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Installing multiple graphics card in your computer can have benefits in some cases, depending on your situation. The most common case is adding support for more monitors, however you need to setup you system in a very specific was to get optimal performance.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Multiple Graphics Cards
With multiple graphics cards, games run at higher resolutions, such as on 4K displays that offer four times the resolution. In addition, multiple graphics cards can drive multiple monitors . A benefit using an SLI or Crossfire-compatible motherboard is that a PC can be upgraded at a later time without replacing the graphics card.
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- Make sure to research before messing around with your computer. Make sure you know what you are doing. Get familiar with the safety rules so you don’t hurt yourself or break your computer.
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What to know before you go upgrading
Here are a few things to consider should you want to upgrade a system with a multi-GPU SLI or CrossFire setup. First off, you need a motherboard that has the necessary PCI Express x16 slots and that is also compatible with either or both technologies. You’ll also need a case that can physically accommodate and cool the graphics cards and a strong enough power supply to feed the cards with adequate power.
The cards must also be linked together using a bridge connector, which is usually included with either the cards or the motherboard, and the SLI/Crossfire feature must enabled in your graphics driver control panel as well (we’ll show you how to do that in the next section).
SLI and Crossfire edit
SLI (Nvidia) and Crossfire (AMD) is a feature where two graphic cards are linked together to become one virtual graphics card. When this happens only one graphic card can be connected to the monitor(s), the other card is just used for extra processing power. The idea behind this that the work will be split between the two graphic cards.
Using this feature requires that the driver have a good idea of what is going to happen every frame, so it knows how to schedule the work. This works well for video games since they perform the same render passes each frame (shader, main, post-process, for example). So each game has it’s own profile built into the driver for it’s particular usage pattern. This does not work well for TouchDesigner since every .toe will have a different usage pattern. Thus, there is no profile built into the drivers for TouchDesigner for SLI/Crossfire. We haven’t done much testing to see if there are any benefits to using SLI configurations with TouchDesigner. If you want to try, we suggest using the Alternate Frame Rendering method of SLI, as opposed to the Split Frame Rendering method. To see any speed improvements you would first need to ensure that your project is GPU bottle-necked. See the Optimize article for more information on determining bottlenecks.
The primary benefit of running two graphics cards is increased video game performance. When two or more cards render the same 3D images, PC games run at higher frame rates and at higher resolutions with additional filters. This extra capacity improves the quality of the graphics in games. Most graphics cards render games up to 1080p resolution. With two graphics cards, games run at higher resolutions, such as on 4K displays that offer four times the resolution. In addition, several graphics cards can drive additional monitors.
A benefit of using an SLI or Crossfire-compatible motherboard is that a PC can be upgraded at a later time without replacing the graphics card. Add a second graphics card later to boost performance without removing the existing graphics card. Manufacturers upgrade graphics cards about every 18 months and a compatible card may be difficult to find after two years.
How to Check What Graphics Card (GPU) Is in Your PC
· Some computers have low-power “onboard” or “integrated” graphics, while others have powerful “dedicated” or “discrete” graphics cards (sometimes called video cards.) Here’s how to see what graphics hardware is in your Windows PC. On Windows 10, you can check your GPU information and usage details right from the Task Manager.
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