Adding 2nd Video Card in a NON Crossfire configuration

byrdawg

New Member
Can Vista support more than 1 GPU driver? I am running Vista Ult 64. Looking to upgrade to Windows 7.

I previously had an Nvidia 8800GT as my primary graphics card and also had an 8500GT installed as well on my dual boot XP/Vista PC. They worked fine and the computer recognized both correclty on both OS's I think I didn't have any trouble b/c as I found it all 8 series cards use the same driver.

I bought a new primary GPU, a ATi Sapphire 4870 1GB Toxic. I am NOT trying to run SLI or Crossfire, I need availability for 3+ monitors. Can I have two completely different video drivers? I was under the impression NO, but a computer parts guy said I can install an Nvidia & ATi driver as long as I do not install the supplemental software.
 

byrdawg

New Member
That was an excellent link. Many thanks.

Please do not go digging, I can call up Sapphire Customer support, but if anyone knows off the top of their head I'd appreciate it.
Are ATi drivers similar to Nvidia in the way that all 8 series Nvidia cards use the same driver? If so, Then I'd just need to look for a cheap bottom of the line 4000 model card.
 

byrdawg

New Member
I need another GPU for my computer. I have a ATi Sapphire 4870 and 3 monitors. The ATi 4870 will be hooked up to my 37" Vizio TV while the other two 23" Samsung Monitors will be hooked up to another card. I need the cheapest video card possible for just internet and word processing , but the driver has to be the same as the ATi 4870's driver.
Before I got the ATi 4870 I had Nvidia cards. I had an 8800GT and a 8500GT. Both always had the same driver so I never had a problem. So is the drivers for all the ATi 4000 series video cards the same? Can I buy a $30 Sapphire 4350 from Newegg and it will always have the same driver as the 4870 I currently have?
 

thepizzaman

Banned
um....... it might..... couldn't you get a splitter? or..... a 4850? i know you can get those for about $80...... a 4350 might work though.....
 

stormy13

Member
Vista Guru
With Vista you can have as many video cards installed as you have available slots, they just all have to use the same driver (ATI with ATI, Nvidia with Nvidia). And yes a cheap 4350 or any other cheap HD4xxx series will do.

Another option is to install Windows 7. The new WDDM 1.1 in 7 allows for cards that use different drivers.
 

byrdawg

New Member
Thanks. I guess I'll wait a couple weeks for Windows 7. I have it on pre-order so maybe i'll get lucky and be able to mix Nvidia and ATi. If not ill get a cheap 4350. I think they are even down to $25 with mail in rebate at newegg.
 

lemur

Vista Guru
Gold Member
Thanks. I guess I'll wait a couple weeks for Windows 7. I have it on pre-order so maybe i'll get lucky and be able to mix Nvidia and ATi. If not ill get a cheap 4350. I think they are even down to $25 with mail in rebate at newegg.
Post back and let us know how it goes. Of course by then, you will be posting on our sister site: Windows 7 Forums
 

byrdawg

New Member
Well I got it all working. After I installed Windows 7 with my ATi 4870 installed and made sure all was well with other hardware drivers, I attempted to install an Nvidia XFX 8500GT in my open PCI-E slot. The task was as easy as 1-2-3. Before trying -as my luck normally goes- I expected it to blue screen with conflicts and I would have to restore a backup, but without a hitch it accepted both cards, and even both ATi Catalyst Control Center and Nvidia Control Panel. The only thing I do not like is on the Software side... ATi CCC shows the 2 monitors on the NVidia card, and the Nvidia control Panel shows the monitor on the ATi Card. However, device driver shows the correct monitors on the correct drivers and I have not had any BSods.
 

lil domii

Seven Guru + GFX
Power User
this is a stupid question, i know, but does that mean you can get two ati cards not in crossfirex but still use one monitor and will it have a better gaming effect?

Dom
 

smarteyeball

Eye know, eye know
Vista Guru
Gold Member
this is a stupid question, i know, but does that mean you can get two ati cards not in crossfirex but still use one monitor and will it have a better gaming effect?

Dom

No. If the cards aren't crossfired, you only get the performance of one individual card.
 
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