I just got a new computer with an i7 4790k and GTX 770, however am very disappointed with performance. I was getting bad framerates on League of Legends on Very High and just now I booted Mirror's Edge, an old-ass game, and it was running at a very low framerate on high settings. A friend suggested it sounds like the graphics card isn't being used, and sure enough using GPU-Z to monitor while playing Mirror's Edge the GPU was under 0% load (it was still available to monitor though so I guess it's connected fine). I also definitely have the latest drivers installed.

Monitor-wise I have a Samsung 1080p monitor connected over VGA (only came with that and it seemed to look fine) and a Sony 1080p TV over HDMI for sound and extra screen space, however I only game on the one monitor. Both are plugged into the motherboard jacks so I could use Intel's software to manage their relative positions etc. I would't think this would affect much though right? I would assume the graphics card provides extra processing no matter what is plugged into it.

What do?

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    Have you tried to uninstalled Intel's display drivers to see if that makes any difference? Of course since the monitors are plugged into the motherboard's display adapter its sort of expected that the Intel's GPU would be used. – Ramhound Aug 31 '14 at 12:33
  • No I haven't, I assumed uninstalling the graphics drivers would create more problems than it solved, as when I lost my laptop harddrive everything was 800x600 and multiple monitors did nothing before i installed the drivers. As clarification, the monitors are both plugged into the motherboard inputs as opposed to the graphics card ones lower down, mostly because the graphics card doesn't have a VGA in. – karidyas Aug 31 '14 at 12:40
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    So use adapters. The behavior you describe is sort of expected. – Ramhound Aug 31 '14 at 12:42
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    Yes. You definitely need to plug your monitors into the graphics card. – Michael Frank Aug 31 '14 at 12:48
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    The only case where plugging your monitors into the mobo would work is where you have something like Lucid Virtu, but that would only work if your mobo supports it. – Bob Aug 31 '14 at 12:52

I'm an idiot and not plugging things into the graphics card does indeed mean it's not being used. Solution: go buy another HDMI cable.

UPDATE: Bought an HDMI to DVI cable and graphics card is now under load when playing games, and can run Mirror's Edge at max settings with no noticeable frame issues. Not much of a claim to fame but it's the only thing I have to test with right now :P

I just assumed the graphics card provides additional graphics processing no matter where the displays are plugged in, and wasn't tied to rendering the output to a display specifically. I guess I assumed wrong.


Interestingly, this shouldn't have happened by accident.

Lets tear this down

1) You had multi GPU support turned on (amusingly - this is a prerequisite for lucid logix virtu). Adding an discrete card should have disabled your onboard adaptor otherwise, unless that's changed post Ivy Bridge.

2) You had your monitor plugged into the motherboard as you found out, and since your monitors were on that GPU, you were doing rendering there

3) You didn't have lucid logix installed (this came free with many older systems, and I have no idea if your more modern system needs/supports it - its not listed on their product page) - which lets you render on your nicer gpu when needed, shuts it down otherwise, and sends it over to your integrated gpu. This might have actually let you play games the way you expected it to work

So, yes, the 'simple' solution would have been to have used a connector on the video card, possibly through an adaptor.

You can have two monitors on seperate gpus (I used to do this with older intel drivers so I could use quicksync), but I don't quite remember how that works with gaming. I'll update the answer when I can borrow another display to test, but I'm sure some games let you pick which GPU to use.

  • "lucid logix virtu"? – That Brazilian Guy Sep 1 '14 at 13:34
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    Thats what the software I mention in point 3. I didn't name it! It came with many SB and IB cards and let you pass through graphics rendered on a Discrete graphics card to an IGP, and shut down the discrete card when needed. Neat thing was this was entirely in software. Its a wierd name, they probably wanted something they could copyright – Journeyman Geek Sep 1 '14 at 13:37

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