Back in September of last year, just prior to the official arrival of the Radeon HD 5800 series, we first wrote about AMD's ATI Eyefinity technology and hinted at the fact that cards with six display outputs were coming. Since then, we had seen AMD's 6-output Radeon in action at a number of events, but hadn't been given the opportunity to evaluate one in the lab on our own test hardware, nor had we been informed of an official planned release date.
It turns out, Microsoft had implement an artificial limit of four monitors in Windows 7 with the final release of the OS, and AMD had to find a way to workaround that limit with their drivers. Although, we sure the supply issues AMD had to contend with played some sort of role in the delay as well.
Regardless, the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition is here now, and we've got one in house for testing. We paired the card up with six, 22" Dell LCD Panels in a 3x2 configuration, with a max resolution of 5760x2160 and ran a number of popular games. Performance data and our experience with the Eyefinity 6 Edition is available on the pages ahead. For now, check out the specs and hardware and then move on to bask in the insanity...
Sapphire's 2GB Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition
More in-game action on the pages ahead...
The Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition sports a GPU clock of 850MHz with a memory clock speed of 1.2 GHz (4.8Gbps effective)--that equates to roughly 153.6GB/sec of peak memory bandwidth. According to AMD, maximum board power is 228 Watts, up slightly from the original Radeon HD 5870 due to the additional RAM and outputs on the card, but idle power is only 34 Watts.
In terms of its speeds and feeds, the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition is essentially idential to the original Radeon HD 5870. Where the two cards differ is with regard to their frame buffers and output configuration. The Eyefinity 6 Edition card is outfitted with 2GB of GDDR5 memory, up from 1GB on the original. The additional memory helps performance at the ultra-high resolutions supported by Eyefinity. The Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition also features a different output configuration, obviously. The Eyefinity 6 edition has--you guessed it--six mini-DisplayPort outputs.
AMD's board partners are at the ready with Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition cards. Sapphire's Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card, seen here, adheres to AMD's reference design, save for some decals on the front. And like the original Radeon HD 5870, the Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card is 10.5" long and features a black fan shroud with red accents, that encases the entire PCB. The card's cooler has a barrel-type fan that draws air into the shroud, where it is forced through the heatsink and partially exhausted from the system through vents in the card's mounting plate. Two more small vents at the back of the card also direct some air to be vented within the system. At the top corner of the card, PCI Express 6 and 8-pin supplemental power connectors are present.
As we've mentioned, outputs on the card consist of six mini-DisplayPort outputs, all arranged in single row. Opposite the video outputs is a large vent in the case bracket, where air is exhausted from the system.
Included with the Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition are the obligatory user's manual and driver CD, along with a case badge, a CrossFire bridge connector, and a couple of PCI Express power adapters. In additional to the aforementioned items, however, Sapphire also includes 5 various video adapters, two mini-DisplayPort to full-sized DisplayPort adapters, two mini-DisplayPort to DVI adapters, and a single mini-DisplayPort to HDMI output.