This is different than most of the other multiple-GPU questions I've seen. I am building a system that will be a gaming/rendering machine (Win7) and a programming/work machine (Ubuntu).

I've always preferred AMD/ATI cards for Linux due to the open-source drivers available, but I would like to take advantage of the CUDA cores for Adobe Elements, possibly building a small render farm in the future.

What I want to know is can I have 2 nVIDIA cards installed on the mobo, and have them active when I have booted into Windows, but upon booting into Ubuntu, have the AMD cards become active? Are there BIOS settings/other ways to accomplish this? I'm looking at using an EVGA SR-2 Classified mobo.

I realize that this might not be 'practical' from a cost standpoint, but I'm not really worried about that for this project.

  • What are going to connect your monitor(s) to? – David Schwartz Oct 17 '12 at 17:12
  • 1
    A good point, but solvable by using a monitor with two (or more) different inputs and two cables. – Hennes Oct 17 '12 at 17:25
  • Yes, I'll hook up one to DisplayPort and one to HDMI. With two monitors, not too big of a deal. Could also be solved by a KVM switch – SSumner Oct 17 '12 at 19:28

This is definitely possible, with the caveat that your monitor have two inputs (which apparently it does). Just only install the relevant drivers in each OS. I can't say whether it will work without some X config, but it might. Make sure to switch inputs before starting the os.

I had a similar setup with two nvidia cards, using one that was supported in Linux (with nouveau), and the other only in Windows (showed the other, but only enabled for one). I only had one output, so I had to switch it manually.

  • But will it work with ATI/nVIDIA? It sounds like it would, but do you know for sure? +1 but I'll hold off accepting for now. – SSumner Oct 18 '12 at 13:07

You can. You can use the following tactics for this:

On Linux, find the "bus id" of your ATi card and make a profile (ServerLayout) with it, after of course you make sure correct drivers are installed. Just edit the config and make sure it uses that card on your desired monitor. It could happen by default if you did install the OS on that card initially, but double-check just to make sure.

On windows, just do not install the AMD driver (or disable the ATi adapter from device manager) and only install the drivers for the nV cards.

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