Can You Use Two Different Graphics Cards In One Computer

Can you use two different graphics cards in one …

2020-8-6 · 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 …

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Can I use two graphics cards at once on the same …

Yes, you can use two graphics card, combined, to boost the performance. But this depends on one condition – both (or more than two) of the cards must be of same brand. To make it more clear, you can use two or more NVIDIA graphics card (through SLI technology) or AMD graphics card (through CrossFireX technology, supports upto four graphics card …

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How Can I Determine If My Laptop Has 2 Graphics Cards?

All Intel processors have a graphics card as part of the processor silicon, so if you have a laptop with an Intel processor and an NVIDIA or AMD graphics card then most surely have 2 graphics cards, one integrated into the processor and the second one is the dedicated NVIDIA or AMD one.

This is the easiest way to determine if your laptop has two graphics cards, but you can also find the specifications of your laptop online and check if you have specifications for 2 cards.

One more way is to open NVIDIA Control Panel (right-click on the desktop and you will find it in the menu) and under 3DSettings>Manage 3D Settings if you have two graphics cards you will have the option to select the High-performance NVIDIA processor or the Integrated processor.

Before you install

Before installing a secondary video card, we recommend you review the below checklist first to help prevent possible issues in the future.

When to use two graphics cards with SLI:

With most creative and AI workflows being optimized for multiple separate GPUs, the question you may ask is: When do I need SLI?

Although SLI was widely popular in the GTX 10-series cards, Nvidia replaced it with the similar but more powerful NVLink from their workstation lineup, first debuting in the Turing generation of Nvidia cards.

NVLink works on a similar principle to the PCIe interface on your motherboard. However, unlike the PCIe interface, GPUs connected via NVLink need not pass through the CPU to access each other’s resources. NVLink also has much higher bandwidth.

VRAM is the deciding factor for a majority of workloads. Parallelization mainly occurs by loading identical copies of the data to be rendered onto each GPU’s VRAM. Then, each GPU will process a part of the workload (half in the case of two GPUs), and the output data will be combined into the final result.

The only option for GPUs with insufficient VRAM would be to split the initial data onto multiple GPUs. Each GPU will still need to access the other’s VRAM, leading to the necessity of a high-bandwidth interface like NVLink. In such scenarios, a GPU with more VRAM is the better option.

Think of a theoretical workload that needs the GPUs to communicate to each other in real-time throughout the process, and you’ve got a use for NVLink.

An example would be rendering a complex scene that requires a large amount of VRAM. Using NVLink lets you pool the VRAM of both GPUs to accommodate the associated scene data and render it with the combined processing power of both GPU’s CUDA, RT, and Tensor cores.

On the flip side, for deep learning models, if your model can easily fit into a single GPU’s memory, you can use multiple GPUs without NVLink since the data transfer between GPUs is minimal enough to be accommodated via PCIe.

We hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues. Please feel free to ask around in the comments and leave any suggestions or points that we left out.

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How do I Switch Graphics Cards on My Laptop?

Most of the time you don’t need to switch between graphics cards, this is done automatically by your drivers but if you still want to do this manually you can do this from the NVIDIA Control Panel under the tab 3DSettings->Manage 3D Settings if you have an NVIDIA card.

If you have a Radeon graphics card you need to do the switch from the Catalyst Control Center, you will find the option under the tab Power->Switchable Graphics but you can do this only after you go to the Power->PowerPlay tab and select Maximum performance on the Plugged In option.

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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.

Is it worth using a dual GPU in 2021?

Sure, two graphics cards can offer you a great performance upgrade, but is it worth it to explore such an expensive concept, which also includes so many liabilities?

There is no cut and dry answer, but if you are willing to manage with the side effects and ACTUALLY need dual graphics cards running in tandem on your PC – it might be worth it.

If all things go as planned, you will have a dual-card setup resulting in higher framerates and an even higher ceiling of setting visuals as per your choice. Instead of replacing a card entirely, the addition of another graphics card means that you will also be getting enhanced performance, but the question you need to ask yourself is, do you really need it?

If you are a hardcore gamer, or your game runs across several displays, maybe at extreme resolutions, using dual graphics cards can greatly enhance your game speed and gaming experience. 

If you have incredibly intense editing demands, or you use a multi-monitor setup, using two graphics cards will surely benefit you.

However, if you are a regular OC user with regular, run-of-the-mill usage demands, we will definitely not recommend venturing into hooking two graphics cards on your PC.


The question is, can you use two different graphics cards on a computer? We have answered this question at the beginning of the post. But let’s still give a summary here. It’s possible to have two video cards linked. But if they’re different, you can’t link them in tandem. 

Again, each video card will work independently. We mentioned factors to consider before giving dual video cards a shot, including how to mount a second graphics card. You can have a look and use the knowledge gained on your computer system.