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.
TUL Corporation's Powercolor division today announced what it claims is the first low profile Radeon HD 7750 graphics card capable of driving up to four displays via AMD's Eyefinity technology. Dubbed HD7750 Eyefinity 4 LP Edition, this low profile part can fit into slim cases and features four mini DisplayPort outputs to run 4x1 Landscape Display Group, 2x2 Landscape Display Group, and 3x1 Display Group Plus 1 Extended configurations.
Dell has always been among the best when it comes to quality monitors at a reasonable price, and it appears as though they are looking to carry on the tradition with five brand new S Series models. The new display’s range from 27-inches with edge-to-edge glass, all the way down 21.5-inch panels for those on the hunt for the best price. Each one is capable of 1080p, but as one would expect, connectivity and quality varies considerably based on the price.
For a lot of Maximum PCers, a single monitor just won't cut it. But if fragging n00bs and juggling spreadsheets is better on two screens, wouldn't it be even better on three? Now imagine how mind-blowing it would be on six screens. Actually, don't imagine it -- do it! TUL's new PowerColor HD7870 Eyefinity 6 is the first 7870 Radeon graphics card capable of pulling of a sextuplet of screens.
Whether you're into widescreen gaming, day trading, multitasking, or just stretching windows until they're really, really big, a multiple monitor setup is the only way to fly. Us geeks have been keen to the secret for a while now (Eyefinity, anyone?) but sales numbers from 2011 seem to indicate that dual-screen madness may be starting to take the world by storm -- and that most buyers think bigger is better.
When ATI Launched its 5000 series graphics cards back in September 2009, it was more than just a performance marvel, it ushered in a new technology that promised PC gamers an experience unlike no other: true, no compromise, multi-monitor gaming.
Sure, some ambitious PC-centric titles such as Supreme Commander had dabbled with multiple display support in the past, but these limited attempts offered little more than a convenient way to separate the mini map from the action. Eyefinity, by comparison, promised to bring multi-display gaming to hundreds of titles that were never optimized to support it. This would turn out to be both its biggest strength, and its greatest obstacle. It was an ambitious and somewhat buggy undertaking when it was revealed back in 2009, but has over a year and a half of driver releases improved the situation?
Having lived with an Eyefinity setup now for the past twelve months, I feel uniquely qualified to talk about not just how the technology has evolved, but if it was worth the cost.
Does multi-monitor gaming in 2011 finally live up to all the marketing hype? Hit the jump to find out.
Nvidia has been promising 3D surround gaming for as long as we can remember, but it looks as though Sapphire is going to beat them to market with a home grown ATI based solution. Using a combination of Eyefinity and 3D drivers from iZ3d, the company was able to showcase a working three monitor configuration running games such as Tom Clancy's Hawx, Left for Dead 2, Battle Forge, and even Dirt 2.
"This technology demonstrates that games and applications can be displayed in 3D on multiple screens, and run smoothly, without the need for multiple graphics cards or expensive shutter glasses," said Bill Donnelly, Global PR Director for Sapphire. "This approach uses low cost glasses, and can be run on any system with an ATI-based Sapphire graphics card that has ATI Eyefinity support."
We expect to see more details emerge in the days ahead for the DIY crowd, but you'll still need 120hz monitors to give this a try. Either way this news can't be sitting well with Nvidia's driver team.
Do gamers really need six monitors? Having two displays—maybe even three—on your desk certainly makes sense for a productivity boost. And having run some games on three displays, we can say that the added immersion in the game world can indeed be compelling. But you can run three displays with any Radeon HD 5000–series cards, provided you have at least one DisplayPort monitor.
Sapphire and AMD are betting that some gamers will lust after more than three displays, which is why Sapphire is shipping the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition. This isn’t just a stock 5870 with six monitor connectors; it also ships with a 2GB GDDR5 frame buffer. So even if you aren’t planning on running six displays on your desk, the 2GB of VRAM might itself be attractive.
Eyefinity is flexible as to monitor configurations. You can have the six displays arranged in two rows, which can be configured as one huge surface or two 3x1 surfaces. Or, you can have five LCD panels in line for a wraparound gaming experience.
Sounds intriguing, right? But what about performance? We put the Sapphire card up against an XFX Radeon HD 5870 XXX Edition and the Asus GTX 480 card.
AMD today launched the first in a new line of ATI FirePro professional videocards, the FirePro V8800. According to AMD, this is the industry's most powerful workstation graphics card ever created by man, and it's the only one that supports ATI's Eyefinity multi-display technology and Microsoft's DirectX 11 API.
"AMD is the undisputed consumer graphics leader and today we’re bringing many of the same cutting edge innovations from our ATI Radeon™ HD 5000 series to the professional graphics market for the first time. The ATI FirePro V8800 with ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology effectively dissolves visual limitations for professionals,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, AMD Products Group.
Based on AMD's mighty Cypress XT architecture, the FirePro V8800 comes equipped with 1600 stream processors, a 256-bit memory interface, 2GB of GDDR5 memory, OpenGL 3.2 support, Shader Model 5 support, and comes rated at 208W. It also includes four DisplayPorts, a stereo output, and two DP to DVI (single-link) adapters. In short, this is AMD's HD 5870 in workstation form.
The FirePro V8800 is available now for $1,500, and before anyone asks, it can probably run Crysis, but you'd be far better off working in CAD.