Connecting Two Graphics Cards in One Computer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Many users are often worried about the question of how to install two different graphics cards in one computer? Moreover, it doesn’t matter if it is NVidia or AMD cards. The need for such an operation most often consists in increasing the speed of a computer, in particular its video system.

Since video adapters are, in fact, mathematical processors that work with a lot of floating-point operations, it makes no difference for the central processor where to send data for processing – to one external device or two. Theoretically, there can be any number of such devices (their number is limited only by the number of PCIE expansion slots in which video adapters can be installed). That is, two video cards in one computer is not the limit yet.

How To Connect Two Graphics Cards In One Computer? 2 GPU

With such a connection, even the types of cards (and with the right approach to the issue, even their manufacturers) may not be the same. The main thing is that from a software point of view, they are compatible. But, since the program “communication” with the hardware of the card is carried out through standardized libraries of functions (DirectX, OpenGL, etc.), then in fact there are no restrictions for using several video devices in one system.

Why we need 2 Gpu In One Pc?

The main reason why a user installs two or more video cards on his computer is to increase the speed or to play 3D games at ultra-high resolutions.

It has long been known that it is economically unprofitable to install 2 video cards on 1 motherboard. A video system 2 times faster will cost 1.5-1.8 times more, and two identical cards will give a gain in performance not by 100%, but by 50-80%. However, the user goes to this step, for example, if the second card is bought on the secondary market at a lower price.

Another reason is the increase in the number of monitors connected to the PC at the same time. Usually, one card is capable of working with 2-3 monitors. Rarely do some models support 4-6 monitors. If the number of displays is more than 6, then you cannot do without additional adapters.

Check out Processor And Graphics Card Compatibility.

Will Two Different Graphics Cards In One Computer Work?

Different NVidia video cards (like AMD) can work on the same computer, however, they will display information on different displays. Processing one task (that is, increasing the performance, for example, in some games) will be impossible.

Will Two Different Graphics Cards In One Computer Work?

Connect Two Graphics Cards In One Computer

It is not difficult to put 2 video cards on a PC in hardware: you should install them in different PCIEx-16 slots, connect them to additional power buses (if any) and connect the cards using a special cable (SLI for NVidia or CrossFire for AMD).

Software settings to support this mode of operation are made in a driver program running under Windows OS. Usually, in the advanced settings panel, you need to specify that the cards will work together.

Features of connecting 2 Gpu In One PC

The main features with such a connection are the selection of cards that will meet the following requirements:

  1. It is desirable that they be of the same manufacturer and of the same generation (this is necessary for the compatibility of the drivers, to ensure the synchronization of the devices).
  2. The power supply unit must be sufficient to supply power to both cards.
  3. The PCIE slots on the motherboard must be located so that the cards fit into them.

Important! The size of the cooling system of modern video adapters can be quite large, so they are often placed not in adjacent slots, but through one. However, all motherboards supporting this mode of operation are initially designed with large distances between these slots.

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Special connectors

To synchronize the operation of two video adapters, special connecting adapters are used: SLI or CrossFire adapters. They are used to connect video adapters directly to each other. The connector for connection is located at the top of the video controller board.

Important! These adapters have another name, “bridges”. They are flexible stubs with detachable sockets at their ends. Please be aware that these devices are not compatible with each other.

SLI adapters are connected to all boards in the same way, in the same places. The CrossFire connector consists of two different parts (conventionally front and back); when it is connected, the front part of the card slot of the first card is connected to the “back” part of the second card. In turn, the “front” second – on the “back” third, and so on. That is why it is much easier to connect more than 3 AMD cards for collaboration than NVidia cards.

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SLI video adapter

This term is understood not only as a way of connecting two video adapters using a connector but the general principle of combining several independent video devices, each of which can work independently (for example, two video chips on one card).

Hi, fellow tech enthusiasts! I’m Syed Kashif Shah, and I’m proud to be your go-to expert for all things like problems, suggestions, recommendations related to graphics cards. As a seasoned Technology Consultant and Hardware Enthusiast, I’ve spent years in the graphics card troubleshooting and repair field.