How to Use Dual Video Cards for Your Gaming PC

by Staff Writer

For gamers, the most heavily taxed and critical component of your computer is your video card. The video card is the device that processes the complex graphics for landscapes that are rendered on your computer screen. If you want high-quality graphics for your games and movies, you need a video card that can work at high speed with a lot of memory. Sometimes, one video graphics card isn't enough. The solution is to use dual video cards together to boost your graphics computing power. Here are some things you need to know to use dual video cards for your gaming computer.

Using Dual Video Cards:

Shop Video Cards

Shop Video Cards ▸

Things You'll Need
2 identical video cards
  1. Use identical video cards.

    Purchase two video cards with identical version and model numbers.

  2. If your video graphics cards use software to work in dual configuration, you will need to be sure that they come with the necessary software to communicate with one another.

  3. Some video cards include a connector cable that allows you to physically link them together once they have been installed on the motherboard.

  4. Use a compatible motherboard.

    Any new or existing motherboard that you plan to use will need to be compatible with the dual video cards you are using. The name of the dual-video-card "bridge" that your video cards use will depend on the manufacturer. Once you know the name of the bridge, you can look for that compatibility in motherboard descriptions and select the right one.

  5. Evaluate your power supply.

    A standard 1200-watt power supply will be sufficient to maintain almost all cutting-edge graphics systems that require two video cards. If your power supply provides less than 1200 watts, you might consider installing a new one.

  6. Improve your cooling system.

    A video card produces a lot of heat, which can degrade or damage computer components. Two video cards mean double the heat, so you may want proper cooling to preserve your investment. Water-based cooling systems are one option to cool your computer. You can also use multiple fans, positioned to produce enough airflow for your cards to safely run at high intensity for long gaming sessions or movies.

  7. Install and configure your dual video cards.

    Download and install the latest graphics drivers for your video card model from the vendor's Website. Video card software will contain options that allow you to enable dual-video-card capabilities, and instructions different for each video card manufacturer. The software included with your video cards will also help you test and troubleshoot your graphics capabilities once they're installed.

  8. Make sure your cards are identical models. They will need to be of the same make and model to work properly together.