10 Replies Latest reply on May 31, 2011 2:25 PM by Jim_Simon

    AMD + Nvidia at the same time




      Im using an AMD HD5850 atm in my computer but I wanted to take advantage of the mercury engine gpu acceleration. I dont want to change my HD5850 to a similar performance card because of money reasons, so I wanted to ask:


      Is it possible to have an AMD HD5850 and a Nvidia card (for example a cheap GT240) at the same time in the same computer, like switching between them for video rendering? Im using Windows 7 64bit, I once read somewhere Windows 7 can switch two different video cards on the fly.


      Thanks for reading

        • 1. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
          Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

          I have never heard of anyone using two different graphics cards and the required two different drivers.  Second since the OEM GTX 240 is really no longer available it would not a good choice becuase most do not have the required ~1 GB of video RAM.  If you want an inexpensive one board solution look at the GTX 550Ti which works very good

          • 2. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
            starlinee Level 1



            I was not talking about the GTX 240, I mean the GT 240, it costs ~$50-70 and it does very very well with mercury. Ive found lots of posts that it should be possible to use two different graphic cards with Windows 7, but I dont know how well the switching between them would work.

            • 3. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
              RjL190365 Level 4

              If you meant the GT 240, be advised that there were/are three different graphics card configurations based on that GPU. The ones that are selling for $50 to $70 are all either 512MB DDR5 cards or 1GB DDR3 cards. Neither of those versions is suitable for CS5 use: The 512MB version does not have enough RAM, and would thus force software-only MPE mode while the 1GB DDR3 version of that card is significantly slower than the now-hard-to-find 1GB DDR5 version of that same card. And since the GT 240's replacement, the GT 440, is slower than its predecessor, your best bet these days on a budget would be a GTS 450 or a GTX 550 Ti.

              • 4. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                Well it is your money wasted if it does not work and not mine.  If you can double your $50-70 you have aguaranteed solution and a current generation board that wil have much longer lifetime   If you do decide to try it, just make sure that you are getting a 1 GB version as the 512 MB version will not work.  Do you now do a lot of rendering of the Timeline (Enter key)?  If not you are not going to see much difference from that 96 core CUDA.  See my PPBM5 test results below.  I would guess that the GT 240 would only give you results between the 9500 GT and the non-CUDA HD4870



                • 5. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
                  RjL190365 Level 4

                  Even if the OP gets a 1GB DDR5 version of the GT 240, that card would still hold him back a bit: I tested my auxiliary i7-920 system with the 1GB DDR5 version of that GPU with the system equipped with both 6GB and 12GB of RAM. With an overclock of the CPU to 3.67 GHz, doubling the RAM to 12GB produced only a 20-second improvement over the 6GB system configuration: 297 seconds versus 317 seconds (the latter being the result of "Randall's Mod Rod" on the PPBM5 list). The GT 240 DDR5 is slower than the GTX 470 or even the GTS 450, especially in H.264 Blu-ray encoding.


                  On the other hand, when faced with a choice between the GTS 450 and the GTX 550 Ti, I'd pick the latter: It's definitely worth the extra $20. Both of those two GPUs have 192 CUDA cores - but the memory bus on the GTX 550 Ti is 192 bits wide while that of the GTS 450 is only 128 bits wide. (And the $400 Quadro 2000 is actually based on the GTS 450, not the newer GTX 550 Ti.)

                  • 6. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
                    starlinee Level 1

                    Thanks a lot for the tips and help. Of course I was talking about the 1GB GDDR5 version, and it costs about 60Eur here. I saw some videos on youtube about this card and mercury and I was surprised by it. And actually mercury just uses a max of 100 cuba cores, that card would be optimal because it has just 96, any larger would not make sense at all. Anything wrong about this?

                    • 7. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
                      RjL190365 Level 4

                      Actually, that's true only with single clips and single-layer projects. The more complex the video project is, the more CUDA cores you'll need. And the PPBM5 benchmark involves multiple video clips and multiple video layers. Even so, it only weeds out the mediocre CUDA performers from the good ones. And there is where the GT 240 falls short of the performance of the next higher GPU grade.

                      • 8. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
                        Jim_Simon Level 9

                        You can use more than one card in a Windows machine, but typically both cards will need the same driver.  So that means you can't mix AMD/ATI and nVidia.  You can't even mix nVidia Quadro with nVidia GeForce cards because they use different drivers.


                        The driver is the key here.  Windows can only use one.  To switch to a different driver, you'd have to uninstall the current driver.

                        • 9. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
                          starlinee Level 1

                          That is not true, you can use ATI+Nvidia at the same time. Problem is PhysX would not work with official drivers right now. However, I was just curious about if Premiere would detect the 2nd card and use it in this case.

                          • 10. Re: AMD + Nvidia at the same time
                            Jim_Simon Level 9

                            My apologies.  That appears to be true for Windows 7 using WDDM 1.1.  It's only the older XP that uses WDDM 1.0 that can have just one driver at a time.


                            Still, I don't know how you'd go about switching anything.  The multi-adapter capabilities of Windows 7 seems to be geared around using multiple monitors, not switching between drivers and cards for the primary monitor, depending on the app used at the time.