Sunday, November 9, 2008

Windows 7 Doesn't Support Dual Graphics Cards

Recently, Microsoft published a document "Guidelines for Graphics in Windows 7" which warns about possible problems with combination of video cards from nVidia and AMD/ATI. Microsoft openly calls nVidia and AMD/ATI an unstable technology.

nVidia Hybrid SLI and ATI Hybrid CrossFireX technologies use a combination of built-in cores and video accelerators to enhance video card performance.

Attention, Windows 7 will not support dual video cards. Reason for that (as stated by Microsoft) is technology made by nVidia and ATI are not stable and will cause unstable performance, crashes and frustration to users. Microsoft is sure that this issue will keep manufacturers from continuing distribution of such systems. Also, Microsoft warns that every re-configuration of video settings will require reboot and no one likes doing that.

When ATI Hybrid CrossFireX was tested with Windows Vista it performed very well and showed speed acceleration. No instability or errors have been reported. So why does Windows 7 experiences problems?

Note, it took only few days before Microsoft officially removed the official document off their website. Possibly they're overlooking their decision?


  1. Windows 7 supports dual graphics cards(even heterogeneous graphics cards) but have no native support for "hybrid sli or crossfire".

  2. ["Windows 7 supports dual graphics cards(even heterogeneous graphics cards) but have no native support for "hybrid sli or crossfire""]

    I think this is true;

  3. i jus got windows 7. i had graphic card 9 series which is not running on windows7!!
    which graphic card should I go for whcih can run best??
    Help me out folks!!!

  4. nvidia 9800 gt + 5200 pci = no love

    5200 driver output video over 9800 primary display kills other monitors and blue screens.

  5. NVIDIA GeForce 8400 GS + NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 = does not work.

    Using full release Windows 7 Ultimate, not beta, or RC. Driver on FX 5200 is reporting a problem. Worked fine in XP.

  6. I have tried 9 different video cards including PNY, Maddog brands, ATI, Nvida on AGP and PCI cards and EVERY combination of two cards either blue screens out or will not boot. I run three monitors and so I needed two cards. Single cards that can support 3 to 6 monitors run from $375 to $2,500 and none so far guarantee Win 7 compatibility. that is not an affordable solution for me,

    Finally I bought two new cards, 1) a EVGA PCI 512mb with GeForce 8400 which runs in Win 7 but but has jeerky full screen video (PCI?) the other card by EVGA is a 128 Meg AGP card that runs two 24 inch Gateway monitors with great, clear display and runs full screen video with no breaks or jerk. BUT the same problem with two cards installed persists. Either card will run with two monitors but when I install both, I get a no-boot hang or a blue screen crash. Conclusion, Win 7 will not support two video cards in any combination of 2PCI cards or 1 PCI and 1 AGP card. Unless MS is going to fix the dual video card support problem, the only other solution is a single card that support multiple (2, 3, 4, 6) monitors.

    Jackson R

  7. Thank you Jackson for finally adding an informative comment as to what the root cause of the triple monitor problem is. I ran 4 monitors with XP but continued crashes blue screen memory dump restarts, etc etc with Win 7. I bought a new PNY (Win 7 approved) card but no luck with the AGP ATI card. Had a previous ATI 9250 but Win 7 rendered it useless. I tried other combinations (same brand, same drivers, etc) but no luck. I hope MS recognizes this issue and gives us an update.

  8. Same problem here, I tried running 2 Nvidia cards 8600GT, FX5200 and either one or the other but they will not work together. I even tried using one of the cards with the onboard adapter, still same issue. Windows 7 will not support 2 video adapters.


  9. From my research into this problem it has to be the same video driver on both cards. I have mixed PCI-E and a PCI card that did work.

    I was able to get it to work on a system with two of the exact same video cards, except one is PCI and the other is E-PCI. This was an upgrade from Vista to Windows 7. Two cards were running perfect on Vista with SP3 and remains so on Windows 7. I have had some trouble with a few games.

  10. Why MickeySoft keeps breking things in Win7 is beyond me. I have been running 3 monitors from Win98 through WinXP without any of these problems. CheapO PCI cards at that (Cirrus Logic 5446). Win7 definitely doesn't recognize any of the OLD PCI cards, just uses Standard VGA Driver. Of course they all work fine with WinXP and have for years. I tried a combination of PCI & PCI-E Nvidia chipsets without luck. It's just costing me more money to try this latest and greatest OS .....

  11. Damn i just ordered a second ATI HD4870 1gig DDR5 to link with crossfire so this wil not work?
    When i have my second card i will post again with the problems i will have :p or no probs...i hope.

    Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (6.1, Build 7600) (7600.win7_rtm.090713-1255)
    System Model: MS-7380
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz (2 CPUs), ~3.0GHz
    Memory: 8192MB RAM
    DirectX Version: DirectX 11

  12. I also run three monitors (one of these is my TV for watching films and photo's on) so I need two graphis cards. I read somewhere that so long as they were the same card windows 7 would recognise both. I bought a PCI-E and AGP GeForce 6600Gt's but 7 gets as far as the logo before the screen goes blank. Also combined with the analog and digital sound issues means Microsoft have again taken a whole load of money from me for which I can't do anything with.... Great one Microsoft! I thought Windows 7 was what the people wanted.... who did they ask??? it's usless to me until they fix it.... if they fix it.

  13. Competely agree! Win 7 is a crock of sh** if you want to run 2 cards, or more than 1 monitor (why does 7 randomly refuse to recognise my second monitor? They're identical, ffs!) Who, I wonder actually specs their products and required feature support? Whoever it is, really isn't living in the moden PC world. Hint, MS: it isn't nVidia or AMD who are creating unstable platforms - it is YOU.

  14. When I upgraded to Windows 7 ultimate I had two video cards to run three monitors, both cards (ATI 1650 ad ATI 1550) used the same driver. I recently upgraded the ATI 1650 to an ATI 4650. This uses a different driver. Windows 7 will run one or the other video care but will not run both. If both are in the machine it will run one and disable the other.

  15. Win 7 has no problem with two cards. The issues many of the above are having is that they are mixing old AGP motherboards and AGP cards with a PCI card.

    Certainly two PCIE cards of the same graphics manufacture, i.e. ATI or nVidia will work fine otherwise SLI/Crossfire would be dead in the water. The only potential conflict is mixing GPU technologies and therefore the requirement of more than one graphics driver.

    XP had no issues with mixing nVidia and ATI cards on a PCIE motherboard. Vista removed this ability when they changed the driver model. Windows 7 expands on this driver model and should, theoretically, support cards from mixed GPU background as with XP.

  16. I am a Systems engineer and had a same problem. I would like to confirm that this is an issue with Windows 7. Server I had

    Supermicro X8SIE-F (onboard Matrox graphics)
    ATI Radeon HD 5450

    Win7 was only able to active one card at a time.

    I tested server with Windows Xp and that worked. If you keep 'onboard' graphics as primary, IPMI KVM does work too.

    I hope Microsoft will fix this issue soon.

    V Shah Sentral IT

  17. Unfortunately for me I am always forced to go forward with Windows version, I run 4 - 5 displays off one system for presentation, I have not been able to get it working since loading Vista. on 7 same issue. When or if they fix it is already too late for me! Can you say FAIL! Oh there is a way around the problem, thats using USB2VGA or USB2DVI converters. Not great but works!

  18. It works fine so long as both cards use the same driver - i have a ATI 5430 and a 4850 running side by side - its all good. i've even heard that it works fine cross. I cant comment on cross vendor support

  19. Keep me up great work.Thanks for sharing!