Some graphics cards can be linked together to allow scaling of the graphics processing across multiple cards. This is done using either the PCIe bus on the motherboard, or, more commonly, a data bridge. Generally, the cards must be of the same model to be linked, and most low power cards are not able to be linked in this way. AMD and Nvidia both have proprietary methods of scaling, CrossFireX for AMD, and SLI (since the Turing generation, renamed to NVLink) for Nvidia. Cards from different chipset manufacturers, architectures cannot be used together for multi card scaling. If a graphics card has different sizes of memory, the lowest value will be used, with the higher values being disregarded. Currently, scaling on consumer grade cards can be done using up to four cards. The use of four cards requires a large motherboard with a proper configuration. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 590 video card has the ability to be configured in this four card configuration. As stated above, users will want to stick to the same performance card for optimal use. Motherboards like ASUS Maximus 3 Extreme and Gigabyte GA EX58 Extreme are certified to work with this configuration. For proper performance of your 4 card configuration, it’s recommend to use a core i7 CPU with turbo boost to avoid the bottleneck throughput. A certificated large power supply is necessary to run the cards in SLI or CrossFireX. Power demands must be known before a proper supply is installed. For the four card configuration, a 1000+ watt supply is needed. AcBel PC8055-000G and Corsair AX1200 supplies are examples. With any powerful video card like a GTX 1060+ or 1080, thermal management can be overlooked. Video cards require a well vented chassis and thermal solution. Water or air cooling are required for all video cards, with larger configurations needing water solutions to achieve proper performance.
ConnectionsVideo cards connect to a display device, such as a monitor or television. Many different types of connections exist depending on the type of computer system and the nature of the display device. Here you can see some of the most common connection types. Video Graphics Array (VGA) and Digital Visual Interface (DVI) are used to connect to regular computer monitors. Increasingly, video cards also have connections for television and other video equipment. If you have ever tried to connect a DVD player, video camera or game console to a TV, you may have encountered some of these types of connections, and not having the right cable can be very frustrating. Different types of video connections used in video cards While many regular video cards only provide a single connection to a typical computer monitor, some high-end models include many different ones, so you can connect your computer system to whatever type of display device you want to use. Video card with connections for both computer monitors and TVs (including High Definition) Which Video Card Is For You?For typical computer users, a basic video card will often be sufficient. However, serious gamers and those working with design, photography or video editing will benefit from investing in a high-end video card. Many high-end video cards also make it possible to connect multiple monitors at the same time. The best video cards have a fast GPU and lots of memory. A good overall measurement of the quality of a video card is its frame rate, which is measured in frames per second (fps). The human eye can process around 25 fps, but fast-action games or movies require a frame rate of at least 60 fps to provide smooth transitions. Learning OutcomesExpect to be able to do the following by the time you complete the video: Identify what a video card is Explain the function of video cards Describe the variety of ways that a video card can connect to a display device Consider how to decide what kind of video card may be needed
As the processing power of video cards has increased, so has their demand for electrical power. Current high-performance video cards tend to consume a great deal of power. For example, the thermal design power (TDP) for the GeForce GTX TITAN is 250 Watts. When tested while gaming, the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Fe averaged 227 Watts of power consumption. While CPU and power supply makers have recently moved toward higher efficiency, power demands of GPUs have continued to rise, so video cards may have the largest power consumption in a computer. Although power supplies are increasing their power too, the bottleneck is due to the PCI-Express connection, which is limited to supplying 75 Watts. Modern video cards with a power consumption of over 75 Watts usually include a combination of six-pin (75 W) or eight-pin (150 W) sockets that connect directly to the power supply. Providing adequate cooling becomes a challenge in such computers. Computers with multiple video cards may need power supplies in the 1000–1500 W range. Heat extraction becomes a major design consideration for computers with two or more high-end video cards.
Video cards for desktop computers come in one of two size profiles, which can allow a graphics card to be added even to small-sized PCs. Some video cards are not of usual size, and are thus categorized as being low profile. Video card profiles are based on width only, with low-profile cards taking up less than the width of a PCIe slot. Length and thickness can vary greatly, with high-end cards usually occupying two or three expansion slots, and with dual-GPU cards -such as the Nvidia GeForce GTX 690- generally exceeding 250 mm (10 in) in length. Generally, most users will prefer a lower profile card if the intention is to fit multiple cards or they run into clearance issues with other motherboard components like the DIMM or PCIE slots. This can be fixed with a larger case that comes in sizes like mid tower and full tower. Full towers can usually fit larger motherboards in sizes like ATX and micro ATX. The larger the case, the larger the motherboard, the larger the graphics card or multiple other components that will acquire case real-estate. If you need the advice of an expert there is always the contributor of this article George at graphicscardsadvisor.com