Gaming gone wild
Poked your head into Microsoft's "Extreme Windows Blog" lately? You should, but be warned, what you'll find is extremely graphic. By that we mean Microsoft is pushing graphics technology to the brink of awesome by configuring three Sharp 4K Ultra HD displays in an Eyefinity setup. That translates into a 12K setup pushing 1.5 billion pixels per second, which is nothing short of mind numbing.
Also, expensive. The monitors alone cost a combined $15,000. Crazy, right? What's even crazier is that the author of the post, Gavin Gear, a Product Manager at Microsoft working in the Windows division, decided to try gaming on the 12K setup using a single graphics card with a single GPU -- an Asus HD 7970 DirectCU II with four full-size DisplayPort outputs.
Once he got everything up and running, he was staring at a desktop with an 11,520x2.160 resolution. That's equivalent to a dozen Full HD 1080 (1920x1080) displays for a total of 24,883,200 pixels. Excuse us a moment while we change our drawers and wipe the drool from our keyboard.
"Running Dirt3 at 11,520 x 2,160 with settings maxed out resulted in a frame rate just below the 30Hz target. I closely examined my graphics settings, and was able to turn off some features that optimized the gameplay experience. One of the most important changes I made was to turn off multisampling as it’s not important at high resolutions and it does impose a performance penalty," Gear explains. "Settling on medium to high overall settings I was able to hold an average frame rate of about 35fps. Because I was not dropping frames with this setup the overall gameplay experience was awesome, and the sheer quantity of pixels was truly like nothing I’ve experienced before!"
The thing with displays connected via DisplayPort is that they default to 30Hz. It's a bandwidth limitation, though with a little finagling, you can get around it. Using a supported monitor's built in multi-stream transport (MST) technology, you can enable a 60Hz refresh rate at 4K over a single connection, and that's what Gear did next. He also added a second 7970 graphics card in Crossfire.
Check out the full blog post for more, it's definitely worth the read!