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Windows Aero with multiple video cards

desktop performance aero windows 7 geforce multiple video cards desktop rendering nvidia

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#1 typographie


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Posted 10 February 2013 - 02:12 AM

I recently installed a Geforce GT 210 as a cheap way to connect a third monitor (my television, actually) via HDMI, since my primary card (a GTX 460) is already running its maximum of two displays over DVI. Nearly everything appears to work as expected.. that is, the driver recognizes both cards, the HDMI works fine, gaming performance hasn't changed, etc.

However, ever since installing the 210, I have gotten some weird desktop behavior. Namely, occasional hitching, sluggish text selection, desktop backgrounds not transitioning smoothly, etc. Is it possible that Windows could be trying to use my 210 instead of the 460 to render Aero? If so, how do I change it?

Could having two PCI-e cards installed affect the speed of my PCI-e ports, even though they aren't using SLI?

I'm running Nvidia's 310.19 drivers, by the way. I've tried a couple different recent versions without noticing a difference.

Edited by typographie, 10 February 2013 - 02:14 AM.

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#2 Elder III

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Posted 12 February 2013 - 08:34 PM

We would need to know the motherboard that you have, but yes - 2 GPUs, with or without SLI, could be dividing up your PCI-Express "speed".

I don't know about designating one GPU to run Aero specifically, but it shouldn't matter since the GT 210 (while pretty wimpy) is more than capable of it.

Are all of your Windows drivers up to date?
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#3 typographie


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Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:42 PM

The motherboard is a Gigabyte GA-P55-USB3. Its certainly got the physical slots for two cards, but how the speed gets divided up is honestly not something I've ever had to learn much about before.

For what its worth, GPU-Z reports the GTX 460's Bus Interface as "PCI-E 1.1 x16 @ x16 1.1" (Edit: wait a minute, shouldn't it be 2.0?). The 210 reads PCI-E x16 @ x4 1.1. At any rate, it seems unusual that Aero would be so limited by bus speed, but games all the way up to BF3 would be fine.

I stay on top of my video and sound drivers pretty well but I'm sure not every driver I'm running is up-to-date to the minute. Are there any specific ones you'd like me to check? This motherboard is some years old now, I'm not sure every component on it is going to have recent drivers available.

Edited by typographie, 13 February 2013 - 02:15 PM.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: desktop performance, aero, windows 7, geforce, multiple video cards, desktop rendering, nvidia

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