AMD Radeon HD 6870 CrossFire with 5x1 Eyefinity

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Before we get down to the nitty gritty, we want to give you all a sense of just how many pixels users have available when sitting in front of a five-screen Eyefinity display group, using monitors with a native resolution of 1920x1080. The two images below are actual screen captures of the Windows desktop and a game, Alien vs. Predator, at resolutions of 5400x1920.


Click For An Enlarged View

Are those images freakin’ huge or what? The benefits of gaming or working with multiple screens should be apparent. The field of view in games is so wide, you’ll be able to see much more in your periphery, which has obvious benefits. When working on a desktop this big, users can simply see more in front of them. That image is a recent five-page review, with all five pages open at once.

We tested the PowerColor Radeon HD 6870 Eyefinity 6 Edition cards on a Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD5 motherboard powered by a Core i7-980X six-core processor and 6GB of OCZ DDR3-1333 RAM. The first thing we did when configuring the test system was enter the system BIOS and set all values to their "optimized" or "high performance" defaults. Then we manually configured the memory timings (DDR3-1333, CAS 7) and disabled any integrated peripherals that wouldn't be put to use. The hard drive was then formatted and Windows 7 Ultimate x64 was installed. When the installation was complete, we fully updated the OS and installed the latest DirectX redist, along with the necessary drivers, games, and benchmark applications.

HotHardware's Test System
Intel Core i7 Powered

Hardware Used:
Core i7 980X (3.3GHz)
Gigabyte EX58-UD5 (X58 Express)
6GB OCZ DDR3-1333
Western Digital Raptor 150GB
Integrated Audio
Integrated Network

Relevant Software:
Windows 7 Ultimate x64
DirectX April 2011 Redist
ATI Catalyst v11.4 Preview

Benchmarks Used:
Unigine Heaven v2.5
Futuremark 3DMark Vantage
Futuremark 3DMark11
FarCry 2
Just Cause 2
Alien vs. Predator
Metro 2033
Lost Planet 2
F1 2010








Our first group of tests show the PowerColor Radeon HD 6870 2GB Eyefinity 6 Edition cards offering excellent performance scaling when running in CrossFire mode. All of the applications show big performance improvements when moving from a single cards to dual cards. We'll summarize them all on the next page, after running through a few more, and then we'll get to the wild stuff.

Article Index:

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Going to check this awesomeness out right now, Thanks :)

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That review was enlightening to say the least.  I thought Eyefinity sounded amazing but after seeing the amount of display configurations offered, I have come to the conclusion that I have no words to describe the technology that gives it justice.  5400x1920 = Tears of Joy Crying

A quality set of headphones combined with those screens and most would be completely immersed in the game.  Imagine playing Penumbra, Amnesia or even Dead Space with that kind of setup.  I am not ashamed to admit I would probably scream both in fright and delight.

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LBowen:

That review was enlightening to say the least.  ...

...Imagine playing Penumbra, Amnesia or even Dead Space with that kind of setup.  I am not ashamed to admit I would probably scream both in fright and delight.

Wow is all I can say about this review .The highlight was seeing the 5 screen setup and the videos Marco made with the explanation of the settings  and frame rates.

Those vidclips definitely give us an idea as to how amazing all of this is .and being able to actually see the results Like a picture the clips are worth a thousand words.Thank you Marco for taking  the time to make and post them along in this review..

@LBowen I know I would be freaked out a bit in the Penumbra series myself with a setup like this .

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Nice article. I didnt realize that Eyefinity supported so many different configurations, and im am still impressed with how well AMD improved the crossfire scaling on these cards. A monitor setup like this is more of a pipe dream for me, but im surprised a pair of 6870s can drive that many pixels. Maybe ill do a 3 monitor setup instead...

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"That setup is pretty wicked and so is this article. AMD's crossfire performance is expectacular. I'm honestly not to wild about the spacing between the monitors or more specific ,the bezel thickness, but if they were bigger, say 5 x 40 Inch TV's, I surely would not be complaining. "

"I have two questions, when in Crossfire and 5x1 mode, did you have all five monitors connected to one card?, and if so, "Theoretically", would having three monitors connected to one card, and two to the other work, and would it perform better because the processing is distributed more equal"

-Optimus 

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OptimusPrimeTime:
"Theoretically", would having three monitors connected to one card, and two to the other work, and would it perform better because the processing is distributed more equal"

I'm guessing you could do it either way but neither will offer an advantage. The processing wound not be distributed evenly due to the obvious reason that just running a monitor doesn't use processing power itself. The processing power will be used once you run a game and if you have a Crossfire card then it'll be spread out evenly between the two cards for an additional performance increase. But there is no performance difference if you plug in two monitors to the other card.

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"Hey thanks for the reply Taylor, would also have liked to get a response from the reviewer. I still think that the review set up in nice, but I'm not will about the division and bezel thickness. My type of Eyefinity is 3x1 landscape with three big TV's like this one from Maingear."

-Optimus

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@Optimus - Yes, all of the monitors were connected to a single card. And no, performance wouldn't change if the monitors were distrubuted amongst the two cards. CrossFire was enabled for the tests, so the perf. was alread being enhanced by the second GPU.

And I'm with you on the bezel thickness. Thin-bezeled monitors or some of those new thin bezel TV's would be awesome. Unfortunately, I don't have the room or resources to set up a configuration like that--yet! :) heh.

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"Thanks for the reply. Yeah, Its a gamers dream to have something like that in your living room. One more question though, unlike Nvidia's GTX 460, which only support Sli, with the 6870 , can you do triple crossfire ?"

-Optimus

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@Optimus - No. With Radeons that have only a single CrossFire connector, two cards is the maximum.

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