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I have an MSI Geforce GTX 560 Ti Twin FRozr II with 1gig of VRAM and two monitors attached. I'd like to expand to 4 monitors, but don't want to sepnd much on another hipower GPU.

I was looking at Geforce 520/610 which are pretty cheap. If I get the lower power GPU will it throttle down the higher power one to match it or will I be fine?

Anyone have experience with this?

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What operating system? If it's Windows 7, then it will work just fine. –  David Schwartz Jun 11 '12 at 4:23

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Depending on your motherboard, by installing a 2nd 16x video card may rob some of the PCIe rails from the original 16X slot, making them both act like PCIe 8x.

Will this be noticeable? Probably not, it depends on other unknown/dynamic factors.

Alternatively, you may want to look into getting a couple DisplayLink USB video adapters for "cheap and easy". They use a bit CPU power, but again, it may or may not be noticeable depending on your personal usage.

You can also just unplug them if you need more power (on less monitors).

If you haven't bought the monitors yet, you can get DisplayLink-enabled monitors which allow you to just plug the monitor in via USB (and chain them if you'd like), skipping DisplayLink dongle(s).

Most of the current ones seem to be aimed at mobile (~7"), but i know Samsung was making a 22" for a while (for example).

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I do seem to recall almost no modern videocard saturates the pcie x16 bus. citation needed on that though. Also, if he's gaming, he could use the second card as a physics coprocessor –  Journeyman Geek Jun 11 '12 at 2:27
    
While not a citation this benchmark shows the very minor performance loss when running a GPU on less lanes: techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Ivy_Bridge_PCI-Express_Scaling/… –  Hennes Jun 11 '12 at 7:55
    
This is true regarding the lanes, but you will probably never notice the difference. Just throw a second card in there. –  Shinrai Jun 11 '12 at 17:29
    
Thanks guys! Allays my fears. It's mostly for animation in Maya and TVpaint so GPU performance was a concern but I guess it won't be a noticeable hit at all. –  Dhruv Aditya Govil Jun 19 '12 at 3:05

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