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Graphics Eyefinity isn't as easy as it seems

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Elledan, 10 May 2010.

  1. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    Recently my housemate got the idea to upgrade to a new gaming PC and wanted to add a third display to perhaps do some fancy gaming across all three displays on his HD 5970 card. This is what we learned during the past few days:

    - Each screen in an Eyefinity setup needs to be the exact same resolution and ratio (4:3, 16:9, 16:10), as each screen in an Eyefinity group will be assigned the same resolution. My housemate has two 4:3 1600x1200 and one 16:10 1920x1200 displays. Eyefinity can not work properly with this configuration.

    - Eyefinity supports just two 'legacy' (VGA, DVI, HDMI) connectors per Eyefinity setup. If you want to use that third DVI port you're screwed. If you want to use a DVI monitor, you're going to need an active Displayport to DVI adapter, not a passive one. This wasn't indicated anywhere except embedded deep inside the bowels of the AMD site.

    - Eyefinity can only use the outputs on one card in a CrossFireX setup.


    So in the end, no Eyefinity for my housemate until he shells out another 500+ Euro for new 16:10 screens. Conclusion: Eyefinity is a nice gadget for the obscenely rich and/or those who are doing a super-upgrade of their entire gaming system including displays anyway.

    I'd also suggest going all DisplayPort with Eyefinity as well. Saves a lot of trouble and extra adapter costs (100+ Euro/adapter).

    AMD's PR department really should learn how to properly market their technologies, now my housemate feels rather iffed about the whole ordeal as I imagine quite a few others will be as no reviews even mention this problem of requiring an active DP adapter and such. Of note is also that such adapters aside from being expensive are rather hard to find here in the Netherlands (we had to find an Apple iStore which had one), so that definitely doesn't help matters.

    Anyway, what are your experiences? :)
     
  2. barndoor101

    barndoor101 Bring back the demote thread!

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  3. Fractal

    Fractal I Think Therefore I Mod

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    Really if you are going to buy an HD5970 you should do your homework. Sounds like your housemate never actually read any of the reviews of the Eyefinity cards, which all emphasized those restrictions.

    On the upside, Eyefinity is great! Both HP and Dell have brought out a lot of monitors with Displayport recently. Obviously you do need three monitors but you shouldn't have to buy three new ones.
     
  4. adam_bagpuss

    adam_bagpuss Have you tried turning it off/on ?

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    yeah have to agree with fractal.

    your mate should have done his research first, every review ive read mention the resolution, aspect and port limitations/restrictions

    i do however agree with you that the amd website isnt clear and reading eyefinity on that it makes no mention of matching resolutions or aspect ratios.
     
  5. Ph4ZeD

    Ph4ZeD What's a Dremel?

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    More money than sense is basically the summary of the OP's post. All the reviews made it clear that you had to have 3 screens with identical native resolutions, that was a no brainer.
     
  6. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    I don't think it's fair to call my housemate stupid like that. I have read quite a few reviews myself and it was never made abundantly clear what the limitations and requirements were. The AMD site on top of that is clear as mud and the hardware e-tailer he got his parts from neglected to list a lot of this information as well.

    Anyway, all this just means that my housemate will have to wait a bit longer until he can try Eyefinity. It's not like this rig is useless now or anything :) Running WoW at max settings at 1920x1200 is nice too :p
     
  7. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    Ok this is interesting. There is a guy over on the widescreen gaming forums who is running eyefinity on a combination of 19", 22" and 19 monitors (22 in the middle flanked by the 19's).

    Link to thread:

    http://www.widescreengamingforum.co...&t=17468&sid=7fbe178013c1820f991b730b3e50f79f

    Eyefinity is something I am interested in doing soon (3 x 22" @ 5040*1050 on a single HD5870) and to be honest it is something you really need to research (not saying you havn't btw) as the costs involved are high and it can be a bit confusing at first.

    Tell your friend to head over to the WSG forums and enquire about running his current monitor setup in eyefinity (there is a section dedicated to eyefinity).

    Hopefully he won't have to spend any more money :)
     
  8. wyx087

    wyx087 Homeworld 3 is happening!!

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    @xaser04
    the guy said: "The resolution is 3840x1024."
    meaning he lowered the 22inch resolution from native to 19inch's resolution.

    that's what i'd suggest OP to try, lower middle monitor's resolution to compromise for the two smaller screens.

    also might be worth reading this wonderful Tom's article, explains everything. (including difference between active displayport converter and passive)
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/amd-ati-eyefinity,2567.html
     
  9. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    Agreed. Buying the most expensive video card on the market and then attempting to connect to three monitors merged together as one fluid display for one large and very expensive setup should mean a lot of research to be done. Some light research on Eyefinity while shopping for my current card brought up those flaws very quickly and I was just skimming over for the future possibility of adding another 19" on the other side of my 24"+19" setup (not possible atm obviously). Not calling your housemate stupid, just startling that none of the restrictions were made clear in the first couple reviews.

    DisplayPort to DVI resolved.
    Two 'legacy' connectors explained, same size displays mentioned.
    Tom's Hardware link explaining just about everything.
     
  10. Bloody_Pete

    Bloody_Pete Technophile

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    I just need to ask, he has a 5970 to play WoW on...? *is mildly sickened*
     
  11. Elledan

    Elledan What's a Dremel?

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    He still gets pretty close to 30 FPS during some fights with all settings on max :D

    It is intended to be his gaming system for the next 4+ years, though. His previous system lasted him quite a while as well, being the top of the line system he could get back then (E6600, 8800GTX).
     

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