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View Full Version : SLI & Dual Displays - Help Please :)


Monolyth
10-14-05, 12:23 PM
Hi everyone,
Haven't posted here in awhile, but I wanted to get some advice on a set that I'm building this weekend. I realize this has probably been brought up before, but I can't get any kind of verification on this, so I figure I would go to the best place for help :)

Here's some quick info:

Asus A8N-SLI Premium
2x7800GTX - SLI
2xLCD Monitors (DVI inputs)
Windows XP SP2
ForceWare 81.84

That's pretty much the pertinent info for the question, anyways:
Presently I use one monitor for gaming the other for web browsing, work etc.
I have yet to have any problems with this setup, my main question is if I am in a full screen game (SLI enabled) on Monitor 1 (Card 1 - DVI 1) will I still be able to surf on Monitor 2 (Card 1 - DVI 2)? Or as I've read from someplaces the 2nd monitor will just go black?

I am just awaiting an answer to this question, if I cannot do this in-game then I will just purchase the Matrox G550 PCIe and run it on my second monitor and give the SLI boys their own monitor.

Hopefully that all makes sense.

Thanks!

Dr.Nick
10-14-05, 12:42 PM
You can't run two displays with SLI enabled:( However with the new 81.84 drivers you can disable SLI without restarting so you can use the 2nd display again

Monolyth
10-14-05, 01:36 PM
Ahh cool, I'll just get the Matrox then for my other monitor. Thanks much :)

superklye
10-14-05, 01:49 PM
Ahh cool, I'll just get the Matrox then for my other monitor. Thanks much :)
Or, when you aren't gaming, you can just turn off SLI and run both monitors...

ricercar
10-14-05, 04:45 PM
Ahh cool, I'll just get the Matrox then for my other monitor. Thanks much :)A Matrox PCI card isn't likely to give you NVIDIA SLI + Matrox 2nd display. The SLI requirement is not simply about disabling extra displays on the SLI-enabled GPUs, it's about disabling ALL non-SLI displays.

The NV driver requires all non-SLI displays to be disabled before SLI is enabled, at least on my ASUS SLI Premium and 6800U SLI + FX5200 PCI card. Regardless whether the second display was on the SLI card1, SLI card2, PCI-VGA or PCI-DVI, regardless which PCI slot held the FX5200, a second display was not usable with SLI enabled.

Hopefully the NVIDIA driver 8x.xx update addresses the SLI + multiple display issue. I want the new Matrox PCI-e 1x card (http://www.matrox.com/mga/workstation/cre_pro/products/gseries/g550_LP_PCIe.cfm) video card to drive a second display with SLI, so I can reserve my (only!) three PCI slots for TV tuners and digital audio IO cards.

PS. the revised Matrox site design sux0rz.

karmadharma
10-14-05, 07:04 PM
The NV driver requires all non-SLI displays to be disabled before SLI is enabled, at least on my ASUS SLI Premium and 6800U SLI + FX5200 PCI card. Regardless whether the second display was on the SLI card1, SLI card2, PCI-VGA or PCI-DVI, regardless which PCI slot held the FX5200, a second display was not usable with SLI enabled.

actually this seems to be the case for folks who have an extra NVidia card, there have been posts here from people using a PCI ATI card successfully with an SLI rig. I personally have tried a Matrox Millennium II PCI but was never able to get it to work (XP would freeze on boot with the card inserted)

Monolyth
10-15-05, 12:09 AM
Karmad you have to set the PCI card as your "first" boot device in BIOS for it to work like that. Then in windows you set the displays as you want. I had that problem before when trying to use a PCI card w/AGP. It can take some finagling in windows after that, but once windows is set properly, your golden.

It would make sense for nVidia to be able to disable all of their "own" cards via driver call when SLI is enabled. However they have no control over other cards and their drivers so I'm fairly confident the Matrox solution will work.

What some people don't seem to get is that I do things on my second screen while I play certain games (like World of Warcraft), where I don't "always" have to be in my game ;)

I should be putting this together late next week, I'll let you guys know how it turns out. Peace! Thank you all for the quick info :)

ricercar
10-15-05, 02:03 AM
there have been posts here from people using a PCI ATI card successfully with an SLI rigw00t. I'll have to use the search and research those myself.

seanmcgpa
10-16-05, 06:03 PM
w00t. I'll have to use the search and research those myself.

I have a DFI LanParty4 with SLI setup (dual 7800's) with dual 24" Dell LCD monitors. I have an ATI PCI (7000) card that I use to drive my second monitor so I can remain in SLI mode at all times and still have the second monitor active for Konfabulator, etc.

Works well! Just wish nVidia would get on the ball and include support for a second (2D) monitor when the the primary has an SLI game active.