Most people have been wondering if it’s possible to install two GPUS on one computer. The answer to this is a definite yes. You are able to have two graphic cards on one computer especially if they are using the same drive. The two GPUs will not only provide an output to your computer but also help you run two separate tasks on each card.
However, the installation of two cards does not guarantee a link to a Tandem. This means that forming a GPU array through SLI or Crossfire is practically impossible. Furthermore, adding an extra GPU requires a compatible Motherboard with an extra PCI slot.
The ability to have two graphic cards has enticed a lot of gamers. Moreover, most CAD users have also been attracted to the possibility of being able to run two GPUS simultaneously. Multiple cards are also beneficial for day trading applications and productivity tasks.
Before we dive into the pros and cons of having two different GPUs, we need to have some basic knowledge of Graphic cards. So what exactly is a GPU?
What is a GPU?
A GPU stands for a graphics processing unit. It is a special electronic circuit that is designed to manage and enhance the graphics on your computer. How does it do this? It rapidly manipulates and alters the memory in your computer to create images that will be displayed on the monitor. The GPU is the main component of all those high-quality videos that enhance your gaming experience.
The GPU comes in two distinct forms :
- The integrated GPU that resides in your PC processor.
- A separate GPU that comes with its own memory.
For you two to be able to run two multiple cards simultaneously, You’ll need to have some basic software programs to help you. The two software could either come from AMD or NVIDIA. This two software are :
- CrossFire from AMD.
- SLI from NVIDIA.
It’s until you have installed these two software programs that you’ll be able to run multiple cards on one PC. Moreover, there are some additional requirements that need to be looked at before you are able to enjoy the perks of having two GPU cards. These include:
- A motherboard that’s compatible with the two software programs
- Two compatible GPU cards so that they can run on the same driver.
- A connector that acts as a bridge for the two cards.
Now that we are done familiarising ourselves with the GPU, let’s dive into how to install two different GPUS to your computer.
How To Install Two Different GPUs in One computer.
It is important to note that having two GPUs does not add additional frame rate performance. This is because both cards run independently of the other. If you want to add frame rate performance you will have to install identical cards with either SLI or Crossfire or go for a high-end card.
1. Unistall existing drivers.
Uninstalling existing drivers makes it easier for you to limit the number of problems that might arise from having two different GPUS with different manufacturers. Let’s say for example your old GPU is AMD and your new GPU is NVIDIA, If you choose to uninstall the drivers, conflict may arise that will limit the performance of your graphic cards.
To Uninstall the existing drivers :
Through the device manager.
1. Go to your device manager.
You can access the device manager by searching for “device manager on your search bar”
2. Open your device manager.
3. Scroll down to Display adapters.
4. Click on display adapters and a pop-up will appear with the graphic card that’s present on your computer.
5. Right-click on the graphic card displayed and Click on” Uninstall device .”
Through the control panel.
Search for the control panel on your search bar.
Click on programs and features.
When it opens, search for the driver that you wish to uninstall.
Select the driver in question and pick the uninstall option that appears at the top of the menu.
After following the steps above, you would have successfully installed any pre-existing drivers.
2. Placing the new GPU card on your computer.
You need to ensure that your current power supply can support both cards that are being installed. To do this, you’ll need to use a PSU calculator before proceeding with the steps below.
- For you to place the new GPU card, turn off your computer and remove it from any source of power.
- Open your computer case for you to access the motherboard and the PCI slot.
- Remove the power supply cable from the GPU card that is inside your computer.
- Place your new GPU card below your old GPU card and push it into place.
- Ensure that the two cards are aligned.
- Connect your power supply to the two cards and close your computer case.
After carefully placing your GPU cards, you will have to download The GPU manufacturer drivers. It’s important to note that the steps to be followed will depend on the drivers that have been installed.
3. Download and Install Drivers from manufacturers’ websites.
For you to download and install the drivers from the manufactures website , you’ll have to have some basic information about the cards. This information includes the specific hardware such as the make and model of the GPU.
After identifying this information, visit the manufacturer’s site and look for downloads for your hardware. Now you’re able to download and install the appropriate driver for your operating system.
NOTE: Downloading the drivers from the manufacturer is the best option since the drivers are the most tested and up-to-date drivers. Moreover, the manufacturer is the original source of the driver making your work even easier.
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4. Connecting two GPUs to one computer.
