLI Mosaic configurations here. In particular take note that not all cards support ‘Seamless’ display, which means you will see tearing on your outputs. Also to get Premium SLI Mosaic (which is also needed for tear free output), you need one of the Nvidia certifed systems listed here.

A good more recent document on Mosaic Recommended Connections can be found here (Jan 2014).

Quick Answer: Can A Laptop Have Two Graphics Card How To…

Jan 11, 2022 · Can you use 2 graphics cards with 2 monitors? If the card has two or more of the same connection type it supports dual monitors. Some cards have two or more different port types and can be interchanged with adapters to support dual-screen setups. Graphics cards that have only one video port do not support dual-monitor setups without adding a …

Dual GPUs Explained: Are Two Graphics Cards Better Than One?

 · The appeal of instaling two graphics cards is as straightforward as it sounds. The raw specs of a graphics card – things like bandwidth and RAM – would absolutely be increased by adding a second card. That means it's possible to install two Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti GPUs and each would have a bandwidth of 484 GB/s: that card's standard bandwidth.

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Which graphics card do you need for Lumion 11? – Lumion

Lumion will only use the graphics card that is connected to the monitor that the Lumion window is starting up on. 4.2: Some of our users make use of 2 graphics cards connected to 2 different monitors. That way, you can use Lumion on 1 monitor/graphics card while the other monitor/graphics card is used for other applications.

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How to Install a Dual Graphics Card on Your PC – Altered Gamer…

May 15, 2008 · While in a single card setup, you can use a Nvidia graphics card with a Crossfire motherboard and vice-versa, the same cannot be said for using two cards. If you have a Crossfire motherboard, you are restricted to using graphics cards which have ATI graphics processing units; the same is true for SLI-enabled motherboards and Nvidia graphics cards.

How to install two different graphics cards

Installing two different graphics cards in one computer is a similar process as installing a single card. It’s straight forward and can be done by anyone with basic technical skills.

NOTE: Before installing your new GPU. Make sure your current power supply supports both units. To check use a PSU calculator.

Power supplies are cheap and relatively easy to install. If you need a new PSU. Check out my favorite PSU units.

To install your second GPU:

  1. The first thing you want to do is uninstall all existing drivers. To do this go to device manager. Under the ‘Display adapters’ tab. Select the GPU to uninstall. Right click and select ‘Uninstall device’.
  2. Turn off your PC and disconnect from power source
  3. Open your computer case to access your motherboard and PCI express slots.
  4. Disconnect power supply cable to existing graphics card.
  5. Install your new card below existing card. Align new GPU up with the second PCI express slot and push card gently into place. Make sure the clip closes when the card is correctly in place. Screw the GPU against the computer case. Make sure it is securely in place.
  6. Connect the power supply to existing card and new card.
  7. Close computer case panel
  8. Download GPU manufacturer drivers. Follow the driver installation process outlined below. Depending on the drivers being installed.
  9. Return to Device manager’. Under ‘Display adapters’. Confirm that both GPU’s appears with no warnings or errors.

Step 3: Install Nvidia Graphics Card Driver

Ubuntu comes with the open source nouveau driver which is included in the Linux kernel for Nvidia cards.  However, this driver lacks 3D acceleration support. For best graphics performance, we can use the software-properties-gtk program to install the proprietary driver. Enter the below command in the terminal window.

This will open up the software & updates window. Click the Additional Drivers tab. You can see what driver is being used for Nvidia card (Nouveau by default) and a list of proprietary drivers.

You can choose the highest version. You can also open up a new terminal window and enter the following command to see which binary driver is recommended for your specific card.

As you can see, nvidia-352 is recommended for my Nvidia card, so I enter this command to install it.

After the proprietary driver is installed, re-open software & updates window, you should see that the newly installed driver is being used for Nvidia card. If it’s not being used, select it and click the Apply Changes button at the bottom-right corner.

Now we have installed the proprietary driver for Nvidia graphics but we still are using the Intel Graphics card.

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  • You must ground yourself and take anti-static measures, such as wearing an anti-static wristband, before working on your computer.

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The primary disadvantage of running dual graphics cards is the cost. Top-of-the-line cards can cost $500 or more. While both ATI and Nvidia offer lower-priced cards with dual capability, you can spend the same amount of money for a single card with equal or better performance than two low-priced GPUs.

Another disadvantage is that not all games benefit from multiple graphics cards and some graphics engines do not handle two cards well. Some games may show a decrease in performance over a single graphics card setup. In some cases, stuttering makes the video game look choppy.

Graphics cards are power-hungry. Two graphics cards installed in a computer can double the amount of power required to run them in tandem. For example, a single high-end graphics card might require a 500-watt power supply to function properly; two of these cards may require 850 watts. Most consumer desktops aren’t equipped with high-wattage power supplies. Refer to the computer power supply wattage and requirements to determine if your system can run dual graphics cards.

The performance benefits of a dual-card environment vary depending on the other components in the computer system. Even with two of the highest level graphics cards, a low-end processor can throttle the amount of data the system provides to the graphics cards. Dual graphics cards are typically recommended only in high-end systems.

People who mine cryptocurrency often run massive banks of video cards because GPUs process blockchain transactions much more efficiently than a CPU.

How To Use Two Graphics Cards Details

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Multiple GPUs used as-is [ edit]

Without GPU Affinity/SLI Mosaic all the work for processes get sent to the fastest GPU, and only the final images are sent across to the other GPUs to get displayed on-screen. This is similar to SLI Mosaic/EyeFinity, but the driver is set up in a less optimal mode. This way of working can have a large performance impact on your project and is not yet recommended, but may be appropriate in certain situations.

See also Multiple Monitors