Question Advice on a second graphics card for my second monitor

Mar 25, 2019
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TLDR: I want a second graphics card, one for my 1920*1080 Gaming monitor and one for my 4k TV for watching videos on youtube twitch and roosterteeth but I don't know the best way to do it.

PC Specs:

CPU: Intel Quad Core Processor i7-4790k
Motherboard: ASUS Z97-P: ATX, LG1150
RAM 16 GB
Graphics card 4GB Nvidia Geforce GTX 970

Hello, looking for some advice on upgrading my pc to give each of my own monitors their own graphics card essentially. One of my monitors is a 4k TV which my partner and I both watch videos on together. Primarily these videos come from Youtube, twitch and roosterteeth so for ease of use we usually use my pc. On the smaller monitor I do my gaming and this is running mostly whilst videos are being played on the TV. Mostly the gaming is low intensity and it doesn't affect the videos however lately I have been playing some higher intensity games and even with some reduced graphics settings the video quality on the TV is suffering. I can lower the resolution on it to try and balance things out and lessen the stuttering however anything lower than 720p begins to look very blurred as it is a 42 inch screen. The 970 has served me well up until now but I feel I need to give the 4k TV its own graphics card to lessen the load on the 970. I have no idea on what is the best approach for this though.

I have been reading through forums and a lot of focus seems to be aimed at multiple cards to get the best performance for gaming, or trying to get a 4k gaming setup. To clarify, I am NOT looking for a 4k gaming setup. I still feel 4k gaming is in its infancy and it will be a few years yet before many more games will even release in 4k. What I am looking for is the best approach to having a stable 1080 video playing whilst I play high intensity games at the same time. I have read that perhaps getting another 970 and connecting them in an SLI might be the way to do it but is the 970 not starting to show its age a bit? The other approach is to get a newer card to run the games and switch the 970 to the 4k TV but I have also read that if the cards differ too much then the drivers can conflict and cause issues down the road. Basically I don't know how to make two graphics cards behave with each other and which approach is better for what I need from my pc. Any advice on how to proceed would be greatly appreciated.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Pick up a single most powerful GPU your wallet will allow. You shouldn't be looking at SLI since it does nothing for end results unless you're a game dev. On that note, you need to list your specs like so:
CPU:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Chassis:
OS:
 
A second monitor attached to your gaming monitor will not impact your gaming.
I did such an experiment years ago.
You could try using the integrated adapter for the youtube monitor; it is perfectly capable of HD movie playback.
I would not bother.

SLI is used to combine the power of two graphics cards to run a single monitor.
SLI is not for you on a number of counts.
Even if sli were possible, you have only one X16 pcie slot; no way could a second GTX970 run well in X1.

If a GTX970 is not enough for your games, upgrade it to a GTX1080 class card.
 
Mar 25, 2019
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A second monitor attached to your gaming monitor will not impact your gaming.
I did such an experiment years ago.
You could try using the integrated adapter for the youtube monitor; it is perfectly capable of HD movie playback.
I would not bother.

SLI is used to combine the power of two graphics cards to run a single monitor.
SLI is not for you on a number of counts.
Even if sli were possible, you have only one X16 pcie slot; no way could a second GTX970 run well in X1.

If a GTX970 is not enough for your games, upgrade it to a GTX1080 class card.
It is not the game that is affected, it is the video that is playing on the other monitor whilst the game is running.

Not sure what you mean about the integrated adapter for the youtube monitor, you mwaning the youtube app on the tv?
 
Mar 25, 2019
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Just running desktop stuff in 4k requires hardly any power. Just plug both screens into the 970.
Both screens are already plugged into the 970, one gives high quality gaming in the 1080 monitor, the other gives 1080-4k quality video on the tv. When the game being played is resource intensive, the video on the other monitor starts to stutter. Only way to smooth it out is to bump it back down to 720 or below hence me asking this question to help support the video playback
 
Mar 25, 2019
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Pick up a single most powerful GPU your wallet will allow. You shouldn't be looking at SLI since it does nothing for end results unless you're a game dev. On that note, you need to list your specs like so:
CPU:
Motherboard:
Ram:
SSD/HDD:
GPU:
PSU:
Chassis:
OS:
Apologies for not listing the specs correctly, first post on the site. Was trying to avoid replacing the 970 entirely since it is still a decent graphics card and has done great so far. Was trying to see if I could get another card to assist it instead, have one card handle the tv, the other the gaming
 
Both screens are already plugged into the 970, one gives high quality gaming in the 1080 monitor, the other gives 1080-4k quality video on the tv. When the game being played is resource intensive, the video on the other monitor starts to stutter. Only way to smooth it out is to bump it back down to 720 or below hence me asking this question to help support the video playback
Good info.
One explanation might be that an intensive game might be consuming more cpu resources and impacting the video playback app. Running at 720 resolution not only takes less gpu power, but also less cpu power.

It would not cost much to try a second card like a GT1030 for the video playback.
The integrated graphics available on the 4790K and your motherboard is normally suitable for HD video playback @1080P Perhaps not at 4k.
What inputs can your tv support?
I think you need displayport to run 4k @60hz.
Your integrated hdmi output is unlikely to be able to play 4k at more than 30hz.

Have you overclocked your 4790K?
That can help from a cpu power point of view.
 

RobCrezz

Titan
Herald
Both screens are already plugged into the 970, one gives high quality gaming in the 1080 monitor, the other gives 1080-4k quality video on the tv. When the game being played is resource intensive, the video on the other monitor starts to stutter. Only way to smooth it out is to bump it back down to 720 or below hence me asking this question to help support the video playback
I didnt see you were doing gaming and 4k video simultaneously.

I agree with Geofelt, a Gt 1030 would do the job. Even with the best video card, unless you use FPS capping it may end up causing stuttering as games will often just max the card out. In this instance it makes sense to have a secondary card for the 4k video.
 
Mar 25, 2019
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Thank you for your responses, the CPU seems to be handling it just fine. Whenever I have had issues I have opened up the task manager and checked to see if anything was being pushed hard and the only thing at 100% was the GPU which is what sent me down the path to aiding it. I had not thought to try using the integrated GPU actually. I asked if I could use that online years ago and I was told I could not so I never thought I could. I shall test to see if I can get the multi monitor setting in the bios changed and then see if the TV can run off the IGPU for a bit. Failing that I may look into that GT 1030 you mentioned :)

Might be a while before I test it though as my PC has been giving me some crashes, blue screens and power up failures in the last few days so need to get that sorted first
 

RobCrezz

Titan
Herald
The Integrated gpu on your cpu would work just fine, the limitation there is the outputs on the motherboard. I think your board only has HDMI 1.4 which limits you to 24hz at 4k. Which can be ok for video but terrible for everything else. If you had a DP on your motherboard you could have potentially used DP to HDMI 2.0 to get you 4k @ 60hz.
 

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