Dual Video Cards In Workstation Computers

by on October 12, 2006

Q: I just completed animation school and would like a serious computer setup for animation. Is it possible to get two video cards (the advantage of two GPUs working together instead of just one!) on a computer with one monitor to increase graphics processing for computer animation programs like Maya? If I am able to play video games on my setup as well then that would just be a bonus but not necessity.

A: Congratulations on your animation graduation! You’re probably going to want to steer clear of dual video card setups for workstations. While nVidia and ATI both have offerings for using two identical video cards at once, this feature is focused on their lines of cards built for PC gaming. If you’re trying to put an animation workstation together I’d take a look at nVidia’s Quadro line of video cards and ATI’s FireGL cards as these are designed specifically for animation and computer aided design (CAD). Just don’t skimp on your CPU! Animation and CAD programs are very CPU intensive. The money to save from skipping that second video card would be far better spent on adding a faster CPU.