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Old 02-26-2008, 05:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default SLI + Dual Monitors WORKS....

Heres how,

- I take no responsibility for your computer hardware nor software if you decide to follow my guide - Do it at your own risk!
- Multiple Monitors when SLI is enabled are not supported in any way by Nvidia when this guide was written.
- This guide is written for the 169.25 drivers but will most likely work with any driver.


I have read a lot of threads in this forum about how to run multiple monitors when SLI is enabled. And it differs from thread to thread and I don't think the solution I found has been mentioned earlier (but I could be wrong). Actually I was thinking about this "trick" before I decided to tested it and before I asked in here, and when I got the time to test it, it actually worked right away. I was afraid that my trick would be reset after a system reboot but it didn't which makes this solution perfect in my eyes.

One way to use multiple monitors is to use an adaptor, but this adaptor will just tell your graphics card that all your monitors are one big monitor and due to the large resolution the game performance will be much worse than playing on one monitor. The other way to run multiple monitors is to have another graphics card not running in SLI to handle the other 1-2 monitor you would like to connect, and let the SLI-cards handle the primary display. And this is very confusing since some people seem to have succeeded while others didn't.

It is said that an ATI-card combined with 2 Nvidia Card in SLI will work in Windows XP but not in Windows Vista because Vista doesn't allow two different video card drivers and unfortunately I havenít been able to test if that's the case. But I will try ATI in Windows Vista later, but I don't have access to a card at the moment.


Requirements for this Guide
There are a few requirements to be able to succeed with this and those are:
2 Nvidia Graphics Cards running in SLI
1 other Nvidia Graphics Card (PCI or PCI-E)
Windows Vista (32bit or 64bit)
This guide has only been tested on Windows Vista. Some replays in this thread report about problems in Windows XP and that it's not working.

The Guide
The two cards running in SLI will handle the main monitors which you would like to use when you play games or other graphics hungry applications. This is exactly like the same as before. The second monitor, or even the third if you have a total of three monitors, will be connected to the other graphics card not running in SLI. Make sure you do these changes before you continue.

Also make sure you disable SLI, if activated and have all three cards installed in your computer before continuing.

When you start your computer with two similar cards and another Nvidia graphics card, you will not be able to activate SLI. I think Nvidia detects that all graphics cards are not the same and have no working SLI bridge between them and automatically disables it. But don't worry, we will activate it anyway!

If you open your Display Settings, it should look similar to this:

There should be 6 "monitors" to attach if everything is correct so far.

Now go to Device Manager by right clicking on "My Computer" or "Computer" as it's only called in Vista and click "Manage". Click on the Device Manager and expand your "Display Adaptors". Now Disable the graphics card that you are not going to use in SLI. In this example it's 8600GT since the two 8800GTX will be used in SLI.

You will get a question asking you if you really want to disable it, but for this guide to work it's required.

- Restart your Computer

Now when the computer has been restarted, you can activate SLI in your control panel.

And you should restart your computer after enabling SLI, even if you didn't need to.

- Yes, restart the computer...


Now the other graphics card that you disabled in Device Manager should have been enabled again automatically, if not enable it yourself.

Then go to Display Settings again and it should look like this now:

You can attach the other monitor(s) now and expand your desktop.

The SLI graphics cards are using the main monitor together, like they should in SLI-mode. And the other graphics card can handle the other two monitor(s).

Proof that it actually works with 8600GT:
Screen shot (Original Size)
Screen shot (Medium Size)
Screen shot (Small Size)

Tested with DirextX applications (CS:S and 3DMark06) and it works.

Proof that it also work with another series (7100GS):
Screen shot (Original Size)
Screen shot (Medium Size)

Tested with DirextX applications (CS:S and 3DMark06) and it works.


Hope this helps and Good Luck!

Edit1: Added proof that it also works with two different Nvidia series.

Jut wanted to clear this up......

I tried this yesterday and it works great used a 7200 GS......

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Old 02-26-2008, 05:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: SLI + Dual Monitors WORKS....

How much was the 7200? One of the main reasons i havent gone to vista fully is that i cant get my SLI + 2nd monitor working using the ATI card.

Nothing to see here.
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Old 02-26-2008, 06:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: SLI + Dual Monitors WORKS....

i picked mine up for fourty... Not bad deal I dunno what newegg has them for.
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Old 03-22-2008, 04:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: SLI + Dual Monitors WORKS....

nice! thanks man.
When (if) I decide to SLi my 8800gt, I will still need my dual monitors.
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Old 03-22-2008, 09:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: SLI + Dual Monitors WORKS....

^^ Same here. So do you only notice the performance gain in SLI on one monitor then?

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