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Use of multiple GPUs? Programs that can take advantage? Is it even worth?

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Jun 6, 2016
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Putting together a "test bed" Hack for testing new hardware to check for compatibility. I plan on throwing in an Optiplex 790 Motherboard (once I can figure out how to fix the no-AHCI), as well as a Celeron G530 to keep the price down and compatibility strong. I have an EVGA GT 210 that works OOB with OS X, and will always get me out of a pinch when it comes to graphics, but I also want to experiment with multiple GPUs, but don't want to splash a lot of money. I've been looking at this pair of Quadro FX 3500s, as well as two Geforce 7600s.

I know the 7000 series GPUs are supported by OS X, but I am unsure about the Quadros. Does anyone know if they are supported? Also, I know that SLI and Crossfire are not recognized by OS X and the Operating System will always see the setup as two seperate GPUs, but can the OS still be used beyond that? Can I use it for multiple monitors? (I have a three monitor setup.)

Also, apparently applications like Final Cut Pro X can take advantage of two GPUs even if they aren't in SLI, but are there any other applications that do that in OS X? I am generally curious. It probably isn't worth, but I am sure there are applications that know what to do with two GPUs.
 
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Fl0r!an

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OS X will recognize multiple GPUs as separate devices, so you can hook up displays to both of them and use them independently. As you've said, SLI or CrossFire doesn't exist in OS X, so OpenGL applications/games won't profit from such a setup (unless you want to run multiple games on multiple screens, I guess... :lol:).

Applications using the GPUs for compute tasks can use multiple GPUs, but it's up to the developer to implement this feature. Some applications will need a pair of exactly the same GPUs (I think FCPX is one of them), while others can mix'n'match different GPUs models. And there are still some which won't use the 2nd GPU at all.
I think it's a good idea to search for the specific application you plan to use.

Btw, I think support for GeForce 7000 series has been dropped since OS X went 64bit-only, and the same should be true for the Quadro FX 3500.
 
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