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I have an on-board video card on my motherboard, I also have a separate video card and at the moment I use the latter. I'm going to buy second monitor, can I use one video card with each monitor? Or is there no way and I must switch both monitors to one video card?

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what OS? What motherboard chipset? These things will determine if this is possible –  Journeyman Geek May 16 '13 at 15:58
    
@JourneymanGeek can I take that to mean that it is theoretically possible to use onboard and discrete graphics simultaneously? –  terdon May 16 '13 at 16:06
    
@terdon Yes. I have seen some instances of this being possible, but not usually due to the hardware/BIOS manufacturer. –  Kruug May 16 '13 at 16:07
    
Some motherboards use the same PCI-e channels for both onboard and discrete card, in which case you can't use both at once. Some have seperate channels, like the intel Sandy Bridge platform. Theory is boring. Give us more hardware information and you'll get a practical answer. –  Journeyman Geek May 16 '13 at 16:12
    
@GuyParaduy - We try to solve only actual problems. Whats possible in theory might not be actally possible with your hardware. Why are you using the onboard graphics card if you have a dedecated graphic card? Specific hardware is required. –  Ramhound May 16 '13 at 16:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Recent Intel motherboards (i7-920, i7-2600K) that I've used automatically disable the onboard graphics outputs when a dedicated GPU is connected to the system. I was able to re-enable it by setting the BIOS option iGPU Multimonitor to Enabled; otherwise, the onboard graphics chip would not even show up in the system hardware manager.

In my experience, run both displays off of a single card if you can. Pretty much any discrete card worth spending money on will support at least 2 independent displays, and it can save you a lot of headaches about hardware accelerated video.

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Generally, if there are two or more video ports on a graphics card, you can run 2 monitors off of the single card.

More often than not, though, when you plug in a new graphics card, any on-board graphics are disabled.

As stated in the comments, though, knowing what chipset and what graphics card your are using will assist in determining a concrete Yes or No.

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This answer is a little confusing in your start off with something tangentially related to the original question (i.e. reference to a dual-head card, rather than dual video cards). I'd also say my experience is just the opposite, that most motherboards do not disable the onboard video when a discrete video card is added. –  ernie May 16 '13 at 16:25
    
@ernie Check out OP's question before the edit for the first part of my answer. Check out Darth Android's answer above regarding the second part. –  Kruug May 16 '13 at 16:30
    
I had read the original question - I'm still not sure where a dual-head card factors into this. As for the second part, we're all just grabbing at straws and speaking anecdotally, which is no where close to a definitive answer, and would be better in comments. –  ernie May 16 '13 at 16:32

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