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I've got a 22 and a 15 inches monitor plugged to a Geforce 9500. If I install an older videocard into an empty PCI slot and plug the 15' monitor in it, could it actually improve graphics performance by "lessening the burden" on the GF 9500?

EDIT:I'm curious enough to try it out in the next few days, I'll update some time next week with results. Though I honestly don't even know if the old card I've got is even PCI.

EDIT2: Took me a lot more than a few days, and in the end it turns out the old card isn't even compatible. Too bad =(

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I'm curious to know this too -- In my experience I've had really odd results (sometimes really good, sometimes really bad) doing this sort of thing and I never really understand the dynamics of it. –  Andrew Flanagan Nov 25 '09 at 22:15
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I'm curious to know where you got a 22 and 15 foot monitor! :D –  RCIX Nov 26 '09 at 0:56
    
@RCIX yeah, I thought that too :) –  geocoin Nov 26 '09 at 1:00
    
I built'em myself from a car battery, a razor, and a broken bath tub. Cool he?^^ (fixed it) –  Malabarba Nov 26 '09 at 19:05

2 Answers 2

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Yes, it should. With a 9500, you most likely won't see major improvements, but you could see some.

Also depends what the older video card is. If it an older nvidia card, the will most likely be ok, but it may complain a bit having say an old ati, matrox, etc. User experience this will vary. As long as the OS supports both cards, I would say you should be ok, but mixed video drivers can sometimes get interesting.

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i don't think there is much of a 'relief', plus using an 'old PCI card' for the secondary monitor will have a negative impact on the dual monitor experience (lag) and pretty much limit the use of that monitor. –  Molly7244 Nov 25 '09 at 23:09
    
@Molly: Yah, I agree you most likely will not see any improvement and there is a major chance of decreased performance depending on how "old" it is. –  Troggy Nov 25 '09 at 23:14

I had an old AGP + PCI setup -- two displays on AGP, one single display on the PCI. I saw a split-second pause when moving windows from monitors on one card, to monitors on the other.

This lag might be gone in PCI-Express -- but the handover from the AGP's video buffer to the PCI's video buffer might've been the bottleneck.

Also, depending on the age of the PCI card (ie, S3 Trio-vintage cards) -- some old cards will not initialize unless they're set as the primary adapter in the BIOS. Newer cards won't have this problem. A symptom of a card being too old is you'll receive a "device cannot start" upon installing drivers -- that's the story in Windows at least.

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"device can't start" Yep, I have gotten that a few times trying to use too old of cards in newer machines. Time to let them go ..... to the trash. haha –  Troggy Nov 25 '09 at 22:42

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