By now, many of you are probably aware that the launch of AMD's next-generation, DirectX 11-compliant graphics cards is imminent. Rumors about the launch and the products themselves has been trickling out for quite a while now and lots of information--some right and some wrong--is already available at various places around the web. While we can't disclose any detailed specifications or product specifics just yet, we do have some information about a new feature being implemented in the next-gen Radeons that we are able to share with you now.
The feature is called Eyefinity and what it does in essence, is allow for multiple monitors to be used as a single 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, etc. With Eyefinity, however, the displays are arranged in a single group (or in multiple groups) and they are treated as a single display by the OS.
Eyefinity is enabled through a combination of hardware and software being developed by AMD. On the hardware front, AMD's upcoming Radeons will sport between 3 and 6 display outputs of various types, DisplayPort, DVI, HDMI, etc. And those outputs will be managed by software currently dubbed SLS, or Single Large Surface. Using the SLS tool, 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, Four Cards - High res? Got that...
We had a chance to experiment with Eyefinity earlier and came away impressed. In a private demo, representatives from AMD configured a group of six, 30" Dell 3008WFP panels 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. Powering the displays was a SINGLE graphics card, with a SINGLE GPU. The Windows desktop functioned as one monolithic surface, with all of that expansive resolution available to the user. What was more impressive than that though, was gaming on the six screens. We had a chance to play an upcoming DX11 racing game, Dirt 2, at 7680 x 3200 with perfectly acceptable frame rates--a hint at the power of AMD's upcoming next gen Radeon graphics cards. We also spent some time gaming across three 30" displays in a 3 x 1 configuration with Left 4 Dead and have to say it absolutely changes the experience for the better. Even Francis would like it.
Upcoming Samsung Thin-Bezel Displays
At the time of launch, Eyefinity will support single-GPU configurations for gaming, but we're told CrossFire support will be coming at some point in the future as well. The technology will require that at least one of the displays be equipped with a DisplayPort connection.
We've also been informed that AMD has partered with some display makers, like Samsung for example, that will be introducing new displays with ultra-thin bezels, designed with Eyefinity in mind.
We will have more news regarding AMD's next-gen Radeons in the not too distant future, so stay tuned to HotHardware for the full scoop.