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Is having a second GPU for second Monitor worth it ?

Ecthelion
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Hi guys, 

 

So I have two monitors : The main one for gaming is plugged into my GPU (GTX 970) and the secondary one (mainly for browsing internet and stuff while gaming) is plugged into my motherboard (so it uses my CPU graphic processor I suppose). 
I recently acquired a old GPU (GTX 660) from disassembling an old rig, and I don't know what to do with it. Since my CPU is getting pretty old (i7 4790k), it starts to struggle sometimes while in game and I was wondering if adding the GTX 660 into my rig and have it operating the second monitor would be beneficial for my CPU performance (since it won't have to deal with the monitor on it's own) ? Or is it totally irrelevant ? 

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I would just connect both monitors to your GTX 970. Why not? It's a good card and that's what I had been doing since I got my second monitor with my deceased R9 390. Also your i7-4790k isn't "getting old", it still holds up pretty well :) I have mine OC'd to 4.6GHz. If you're getting low FPS in some games it's probably related to your GPU.

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18 minutes ago, Ecthelion said:

Hi guys, 

 

So I have two monitors : The main one for gaming is plugged into my GPU (GTX 970) and the secondary one (mainly for browsing internet and stuff while gaming) is plugged into my motherboard (so it uses my CPU graphic processor I suppose). 
I recently acquired a old GPU (GTX 660) from disassembling an old rig, and I don't know what to do with it. Since my CPU is getting pretty old (i7 4790k), it starts to struggle sometimes while in game and I was wondering if adding the GTX 660 into my rig and have it operating the second monitor would be beneficial for my CPU performance (since it won't have to deal with the monitor on it's own) ? Or is it totally irrelevant ? 

The only thing you can do with that second GPU is use it as a PhysX processing graphics card.  THe card can be hooked regardless, without a purpose, but it will just output the image, the processing is still done with the 970. Even having the monitor connected to the IGPU does nothing. Processing and VRAM usage is still mainly done on the main 970 gpu, the only advantage you can have from this is if you use intel quicksync video for recording or encoding, that is where the IGPU will be used, but NVIDIA has a dedicated part for this on its GPU's and it handles it better even with a game loaded, so again useless. I would just disable the IGPU and hook both monitors to the GPU it usually works better like this to, and maybe for the very few titles that use GPU accelerated physX use the 660, if you think its worth the hassle, personally i dont ? .

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You could fold on the 660 ;) But no. You do not need a second GPU for two monitors lol. Just plug it it, it doesn't matter.

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The I7 4790K is still really good, if anything is holding that rig back its the 970. Anyway just plug all the screens into the 970, it's not going to hurt performance

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33 minutes ago, Strike105X said:

 Even having the monitor connected to the IGPU does nothing. Processing and VRAM usage is still mainly done on the main 970 gpu, the only advantage you can have from this is if you use intel quicksync video for recording or encoding, that is where the IGPU will be used, but NVIDIA has a dedicated part for this on its GPU's and it handles it better even with a game loaded, so again useless. I would just disable the IGPU and hook both monitors to the GPU it usually works better like this to, 

Eeeeh.

I have to disagree. Why does taskmanager show the gpu/vram usage of the igpu and main gpu separately if it is " all done by the main gpu"?

Also how are the igpu and the main gpu connected internally? Doesn't make sense to me.

 

You are mainly right that having both monitors connected to the main gpu wont hurt/gain any performance, as web browsing isnt gpu intensive.

I only see your reply if you @ me.

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27 minutes ago, Origami Cactus said:

Eeeeh.

I have to disagree. Why does taskmanager show the gpu/vram usage of the igpu and main gpu separately if it is " all done by the main gpu"?

Also how are the igpu and the main gpu connected internally? Doesn't make sense to me.

Maybe i should have said it otherwise, most software isn't designed to use them separately, microsoft for example with directx 12 implemented a way that two different gpu's can be used for processing a single game, but it ended up being useless as nobody used it in their games so far. There are some specific purposes where to some extent it can be done like mining (and maybe folding ? I have neither been able to confirm or not this) but otherwise not much is designed to use two different GPU's properly, you might see some spikes up to 3% there, but that's within the margin of error of it just existing/being turned on. As for how they are communicating ? Like everything else they are connected through your motherboard of course, but generally nothing more is done then sending the visual signal, as the processing in most cases is done by the main gpu.

