ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition Gaming - HotHardware

ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition Gaming

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ATI Eyefinity technology, in essence, allows for multiple monitors to be used as a single large display. As it stands today, for the most part, when multiple monitors are connected to a single PC, those monitors are recognized as independent displays and can be configured for desktop spanning or mirroring modes, etc. With ATI Eyefinity, however, the displays can be arranged in a single group (or in multiple groups) and they are treated as a single display by the OS. The technology was made possible in part by DisplayPort which does not require individual clock signals for each connected display and by a new Output Crossbar implemented within the GPU that allows for data to be sent from the display pipeline out to the necessary display, regardless of where it is connected on the card.

   
AMD Eyefinity Multi-Display Technology In Action

Eyefinity is enabled through a combination of hardware and software that was developed by AMD. On the hardware front, AMD's Radeon HD 5000 series cards sport between 3 and 6 display outputs of various types, DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, etc. And those outputs can be managed by software currently dubbed SLS, or Single Large Surface. Using the SLS tool built into AMD's Catalyst drives, users are able to configure a group of monitors to work with Eyefinity and essentially act as a single, large display.

 


11,520 x 4,800 - 55.3 megapixels, From Four Cards

The technology allows for some exciting possibilities. For example, six, 30" Dell 3008WFP panels can be grouped as a single display, in a 3 x 2 arrangement, with a resolution of 7680 x 3200--that's about 24.6 megapixels if you do the math.  And a single Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card is all that is necessary to power the displays. In such a configuration, the Windows desktop can function as one monolithic surface, with all of that expansive resolution available to the user.


Upcoming Samsung Thin-Bezel Displays

To help increase adoption of Eyefinity, AMD is working closely with some display makers, like Samsung for example, to introduce new displays with ultra-thin bezels, designed with Eyefinity in mind. Samsung's thin-bezel displays are pictured above.

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Great review Marco, first off I am impressed by the sheer power of the 5870 eyefinity edition I mean six 30" monitors running in tandem wow!!!! I can see how a first person shooter game could be a problem from time to time as the screen laps over the bezel as you are lining up for a shot. But with a game like Dirt 2 where there is no cross hair to line up a shot just driving on an open map with your peripheral vision comes into play as other drivers are attempting to pass would be very helpful also it adds to the immersive experience. Again just the  raw performance of 1 card not crossfire or SLI running 6 monitors is amazing and really shows that the hard wok AMD put into the 5 series architecture. Impressive indeed!!!! Yes

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This is just an awesome card with great features. When screens with no bezels come out it would be awesome!The comparison there at the end was nice. The 1GB beat the 2GB at one thing with the same setup at least xD

LOL at Marcos driving :) wrong way there Wink lol

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I recently had the chance to try out a 3-display Eyefinity setup, and was actually quite surprised at how well it worked.  I do think I'd be distracted by the bezels in 6-panel Eyefinity mode though, but I guess I'd need to actually experience it before dismissing it completely.

I do love the fact you guys tossed Crysis in here though - I'm sure somebody would have asked the question if you didn't.  :)

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Glad you included the 1GB vs 2GB on the last page. But besides resolution, would the differences between the two widen if you increased the AA? Or would they perform the same at all AA levels?

 

For games, I'm not exactly sure what they are planning to fix the issue in fps games. I think the answer isn't just moving the crosshair above or below the bezel. This would take away from some of the realism of a game, but for a 6 monitor setup (3 columns, 2 rows), the bottom 3 could be a regular 3 monitor setup, with the top screens doing something else. Like either have all 3 do a map or 1 screen shows a map while the other 2 show other stuff. I think a map would be nice because it would be easier to issue objective points and stuff. Like in an fps game that has a commander. That commander could tell which squads to attack what and how to approach the objective. Almost like an RTS game. The map could be real-time too like the mini-map in an RTS. So you know if a squad was under fire or not.

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You could also have a monitor for stats and such (ping, # of kills, player/team ranking, etc.)

That probably would work fairly well.

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Dang!.....Y'all Must have really loved this card :)
This is why ATI Rocks!
One thing I don't understand, is all this reverse thinking when it comes to displays like this. These types of displays are what they tried in the 90's. trying to accomplish a big screen by putting a bunch of little ones together. having the edges of the screens cross hatching each other is not only distracting it is borderline Boobnoxious :P
To me it is like having a Opteron and trying to run it through an old Macintosh Green display. Thanks to this review, you can really apply your imagination into this card!  Lets think about current technology. 6x30" displays? Ok, what you get is 180 inches of display with a bunch of black bars running through it. Where is the fun in that?
With current Projector technologies, you can have a 300" display right of the bat, and it will cost you less than all the displays and mounting hardware required for this setup.
This review is just awesome, when it comes to showing the raw power of this card!  I watched every video at least twice:) It just kept buggin me that the bars were there. After a while I kept saying to myself "get out of the way"!  If I'm exploding an Aliens head, I don't want it to look like it is behind an I-Beam:P
This was a great review, and once again shows my affinity for ATI. Now they just need to come down in price a bit or at least include six of the Mini-display adaptors of your choice, instead of the hodgepodge they include now. Like six Mini-HDMI's or Mini-DVI's? If they left it to the consumer then they might really cut down on the wast of the unused materials.
With this review, now we know that a card like this can handle six projectors at the same time, at resolutions far greater than is really necessary. If you had six Optoma HD20's running, just imagine...1800inches or 150 FEET! of pure entertainment at 1080p resolution and no black bars when you look around! Bezel issue resolved :) If you had vaulted ceilings, you can literally turn your home into a flight/driving simulator and one amazing Home Theatre! Can you imagine this setup with FSX! Or six Optoma HD66's, then you would have 150 feet of 3D HD all over your walls! The ultimate setup for when the BR Avatar 3D comes out. Can you say Nerdgasum :o
My only other question would be, How does this benchtest to the V8750 as far as WS performance? If any? Or possibly be crossfired with it?

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Once thing I have found about Multi-Monitor setups:  An even number of monitors is ALWAYS a problem.  You always end up with a Bezel edge in the center of your view.  So you need odd number setups.  The number of monitor rows follows the same rule.  So either 1 row of monitors, or 3 rows stacked vertically.   Frankly, 3 monitors in one row is usually best, although I suppose you could do 5 monitors in one row.  Otherwise you REALLY need to bump all the way up to 9 to avoid the "Center Bezel" issue.

I'd actually be interested to know if it can handle non-standard monitor rotation angles.  IE:  Can I take 3 or 5 widescreen panels, rotate them all 90 degrees to the right or left, and THEN use them?  I hope so, as this eliminates the need to use a stacked row setup.  you can get very close to the same display area with less monitors.  If you use larger monitors you can end up with the exact same display area, and less bezel interference.

So..  Can I do THAT with this card?

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@Bishounen - Yes, you can configure odd-numbered screens, in either portrait or landscape mode.

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Marco C:

@Bishounen - Yes, you can configure odd-numbered screens, in either portrait or landscape mode.

NICE!

(I don't suppose you have a video of that setup too?  I'd love to see that in action!)

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I've actually been really tempted of late to buy a third monitor and a 5870.  After reading this though, I wonder if I can swing three more monitors and one of these 6 editions.

Hummmm... five 1,920x1,080 monitors setup as 5x1 portrait... 5,400x1,920.  I would lose 360 pix on width and 240 on height, but not have bezels on my cross hairs.

BTW, did you guys run it with that option that you set your bezel width and it cuts that part of the image out?  Actually, nevermind.  That would make the cross hairs completely disappear on your layout.

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