Can You Run 2 Graphics Cards without SLI?

Have you ever thought that having a second graphics card could just double the fun you have been looking for? Wait! Is it even possible to run two graphics cards altogether? Of course you can definitely have 2 graphics card for better graphics and performance.

Can You Run 2 Graphics Cards without SLI?

However, everything that works in a computer has a definite set of rules that you have to follow. In the same way there are some points that you might need to consider beforehand having two graphics cards altogether. Today, in this article I will tell you all you need to know about can you run 2 graphic cards without SLI. Can you?

Can You Run 2 Graphics Cards Without SLI?

Yes, you can run 2 graphics cards without SLI, and they don’t have to be both AMD and NVidia to work. Also, if you want to run discrete and integrated graphics card you can also do that in a configuration having no SLI.

Remember that you won’t be able to use both of them for gaming. You can arrange a similar setup as I did with mine. I had one graphics card for gaming while the other one was sourced to another monitor I have for my system. The results in this case were awesome and pretty considerable.

Read: Best GPU For Fortnite

What Is SLI In Terms Of Graphics Cards?

SLI is a form of technology that lets its users to combine and scale multiple graphics cards in a single working system. You can also think of it as an extension of CrossFire that allows you to use two or more GPUs (graphics processing units) as one unit.

In a SLI setup, the cards are connected together, and the computer’s motherboard will handle all the heavy lifting for the graphics performance. This means that you can run the same game on both cards at the same time and have them share the workload. SLI is the most effective way to increase your gaming performance when using two or more graphics cards. 

How SLI Works?

Can You Run 2 Graphics Cards without SLI?

Basically this advanced form of technology works by filling rate performance and scaling geometry for two GPUs. As we all know the games today are using very high resolution textures which are taking a toll on your graphics card, in this time an SLI also allows us to have the best possible graphics settings on our computer. There are a few potential drawbacks to using SLI.

First, it can be more difficult to get the performance you want out of a system with SLI enabled. Second, SLI systems can be more expensive than systems with a single graphics card. In that case it is better to stick with running 2 graphics cards without SLI.

Are SLI Graphics Cards Worth It Or Not 2022?

With the advancement in the technology and releasing of graphics cards that are just too good to be real there is no need for SLI. I personally believe the modern day graphics cards are powerful enough to give you some of the top-notch performance without SLI.

Can You Run 2 Graphics Cards without SLI?

However, if you ever feel the need of getting a dual video card then you can go for SLI but remember you will have to alter your components so they work well along the SLI. 

AMD and NVIDIA have already released their latest graphics cards and we know that the next generation of graphics cards are coming. And guys these cards are going to be even more powerful than their predecessors. So, do you even need SLI? No, you don’t need SLI.

With the introduction of G-Sync and FreeSync, you can enjoy the power of multiple graphics cards without worrying about SLI.

Can Running Two Graphics Cards Improve Gaming Performance?

Running multiple graphics cards at the same time can enhance your gaming experience and give you some of the top-notch 3D visuals. Such kind of dual video cards setup is ideal for gaming if you have a setup of multi monitors.

Basically having two graphics cards in your system will divide the work load into half and therefore provide you some of the best frame rates along with high resolution rates.

And if by chance you have a hold of some of the new graphics cards in the market then the dual set up will be able to give you 4K results that are just incredible and as a gamer I would definitely fall in love with it.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Running 2 Graphics Cards Without SLI?

Running two graphics cards without SLI will only provide output to a dual monitor setup and will not enhance the graphics. In simple words these non SLI graphics cards will be able to run two monitors separately but will have no effect on the framerate altogether.

You will be able to have 3D results on each of the monitors but you cannot expect to have a boost in the resolution as compared to having a high end GPU. This is not to say that if you have a single graphics card then it is not capable of running dual monitors.

But, the performance of a single graphics card is not as great as that of a graphics card with two graphics cards. 

What Are The Requirements For Running 2 Graphics Cards Without SLI?

Your motherboard must have at least 2 PCIe x16 slots to support two graphics card without SLI. Further you can attach each of the monitor to these graphics cards and have them running.

Additionally you must also make sure that your PSU is able to deliver power for two graphics cards that is it has an 8 pin GPU power cables.

There are chances that if your PSU is not able to supply enough power then you will not have the full performance from both of the video cards.

How To Run 2 Graphics Cards Without SLI? 

First you have to make sure that your motherboard has 2 PCIe slots. Connect each of the graphics cards to its connectors and attach the monitors to them. However, this by no chance will give you enhanced graphics; it will just help you to have divided the load of your system among two graphics cards.

You will have the same 3D results in each of the monitor but you cannot expect it to have 4K results or higher resolution. Besides, I by no chance suggest having this setup for gaming because the dual non SLI is only able to support the respective monitor so you will have some of the most basic results.

For gaming I suggest going for an SLI setup is a much better and sought out option.

What Is The Power Consumption Of Running Two Graphics Cards?

Graphics cards are the most power hungry components and a single high end video card is known to consume about 500 Watts of energy. So, two graphics cards will consume about 850 watt of energy. Sounds too much? It is what it is!

Additionally, the power consumption of running two graphics cards will vary depending on the graphics cards themselves and the system configurations. Generally speaking, the power consumption of running two graphics cards will be more than running one graphics card.

Does It Affect Performance If We Are Not Using SLI?

No, it does not affect performance if you are not using SLI. If you are using SLI, however, it does affect performance. This is because SLI is a co-processor and cannot be used in parallel with the CPU.

The GPU can only use one set of resources at a time, so if the CPU is not using the resources of the GPU, then the GPU is not being used, and therefore does not help your game.

Therefore, if you do not have SLI enabled, you should not expect to see any performance improvements from it. However, if you do have SLI enabled, you will see performance gains from the GPU. 

What Are The Disadvantages Of SLI?

SLI configuration will make your system consume more power, plus the installation of this configuration will cost you hefty bucks and lastly there are chances that your game might not be supporting SLI. There are games that do not support SLI configuration and because of this you will get to see glitches and bottle necks. To avoid this it is better to stick with a non SLI configuration.

What Is The Difference Between SLI And Crossfire?

SLI and crossfire configuration are two ways to run two graphic cards at a time. SLI configuration is a method in which two graphics cards are connected in a parallel way. They both have their own memory and GPU but share the same bus. On the other hand, crossfire configuration is a method in which two or more graphics cards are connected in an anti-parallel way. They are connected by a common bus and share the same memory.


So, hopefully I have explained everything you need to know about can you run 2 graphics cards without SLI. Make sure you have checked for the ports beforehand purchasing or installing a second graphics card as we don’t want your graphics card to go in vain. moreover, don’t forget to weight all the pros and cons before you do anything. Good luck!