Using 2 graphics cards with 2 monitors can be efficient if two or more different port types can be interchanged with adapters to support dual-screen setups.
However, having two different types of GPU may cause driver conflict, VRAM (Video Random-Access Memory) distribution stress, and other hardware difficulties.
2 Graphics Cards 2 Monitors
You might want to set a dual monitor configuration where you want one to handle high spec applications or games and the other to do basic works.
If the card has two or more of the same connection type (let’s say HDMI port) it can support dual monitors. Cards having two or more different port types can be interchanged with adapters to support dual-screen setups. If your graphics card has only one video port, it won’t support a dual-monitor setup without adding a second card.
Nevertheless, note that Windows doesn’t have two desktops, no matter how many monitors you have as long as you’re using one desktop. The higher configuration GPU handles the displays of the desktop. Instead, what Windows does have is a built-in system for dynamically moving loads between GPUs. But there’s a problem.
It is designed to move loads between an iGPU and a dGPU while it sees the iGPU as a “Low Power GPU” and the dGPU as a “High Power GPU”. Both are used dynamically as appropriate. Even with 2 dGPUs, this doesn’t work. GPU 0 works as “High Power” and “Low Power” GPU, with no options of changing it.
If you want to game with one specific monitor with a designated GPU it should not affect the performance. However, if you’re using both monitors with split mode, both of the GPU will be used to render and divide the video memory which will cause significant degradation in FPS and overall performance.
Using SLI (Scalable Link Interface) crossfire configuration you can use two graphics cards with one desktop, but is it worth it? Well, it does not degrade the performance, rather having two GPUs with 2 GB memory is obviously better than one with 2 GB memory. However, the wise decision is to get a 4GB GPU with more VRAM and horsepower.
Now what you can do is use applications to use specific GPUs. Let’s say, you have a 770 and 2080. Set your 770 as your default, and set whatever application you use to render to use 2080.
Can I use 2 Graphics Cards with 2 Monitors?
Long story short, yes. If you don’t mind going through the mess of troubleshooting because of driver conflict and Cpu will be more stressed since it needs to process 2 different GPUs’ video memory outputting two different monitors at the same time.
To sum up, if you already have an extra GPU, setting it up with another one to use a dual monitor may not be a bad idea under some conditions. Nonetheless, make sure you’re using them efficiently and not slowing your pc down.