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1 minute ago, Strike105X said:

Maybe i should have said it otherwise, most software isn't designed to use them separately, microsoft for example with directx 12 implemented a way that two different gpu's can be used for processing a single game, but it ended up being useless as nobody used it in their games so far. There are some specific purposes where to some extent it can be done like mining (and maybe folding ? I have neither been able to confirm or not this) but otherwise not much is designed to use two different GPU's properly, you might see some spikes up to 3% there, but that's within the margin of error of it just existing/being turned on. As for how they are communicating ? Like everything else they are connected through your motherboard of course, but generally nothing more is done then sending the visual signal, as the processing in most cases is done by the main gpu.

But in his use case they are perfectly used separately. He has some programs open on one monitor, and a game open on the other.

The programs which are one the monitor connected to the igpu all use the igpu, and the game that is on the monitor that is connected to the 970 uses the 970.

I know that if he wanted to play a game using both monitors then it would use only the 970,

 

but in the use case of having game on one monitor and the browser on the second monitor both gpus are utilized separately just fine

I only see your reply if you @ me.

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23 minutes ago, Origami Cactus said:

But in his use case they are perfectly used separately. He has some programs open on one monitor, and a game open on the other.

The programs which are one the monitor connected to the igpu all use the igpu, and the game that is on the monitor that is connected to the 970 uses the 970.

I know that if he wanted to play a game using both monitors then it would use only the 970,

 

but in the use case of having game on one monitor and the browser on the second monitor both gpus are utilized separately just fine

That's where i'm saying your wrong, just because its outputted through the port connected to the IGPU it doesn't mean its processed by the IGPU, its processed in both cases by the 970 and the visual signal then sent through the igpu towards the second monitor, the only real usage you can get out of an Intel IGPU is quicksync, basically video enconding/streaming with it rather then using the CPU or the main GPU. Multiple screen configurations also work more smoothly and fluid when connected on the same/main GPU, to be honest.

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7 minutes ago, Strike105X said:

That's where i'm saying your wrong, just because its outputted through the port connected to the IGPU it doesn't mean its processed by the IGPU, its processed in both cases by the 970 and the visual signal then sent through the igpu towards the second monitor.

Last time i tested it, it wasn't the case, but as my current cpu doesn't have an igpu i can't test it.

Seeing as you have both a dgpu and an igpu, i will just take your word for it, until proven false.

I only see your reply if you @ me.

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28 minutes ago, Origami Cactus said:

Last time i tested it, it wasn't the case, but as my current cpu doesn't have an igpu i can't test it.

Seeing as you have both a dgpu and an igpu, i will just take your word for it, until proven false.

Basically lets take this from the top, as some of the posts have been written in haste by me and it may be confusing (looking at some of the words i used it may suggest the wrong things, sorry), i'll try to take it from the top.

 

Especially with windows 10 and directx 12 (in the case of windows 7 and maybe 8 (can't say for sure when it comes to 8 ) this was rather limited) microsoft has pushed for a system to be able to use more then one graphics card, they even went as far as making directx 12 able to use two totally different gpu's to render the same game. But software hasn't been able to catch up (or in some cases like the gaming industry the directx 12 feature was never used). in most cases while the windows graphic interface itself is rendered by the two cards on each of their monitors most of the programs are processed by the 970. Take Photoshop for instance, while your window might be on the desktop of the IGPU connected monitor every process being done in that program is done by the 970, not by the IGPU, that's how most software will behave, the main exception or better said main things that properly use multiple gpus at this time being:

 

-intel quick sync, which will use the iGPU for encoding.

-nvidia physX which can attribute a secondary gpu mainly for physX calculations. 

-mining (and maybe folding, i can't say for sure for folding since i can't verify it).

 

Because data is being processed mainly by the main GPU and there's a lot of transfer going on around the displays its a lot more smoother/fluid to just give up on a second display via a second gpu and hook them both to the main GPU. You wont notice any problems even while having a game on the main screen and something else like a youtube video on the second one, because unless its a really old and/or crappy GPU, games aren't designed to completely load up the GPU, there's always going to be some headroom left. The only cases where the GPU will be to loaded to much to be able to properly load content on the second monitor is when mining, folding or stress testing, which uses every little bit of your GPU processing power. That's why at this time unless its for a specific task, its better not to complicate yourself with multiple gpu's.

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