If you’re an avid gamer, you’ve probably noticed that most modern games don’t utilize all the horsepower you can throw at them. Instead, developers often use only one GPU to render the game.
So, what’s the difference between a GPU and a CPU? It’s pretty simple. A GPU renders 3D graphics, whereas a CPU is typically used for running the OS and applications.
When you think about it, it makes sense. It would be impossible to render a 3D image without a GPU, but it’s equally impractical to run a whole operating system on a single CPU. So, the GPU is the most powerful and efficient processor for most modern computers.
But what if you had two GPUs? Can you run two monitors on two GPUs?
Advantages and Disadvantages
Running two monitors on two graphics cards can be a great advantage if you are an avid gamer. Let me show you why.
If you plan to buy a gaming PC, you must consider whether you want to buy one with two GPUs or one with one GPU. There are many reasons for this.
Advantages of Running Two Monitors on Two GPUs
Firstly, buying a PC with two GPUs will cost around £800 more than buying a PC with only one GPU.
Secondly, running two monitors on two GPUs will perform better than running two on a single GPU.
Thirdly, you will be able to play games for longer on two GPUs compared to one.
Fourthly, if you are a gamer, then it is a wise decision to buy a PC with two GPUs as you will be able to play many games without any lag.
Disadvantages of Running Two Monitors on Two GPUs
Let’s see the disadvantages of running two monitors on two different graphics cards.
First, it takes up a lot of space, so it is not a good idea if you have limited space at home.
Second, the noise and the cooling system are also not very efficient.
Third, you need to pay for the two graphics cards.
Finally, you need to get two graphics cards as the cost will be high.
How to Use Two Graphics Cards to Run Two Monitors
If you own any laptop, you will get a graphics card. This graphics card is used to run some extra features on the computer. The most common element in a graphics card is the ability to play games.
But, if you want two monitors on your laptop, you must buy a graphics card to support it. These two graphics cards will help you to connect two monitors to the computer. So, how to use two graphics cards to run two monitors? Let’s see the explanation of the four methods.
Use two graphics cards at the same time
Some laptops come with the ability to have more than one graphics card. When you plug the second graphics card into the computer, the laptop automatically detects it and switches the primary and secondary graphics cards.
This is one of the easiest methods that you can use to run two monitors. All you need to do is to install the second graphics card on your laptop and enjoy the experience.
Use one graphics card and one monitor
You can install a graphics card on a desktop computer if you don’t have a laptop with multiple graphics cards. With this method, you will have one graphics card and one monitor.
With this method, you will have to connect one monitor to the graphics card and the other monitor to the laptop. You need to download some cables, adapters and display ports to do this.
Once you finish the cable installation, you can easily switch between the two monitors. If you are using Windows 7 or 8, then it is easy to use this method.
Using the HDMI Cable
If you don’t have a laptop with the ability to have multiple graphics cards, then you can also buy an HDMI cable. With this cable, you will have two displays.
This perfect cable you can use to connect your laptop to the television. You will get a better screen quality and resolution using the HDMI cable.
This method is best for those who want to enjoy watching movies and playing games. You can also buy an HDMI extension cable, which will cost a lot.
If you want to connect two monitors to your laptop, then you can also use a DisplayPort. With this cable, you will get two displays.
You will need a DisplayPort to HDMI adapter to connect the two displays. If you don’t have a DisplayPort, you can use the DisplayPort to DVI cable instead of the adapter.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does your computer support two monitors?
Your computer can support two monitors if you have a dual graphics card and supports SLI/Crossfire. However, if you have only one graphics card, your graphics card is unlikely to support this feature.
Can you run two monitors on one GPU?
You can technically run two monitors on one GPU. However, there’s no guarantee that your video card supports this, and, likely, the drivers don’t keep it either. But if you have the right video card, you can plug two monitors into it and have both running simultaneously.
How much performance is lost when running two monitors on two GPUs?
When using two monitors, running one on each graphics processing unit (GPU) is advisable, or you might lose some performance. This is because each GPU has a dedicated memory that acts as a cache for frequently accessed data. When you’re running both monitors on the same GPU, there is no space left for storing this data. Hence, you might lose a good amount of performance.
How much RAM do I need to run two monitors?
You can run two monitors with 4GB of RAM each. You can check the compatibility with your video card, the monitor, and the operating system. For example, Windows 8 requires at least 8GB of RAM to run two monitors.
What is the difference between SLI and CrossFire?
SLI and CrossFire are both multi-GPU technologies. They are different in that SLI involves two graphics cards connected through a motherboard chipset. In contrast, CrossFire combines a single graphics card into two or more motherboards, thus allowing it to run multiple cards at once. SLI and CrossFire are both suitable for gaming, giving you higher performance at a lower cost.
Can You Run Two Monitors on Two GPUs? is a simple question, but the answer is often very complicated?
But in case;
If you’ve struggled to run two monitors simultaneously on one GPU, check out our article on dual monitors on two graphics cards. We have a few different configurations that you can try to see which ones work best for you.