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.

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Comments

Comments
LBowen 3 years ago

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

LBowen 3 years ago

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.

rrplay 3 years ago

[quote user="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.

[/quote]

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 .

pwrntspd 3 years ago

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...

OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

"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 

AKwyn 3 years ago

[quote user="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"[/quote]

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.

OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

"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

marco c 3 years ago

@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.

OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

"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

marco c 3 years ago

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

OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

"Ok, I was a bit confused , thought that you can, thanks for the reply and for clearing that up, I'm sure, hopefully, that I'm not the only one that thought you can go triple or quadruple crossfire with 6870's. Confused."

-Optimus

realneil 3 years ago

[quote user="OptimusPrimeTime"]hopefully, that I'm not the only one that thought you can go triple or quadruple crossfire with 6870's[/quote]

Really though,.....two of them would be a rockin'-azz setup,.....I say this because my single XFX Radeon HD6870 has some damn respectable performance.

OptimusPrimeTime 3 years ago

[quote user="realneil"]

[quote user="OptimusPrimeTime"]hopefully, that I'm not the only one that thought you can go triple or quadruple crossfire with 6870's[/quote]

Really though,.....two of them would be a rockin'-azz setup,.....I say this because my single XFX Radeon HD6870 has some damn respectable performance.

[/quote]

"Yeah, the 6870 does put up very respectable frame rates, and in crossfire even better, almost twice the performance, plus its affordable, just saw for $165 + a free game at newegg via LogicBuy.Com http://www.logicbuy.com/deals/xfx-radeon-hd-6870-video-card/32165.aspx , there's no reason anyone can't have a formidable gaming system and graphics card these days."

-Optimus

 

NathanLeininger one year ago

I have two MSI Twin Frozr III HAWK Edition Cards and I love the performance I get from them! The look very cool and stay cool compared to alot of 6870. For around 300 and something, you can't beat the performance for that amount of money! 

DeanTalboys one year ago

On the subject of doubling-up on 6870's, does Eyefinity overcome any restrictions of the original cards to provide a 5x1 profile? I have a single Gigabyte 6870 at present with a limit of 4 monitors to be connected at the same time and an Eyefinity limitation of 3x1. If I add another 6870 with crossfire should I be able to create the 5x1 array? There is very little explanation anywhere on the AMD website. Thx.

omegadraco 3 years ago

That is absolutely incredible. Most of us could only dream about a setup like this. It almost would seem that you really need to have the dual cards to be able to drive something this huge at really good framerates. Thanks for the great review I love the videos of actual gameplay that give us a sense of how well this setup really works.

inspector 3 years ago

Aww you guys get all the fun. BTW you guys need some better monitors for multiscreening :P. Like the crossfire bench :)

ThunderBird 3 years ago

I just cannot get around the bezel from one monitor to the next. If they can figure out a way to squeeze them closer together this would be great.

AKwyn 3 years ago

Well at least it's comforting to know that dual 6870's can power AvP just fine on a 6870.

I'd like to thank PowerColor for releasing this card out into the public; with the declining monitor prices in tow; anybody can have a 5x1 setup now that they think about it. And the 2GBs of memory just makes this card into so much more.

dadodgeson 3 years ago

how would you be able to buy the monitors we need a sweet deal on a few!!!

jkhoui 3 years ago

awesome just awesome thats all i can say, sick layout!! 

LBowen 3 years ago

rrplay, I played Amnesia in a dark house by myself with headphones for about twelve minutes. I promptly decided to turn on all the lights, grab my samurai sword and watch some Biggest Loser with full view of the door just in case. I imagine if I had that monitor setup the cops would come knocking at my door because of the screaming.

rrplay 3 years ago

LBowen, yep those Penumbra series of games can be quite the experience . They can easily mess with you head a bit .

Come to think of there's already a thread in HH about some of the Penumbra series of games here

http://hothardware.com/cs/forums/p/52592/380547.aspx#380547

shared a bit of the free demo downloads [which are  pretty good] around Halloween time last year with a few folks. some thanked me and others ..

well let's say I never heard from them again ..  [kiddiin of course]

"Feast on Him Brothers !"   MUUUAAAAHHH !

animatortom 3 years ago

So do yall drive a car with a linebackers football helmet on?

Those bars would BTS outta me! This setup is great for working, when you need the extra real estate. But with the cost of multiple screens and then the mounts for a six way setup? You are waaaay better of going with a projector if you want a large format gaming option!

Alien looked cool and it makes you feel like you are at E3 being wowed by the demo, but to get into the game?.....Nah:P there are many projectors in the 1K range that are 1080p and even some 3D ones that would give you a larger space.

Lamar Kropf 3 years ago

Enough! I am now going to spend the next 2 days trying to figure out how to get a job at Hot Hardware! It just ain't fair for Marco to have so much fun, and I only get to read about it. :P

OSunday 3 years ago

The Grads and Dad's give away will be able to run that 5x1 Eyefinity set up like a charm!

Perfect review to release around the same time of the give away,

Nvidia might have 3D locked down at the moment, but AMD's dominating the multiple screen configurations through eyefinity

realneil 3 years ago

This is a nice setup, but I don't have the resources for it either. Maybe one day I will, and maybe they'll come up with an edge to edge screen without any bezels to hinder the view.

gibbersome 3 years ago

It's an exciting technology and I agree that there need to be better displays to make full use of eyefinity. In the meantime, I'm very excited to see the new generation of video cards chew up any game in their path. The hardware is a generation ahead of the software.

detnight 3 years ago

I neck starts to hurt after a few hours of BF3 on my 40in. I would be in traction if I had something like Optimus has up there. Plus I would need another room

AKwyn 3 years ago

[quote user="detnight"]I neck starts to hurt after a few hours of BF3 on my 40in.[/quote]

Wait, you got a beta version of BF3?

realneil 3 years ago

[quote user="TaylorKarras"]Wait, you got a beta version of BF3?[/quote]

You noticed that too?

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