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2 GPUs for 2 Operating Systems (in the same rig)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I am currently using dual boot for 2 operating systems in 2 separate harddrives, and I can decide on which OS to load into during bootup. I am wondering if it's possible to have 2 PCI-E GPUs hooked up to a motherboard, but only have one GPU powered on and running with your desired operating system? So GPU x would only kick in when I boot into Operating System x, and GPU y would only kick in when I boot into Operating System y.

If so, how would this be set up? Would both cards need to be powered on at all times or is there a way around this where only the one GPU that is in use needs to be powered on at a time? And would I need onboard video with my motherboard in order to see the bootup screen (since at this time, it may not have decided on which GPU to use)?

I know I will need to pick up a SLI/Crossfire mobo in order to do this, but will my Antec TruePower New 650W be enough to handle this? Especially if only one GPU needs to be powered on at a time, and it won't be utilizing a Crossfire bridge. Maybe I would even with go with both nVidia and ATi.

So for example, ATi would only be used in Windows 7 for gaming, and nVidia would only be used for Ubuntu 10 for a HTPC when I boot into that.

Hope that makes sense! Weird question, I know, but just wondering..
Something tells me both GPUs will need to be powered on and running at all times, but ya never know!

Thanks
Edited by revlimiter - 4/14/11 at 12:39pm
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post #2 of 10
I don't believe so, besides having to physically unplug the DVI/VGA/HDMI cord from one card and plugging it into the the other. And to make it so your OS doesn't even recognize that you have two cards, which seems to be your goal, you'd have to physically remove a card.

Can I ask why you would want that?
Edited by thisischuck01 - 4/14/11 at 12:39pm
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post #3 of 10
why dont you just normal dual boot and use 1 vga? or ati for gaming, nvidia for physx.. way easier tongue.gif
post #4 of 10
Only way I can see doing something like this is to have one monitor with 2 inputs. One input hooked to the nvidia card, the other to the ATI card . When you boot to Windows just change the input selector on your monitor to the ATI respective channel, when you boot to Linux then change it to the Nvidia channel.

You would have to them up in the same you would for dual monitors but instead of spanning you set them up to mirror each other.

Both will be "broadcasting" to the monitor at the same time but you will only see the one that you want to see via channel selection.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macnemarion;13125925 
Only way I can see doing something like this is to have one monitor with 2 inputs. One input hooked to the nvidia card, the other to the ATI card . When you boot to Windows just change the input selector on your monitor to the ATI respective channel, when you boot to Linux then change it to the Nvidia channel.

You would have to them up in the same you would for dual monitors but instead of spanning you set them up to mirror each other.

Both will be "broadcasting" to the monitor at the same time but you will only see the one that you want to see via channel selection.

Do I need to buy a switch for this?
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by revlimiter;13125948 
Do I need to buy a switch for this?
No.
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by revlimiter;13125948 
Do I need to buy a switch for this?

You still haven't explained what the point of this actually was? Just buy one card that does both and save the effort and money.

This whole discussion seems a waste of time until there's a reason that actually requires you to have an ATI card or NVIDIA card ONLY for something.
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post #8 of 10
No, most monitors have multiple inputs DVI, VGA, HDMI etc. you should have a way to select which input you want to use on your monitor. Just hook one card to one input on the monitor, the other card to another input.

When you want to use the first card then change the channel input selection to the input you have it hooked to. Same process if you want to use the second card.
post #9 of 10
To address your question of "powered on," if you have a graphics card physically installed into the pci-e slot, it will be powered on regardless of whether the device is currently being used/supported.

1 monitor with 2 inputs (say, 1 DVI and 1 VGA) is all you need. Just disable the card you don't want to use in the associated OS and you're good to go.

Why are you interested in doing this though? Is it to save power? Because you won't be able to do that with both cards installed. If it's driver support in linux, I could understand that, but otherwise, I don't see the point.
    
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post #10 of 10
I can do it with my P55-FTW.

I have have jumpers next to the power button that I can use to disable PCIe slots, so if I wanted to I could just disable the unneeded slot when rebooting.

You should just be able to do it with the proper driver settings though. Just configure X to use the other card as the primary display. The other card will still be powered on and running, but it won't be active.

I've driven a separate X server off of my 260 while my 460 was still running (its actually the only way to get 3 monitor support in Linux :/) so you should be able to do it with just the secondary card.
    
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