A GPU can work with any PC if the motherboard has appropriate slots to accommodate it. But can you use two different GPUs together in a single PC?
We might have heard about using the same brand of GPUs together. What is the possibility of using both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards in one PC? Let us discuss it in this article.
Can you run Nvidia and Radeon together?
You can run both Nvidia and Radeon graphics cards together on the same PC. But you have to install them individually on the PC before running them together. When you run two different graphics cards together, you have to properly register the drivers for both cards separately. Otherwise, there will issue in running the GPUs. Also, you have to choose a card for display.
Let us now look at the requirements for running the Nvidia and Radeon GPUs in a single PC.
Requirements for running Nvidia and Radeon GPUs together
In terms of hardware, you will need a motherboard that has at least two PCIe slots with an x8 or x16 configuration. It is better to have x16 lanes with the latest PCIe gen so that you can get the maximum performance from both cards.
As for the software, you will need appropriate drivers for the cards you are using. To get that you can go to the Nvidia and AMD websites and download the drivers for your GPU model.
Download the drivers and save them in a known folder. Do not install them now. Once you have both the motherboard and drivers ready, we can now go for installation of the GPUs and their setup.
Installing Nvidia and Radeon GPU Together
You cannot simultaneously install both cards on the PC and run them right away. You have to individually install the cards before you can run them together.
So, here is a step-by-step procedure you must follow to successfully install both cards and run them on your PC at the same time.
- You might have installed either an Nvidia card or a Radeon card on your PC. It will be acting as the display driver and you cannot install another card when it is working.
- So, first of all, roll back the driver of the existing GPU to an older version.
- Now turn off your PC and remove the existing card. Remove the network connection from your PC.
- Install the card again into the motherboard and restart the PC.
- Now you must use the latest driver for the card you had downloaded previously.
- Go to the driver folder and install the latest driver for the existing card.
- Once you have installed it, your existing card is registered as the primary display driver for your PC.
- Now turn off the PC again and remove this card from the motherboard.
- Insert the second graphics card into the motherboard and restart the PC. Make sure to remove the network connection.
- Now for this secondary card, you have to install the latest driver you had previously downloaded.
- Go to the folder and install that driver for this secondary card.
- This card is registered as another graphics card for your PC with its appropriate driver.
- Now turn off the PC again and insert both cards into the motherboard.
- Restart the PC and you will have both GPUs up and running simultaneously on your PC.
Things to consider when running Nvidia and Radeon GPU together
Although the installation step is quite tedious, you have to consider a few more things before you start setting up this setup.
- Don’t install the GPU software applications at the beginning of the installation process. That is, don’t install the Nvidia GeForce application or the AMD Radeon boost application when installing the drivers. Once they both are up and running simultaneously, you can download them later.
- Ensure you have enabled the x16 lanes in the BIOS setup. Sometimes, it may be in the x8 config or only one of the slots might be enabled in the BIOS.
- Make sure to install the latest drivers only after inserting the respective GPU into the motherboard. Do not install the drivers beforehand on the PC.
- It is very important to turn off the network connection to avoid the PC searching for drivers automatically. This may hinder the secondary GPU installation process.
- Decide which GPU you are going to use as the primary card. Because you have to install the primary card in the first slot and set it up prior to the secondary card.
- If you have older display driver files on the PC, delete them after installing the latest driver.
- If you are planning to run two monitors each with separate GPUs, then make sure to connect the monitors appropriately.
- Also, make note that the performance enhancements like the Crossfire or SLI will not work when you are running this setup. So, if you want these to work, then you have to use only single-brand GPUs or find a motherboard that can support both of these technologies.
Before installing the GPUs, consider these factors and proceed with the setup. If you find any difficulty during the process, check the drivers and repeat the installation process.
Nvidia vs Radeon graphics card
|Gaming Performance||Best for 1080p and 2K Gaming||Best performance in 4K gaming|
|Power and efficiency||AMD’s Navi technology has improved the power consumption and efficiency better than Nvidia||Has an overall reduced efficiency when compared to AMD|
|Technologies||Supports Ray tracingSupports Fidelity Super Resolution (FSR)Has FreeSyncAnti-lagRadeon Super Resolution||Better Ray tracingSupports FSRHas DLSS supportHas G-SyncHas ultra low latency with ReflexNvidia Image Scaling|
|Drivers and Software||Has a single user interface with unified drivers||Has two different user interfaces: Nvidia control panel for display settings and GeForce Experience for performance settings|
|Availability||Radeon Graphics cards are available lot better than Nvidia||Nvidia is not available like Radeon cards|
|Pricing||Radeon cards tend to provide more value especially with the RX6000 series||Nvidia cards can provide less value.|
Having a dual GPU setup in a single PC can be advantageous for certain users due to its ability to run two different graphic processes. So, if you are trying to get this setup to run for you, make sure to have the need for it. If you don’t have any purpose to serve with the dual GPU setup, then you can go with a single GPU which is better in a lot of ways.