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Graphics Nvidia - two cards, 3 displays, not SLI?

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by cmberry20, 4 Jul 2011.

  1. cmberry20

    cmberry20 Mad Scientist

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    This is more of a question than a problem.

    Got talking to friend of a friend at a party (you know how it is!!) & he asked me if i had a spare NVidia card. I asked him why & he told me that he wanted to use it to pair up with his current GTX460 so that he can have 3 displays. 2 from the GTX460 for gaming & the other card/display for desktop & web.
    I asked him if his motherboard supported SLI, but he said he didn’t want to them in SLI, he wanted to use them independently (he did have 2 X PCI-E sockets though).

    Can this be done? I thought that if you put two graphics card in a PC; the bios will pick the one that is current in the top PCI-E & ignore the other. Also, I thought Windows will just use one card & ignore the other.

    Is this true or was he sprouting rubbish??
     
  2. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    for 3 JOINT displays you must have SLI on nvidia cards

    http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/3dv-system-requirements-surround-technology-uk.html

    if you just wanted 3 independent screens i.e. gaming on 1 and other 2 for web mail etc then any cards will do.

    Not sure if you can use 2 screens as 1 on a single Nvidia GPU as everything ive read about surround points towards SLI although it makes no mention of using 2 displays as 1.

    To be honest its a daft idea since you will have 2 bezels right down the centre of the screen which would be hugely annoying and detrimental to game play since most stuff happens in the centre of the screen

    that ONLY applies to Integrated and Discete GPUs and on newer mobos you can use both anyway or as you said disable on detection of a discrete.

    As long as you've got enough PCI-e slots you can add as many GPUs as you like
     
    Last edited: 4 Jul 2011
  3. faugusztin

    faugusztin I *am* the guy with two left hands

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    @cmberry: BIOS picks the first one, that is right. But you know, the operating systems don't use BIOS :). When you boot in the OS, drivers take over, and then all cards will be initialized. For example i had a HD5870 for primary display and GT240 for seconday. Now, i have GTX570 for primary display and the intel IGP in 2600K for secondary display.

    So yes, multiple displays from multiple cards (even different vendors) do work. And i think even the configuration you described should work.

    /rant
    The only issue with mixing different graphics drivers is that NVIDIA is damn stupid and once you have anything else than NVIDIA video card, then they disable 90% of the NVIDIA control panel functionality. So for example in my case i have to disable my secondary display, open nvidia control panel, change settings, close control panel, reenable secondary display - because it runs with Intel drivers.
    /rant over
     
  4. cmberry20

    cmberry20 Mad Scientist

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    Cool. Didnt know that.

    Cheers guys.

    btw - Never told the guy he couldnt do it, i wasnt sure. Didnt want to make myself look an idiot if I was wrong. Been there got half a dozen t-shirts!!! :D
     

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