When a PC with more than one GPU installed boots, how does it determine which display adapter to use for the boot display when you have more than one GPU?

My problem is that I have a PC with 2 high end GTX295 GPUs used for CUDA GPGPU science computations. There is NO monitor hooked up to these two cards. I have a third card, a cheaper GT240 card, which I use for display. But I can not see the BIOS boot screen using this card.. only after the OS loads and starts (either Linux or Windows) can I see the display. I can't reorder the cards in the machine since I need the GTX295s to be in the higher bandwidth x16 PCIE slots.

Specifically, I have the P6T SE motherboard and I put a GTX295 in slots 1 and 3, and a GT240 in slot 5. I could remove the GT240 and put in a PCI board instead if that would work.

Can the BIOS display card be changed in BIOS settings? [Yes, this may be motherboard specific, but perhaps NO boards allow this, or all boards.]

Do PCI display cards have priority over PCI-E display cards?

If I get an old-school PCI card, would that take priority over the PCIe or not? (Yes this may be motherboard specific as well, but what's the general behavior?)


Some motherboards support that and have an option in the BIOS to select whether it's the PCI card or the PCI-E card that is used during the POST.

But according to the user manual for the P6T-E, it does not have this option in the BIOS. I assume it will always use the PCI-E card. You might give it a try though, PCI graphic card should be fairly cheap nowadays.

There is no entry either in the BIOS to select which PCI-E card will be used at boot so I assume it will always use the one in Slot 1.

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