Can I use two PCI video cards?

Intel / 2.6 ghz/1.50gb
March 23, 2009 at 14:13:54
Specs: Windows XP
So I have an old Celeron with 2.60 GHz and 1.50 GB of Ram. It's crappy, but I don't have the money to get a new one, and am most certainly not going to invest anymore money into it as I might as well just save up for said new one. However in the meantime, I have a RADEON 9200SE video card on my computer, and I just came into possession of a RADEON 7500. The question is, can I use them both on my computer at once without killing it? And secondly, will it even do anything? And thirdly, does it then allow me to use two screens simultaneously? Please forgive my naivety. Thanks in advance.

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March 23, 2009 at 14:21:53
You can put both in your computer, but you will more than likely need a new Power Supply as graphics cards like those can use hundreds of Watts of power. There goes your "not investing any more money into this thing" idea. You can use them to show things on your screen simultaneously, but not like using them both as one, which you would need a Crossfire or SLI (I can't remember which one is for RADON) configuration.

P.S. (Don't feel bad! My PC has a 2.4 GHZ processor with 768 MB RAM!)

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March 23, 2009 at 14:42:13
Those two cards are not high wattage users. Some of the newest cards can draw as much as 180 watts. I couldn't find anything on the draw of those cards but to answer your question it depends on the interface of the cards.

If they are both AGP then no, you can't use them both at the same time. I am guessing both are AGP type cards.

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March 23, 2009 at 15:13:52
Yes, you can use 2 PCI cards in a computer. It will allow you to run two monitors (or more, depending on card output). However, as iamwec mentioned, you can't combine the performance of the two cards for better 3D performance. That would require a Crossfire-ready PCI Express board and two ATI PCI-E cards.

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Related Solutions

March 23, 2009 at 15:15:14
"graphics cards like those can use hundreds of Watts of power"

These are standard PCI cards he's asking about, not PCI-express. I believe the max wattage available thru a PCI slot is 25W.

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March 23, 2009 at 20:14:53
Thank you so much all of you for your prompt responses! I really have to come on here more and try to contribute as well, you have all been so helpful.

So what I gather all together is

A) I can use my two PCI cards together

B) They shouldn't drain TOO much power (going with majority)

C) They won't improve 3D graphics preformance

D) HOWEVER, I can run two monitors at once on my computer which is freaking awesome?!?!?!

Please correct me if I am wrong on any of these counts

Oh, and two last questions, if I can run two screens at once, will they work in concert? As in will I be able to roll my mouse off one screen and onto the other? Or are they just clones? And is there anything I need to make them work together? Or can I just shove them both in, plug in the monitors, and tally ho?

And finally, if I used the two in concert without double screens, do they take any strain off each other at all? As in is there any benefit at all other than improved 3D performance? Or are they completely useless?

Thank you for your patience.

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March 24, 2009 at 06:26:31
Oh, well sorry about the incorrect info I gave you... My PCI NVIDIA 8400 GS says that it uses quite a bit of power, but since it is a PCI card, I guess it doesn't after all...

Again, as I said before, you cannot use the two cards together as one unless you have a Crossfire configuration. If you have them both plugged in and only one being used bu a monitor, the other one will just set there.

As for you first question, I believe that that is true. I have never really tried to set this kind of thing up before because 1) I don't have the desk space to, and 2) I never really had the need to.

EDIT: Sorry again! I should research better...

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March 24, 2009 at 09:16:00

You really should hang out more before giving advice. Your answer about crossfire concerns PCIe x 16 or 8 cards. And crossfire is an ATI solution. SLI is the nVidia solution. Neither of these has anything to do with PCIe cards.

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March 25, 2009 at 08:47:08
@ OtheHill

I don't know some things... I am sorry about the info. I was just implying that he would still need a crossfire set up to combine the performance of the cards, even though he can't. And, by the way, I did figure out that Crossfire is ATI, which are the cards that he has.

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March 25, 2009 at 09:08:47
The issue is that the type of cards may be ATI but they are not PCIe cards, which are needed for crossfire.

I originally thought the OP may have AGP cards, which are more common for the era of their computer. PCI graphic cards are TWO generations behind PCIe.

There are two ways to interpret the question the OP posed about using the cards together. I took that to mean, "at the same time", not as a unit. In fairness to you, I can understand how you may have seen the question differently.

I would not have said anything had you not previously posted misleading information to the poster concerning power requirements. My advice to you is to always try to temper answers with some doubt about the validity unless you are absolutely positive. An example is my #2 response above about AGP cards.

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