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Nvidia and AMD GPUs work together better than you might think

An AMD RX 6600 and Nvidia RTX 4090 being used together in the same setup.
QuasarZone

Well, now we’ve seen it all. You may have heard of dual GPU setups in the past, but combining AMD and Nvidia in the same system? Even if you’re using two of the best graphics cards, that’s always going to be tricky. However, it’s now been done and benchmarked, and the results are shockingly good — with a few major caveats.

QuasarZone took a chance on this, as the outlet itself admits, “crazy idea,” and it turned out better than most of us might have expected. The publication combined an Nvidia RTX 4090 with an RX 6600 to try to use both GPUs at once. The goal wasn’t just to see whether it was possible for it to work but rather to try the combined power of Nvidia’s DLSS 3 and AMD’s Fluid Motion Frames (AFMF). The latter is still in the technical preview stage.

As expected, running such a combo of GPUs is no easy feat, so the setup process sounds pretty daunting. After installing the RTX 4090 and the RX 6600 in the test system (which also included an AMD Ryzen 9 7950X3D), the tester had to install drivers for both GPUs, including a beta driver for the AMD card to access AFMF. The RX 6600 was set as the primary GPU, while the RTX 4090 took on the rendering role. In this scenario, the AMD card controls the display output, and the Nvidia GPU renders the game.

It’s worth noting that DLSS 3 and AFMF work differently. Nvidia’s DLSS 3 increases frame rates by adding generated images between rendered frames. It’s only available on RTX 40 GPUs and needs to be supported by the game to work. AFMF, on the other hand, is enabled on the driver side, meaning it should work with all DX11 and DX12 games. Setting up the GPUs in this way allowed games to first go through Nvidia’s DLSS 3 and then hit AMD’s Fluid Motion Frames before reaching the display.

RTX 4090.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Now, for the juicy parts — QuasarZone was able to achieve a massive increase in frames per second (fps) in some of the most demanding games, including Cyberpunk 2077Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, Ratch & Clank: Rift Apart, and StarfieldStarfield doesn’t even support DLSS Frame Generation yet, so the results don’t include it.

QuasarZone was able to pretty much triple the native performance in Cyberpunk 2077, reaching up to 209 fps with DLSS Frame Generation and AFMF both enabled. That’s a 291% increase over native fps. Similar gains can be seen across all the other titles, which is an impressive performance for two GPUs that should have never ended up in the same PC.

Does this mean that this will be the new dream setup for enthusiasts, something like what the dual Titan GPU used to be in the past? No chance. Pairing two GPUs from different vendors, complete with drivers, is unsustainable and can lead to major instability, crashes, blue screens, and what have you. This was a fun experiment, and clearly, it worked, but it probably wouldn’t work for too long.

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Monica J. White
Monica is a UK-based freelance writer and self-proclaimed geek. A firm believer in the "PC building is just like expensive…
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