The most effective way of connecting the two cards is if the cards are identical or compatible. The cards could be compatible with either SLI from Nvidia or Crossfire from AMD.
For you to connect the two cards, you’ll have to ensure that your motherboard is compatible with the two cards. Moreover, it needs to have an additional PCI Express slot.
Nvidia GPU uses the scalable link interface which requires an identical GPU, VRAM, and SLI bridge. AMD GPU on the other hand will use crossfire and requires an identical GPU only. Crossfire bridges will only be required for older cards while VRAMs do not have to be identical.
5. Installing drivers when running AMD with Nvidia GPU.
- Before installing the drivers, you’ll have to have followed the steps above when placing the cards into the computer. After following the process that’s outlined above, follow the process below:
Install the AMD card onto your computer.
- Reboot your PC and install the drivers from the manufacturer’s website.
- Turn your PC off and install the Nvidia card.
- Reboot your PC and install the drivers from Nvidia.
- Reboot your PC.
So you have already installed your two GPUs and you’re wondering about the essence of having two GPUs on your computer. Not to worry, we have already prepared a list for you on all the pros and cons of having multiple graphic cards.
For starters, the cards are ideal for multimonitor gaming. This is because the cards share the workload on the Pc providing a higher resolution and extra filters. Secondly, you are able to use newer technologies such as 4k display especially when gaming. In addition to this, buying and installing a second GPU is cheaper than upgrading to a newer model. With this, you get to save a few extra coins rather than running on one high-end card.
However, you cannot have strengths without weakness, just like you cannot have all these pros without any limitations. Having two GPUs has its fair share of problems. Some of these include ;
- For you to run multiple cards, you need to have enough power and storage space on your computer.
- Multiple cards are not compatible with all the games. This is because not all games support both SLI and Crossfire and the same time.
- You might experience additional noise and heat when running multiple cards. Both of these cards might be working simultaneously on your laptop making it overheat.
- You might experience glitches that will affect the quality of your videos.
Using two GPU without SLI or Crossfire.
I know most of you have been wondering if it’s possible to run two GPUs without these two interfaces. It is possible. However, it is only possible if you’re running multiple monitors. However, the performance of your graphics card will be severely limited and this might cost the performance of the card.
You are able to connect each monitor with a specific graphics card and split the load between the two cards. If you are going to do this, ensure that your processor supports this type of setup and workload.
After giving you all this information, it’s only essential that we give you the best GPU cards that you could use if you’re interested in dual graphic cards.
Requirements for two GPUs in one computer
If you want to implement a dual setup with GPUs, you’ll have to look at some basic requirements. Some of these requirements are :
- Compatibility of either SLI or crossfire with the motherboard.
- PCI Express slot.
- Enough space in your computer case to support an additional GPU card.
- A bridge connector that combines the two graphic cards and connects them to the motherboard.
- Features of the two graphic cards are enabled in the control panel.
- Enough power supply and storage space.
With all these GPU setups in place, you’re home and dry.
Dual GPU cards to use
1. Nvidia Geforce GTX Titan Z.
This is one of the fastest dual graphic cards that have three graphic slots. It takes close to 700w off power with a 4k and 8k resolutions put in place. Moreover, the card comes with 12 GB of memory.
2. AMD Radeon Pro Duo.
This graphic card is also one of the fastest graphic cards in 2022. It has lesser memory compared to the Nvidia Geforce with only 8GB of high bandwidth memory. The card however has its own cooling system with a radiator that helps to keep it cool in case the workload is extreme. It has a power consumption of 700w though it’s recommended to have a higher wattage power.
It is possible to have two GPUs in one PC. However, some factors should be considered for this to happen. You should ensure that you have enough PCI slots and that your motherboard supports a dual setup. You should also note that not all applications will support a dual setup and you might experience some glitches if it’s not supported.
These two cards work by sharing the workload with each other. This gives your computer more computing power to handle difficult processes.
Having two GPUs should increase performance. However, It’s often difficult to increase performance since a particular software needs to be set up to be able to optimize a product for use with a single or dual GPU setup.
You can use two different cards on one computer. The cards provide output for your monitor and can be used to run separate programs.
It is possible to have up to four cards on one PC. However, your Pc needs to have a large motherboard with the right configuration to support the four cards.
Hope we have helped you install two GPUs on one computer. In case of any additions or questions, feel free to ask away in the comment section below.
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