Just when you thought you'd had all the excitement you can handle, it's another stimulating episode of the No BS Podcast. This week we introduce our new Editorial Assistant, Alan Fackler, and discuss the pros and cons of iPad ownership. We also discuss Fermi after finally having a chance to test out Nvidia's latest and greatest, and the 6-monitor Eyefinity system from AMD.
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When we last visited our six panel Eyefinity setup, we had it up and running with games at a full 5680x2160 pixel resolution.
Now it’s time to talk performance and practicality. What kind of gaming performance will you get with three or six panels? To understand what kind of performance to expect, we need to take a closer look at the card itself.
The Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity edition ships with the same core clock as the standard HD 5870: 850MHz. However, it ships with 2GB of 1200MHz GDDR5 memory, as opposed to the 1GB on the standard 5870. The extra memory means the board consumes a little more power. System idle power on our Core i7 975 test system was 138W with Eyefinity and 284W at full throttle, as compared to 134W and 268W for the stock HD 5870.
According to AMD, cards will be available from add-in board partners, at a targeted price point of $479 USD. As we noted in our setup article, some adapters will be included: 2 mini-DisplayPort to DispalyPort adapters, 2 passive mini DisplayPort to single link DVI connectors and a passive mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. So if you want to go for the full six panel setup, you’ll need to buy additional adapters.
See the benchmarks and continue reading after the jump.
When AMD announced Eyefinity, we were somewhat skeptical. At first blush, six displays seemed excessive, both in terms of cost and sheer physical space. After setting up and running a six-panel Eyefinity setup, we’re now a little less skeptical – cost turns out to be less of an issue than we imagined. But setup time and physical space requirements are still a bit beyond the pale.
Today, we’ll walk through what it took to get a six display rig going with just one graphics card and one high end PC. It turned out to be a tale full of twisty passages, no two of which were alike (apologies to Underground Kingdom.)
When AMD launched the Radeon HD 5830, they also announced the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity edition. This latest variant of the HD 5870 includes 2GB of video memory and six (yes, six) mini-DisplayPort adapters.
Have you ever seen a videocard with 5 mini DisplayPorts? You have now, thanks to Powercolor, who this week announced its HD 5770 Eyefinity 5 videocard.
"As the first graphics solution to support up to 5 displays, the Powercolor HD 5770 Eyefinity 5 delivers an immersive HD gaming performance with wider field of view and increases productivity at the same time," says Ted Chen, CEO of TUL Corporation.
Of course, trying to run a high-end game across 5 monitors on a mid-range card may prove a bit challenging, but if you've ever wanted to try, you now can. Powercolor's card comes with the core clocked to 850MHz, while the memory races alonga t 1200MHz on a 128-bit bus.
Since multiheaded graphics cards have become commonplace, it's no longer technically difficult to attach a second (or third, or fourth) display to your PC. However, whether you're looking for a way to fly through your work so you can have some fun or are wanting to immerse yourself in 3D surround gaming, we've lined up ten ways to make your multiple displays work hard and play even harder. Join us after the jump for details.
While the world waits for Fermi, AMD continues to target the entry-level with sub-$100 DirectX 11-capable videocards. The newest entrant to this market segment is the just-announced ATI Radeon HD 5570 low-profile graphics card.
"AMD recognizes that small form factor PCs are becoming more popular and low profile graphics upgrade options have been limited to date," said Matt Skynner, vice president and general manager, AMD Graphics Division. "Customers purchasing small form factor PCs are looking for improved performance while gaming, watching HD video, or working with the latest productivity applications. The ATI Radeon HD 5570 graphics card delivers all of this at a price that won't break the bank."
Specs include a 40nm GPU clocked at 650MHz, 1GB of GDDR3 memory clocked at 900MHz, a 128-bit memory bus, and 400 stream processors. And in addition to DX11, the HD 5570 supports Eyefinity and full 1080p HD playback. Finally, AMD rates the TDP at 45W.
Look for this one to sell somewhere between $75 to $80.
If you thought Eyefinity with 3 monitor's was overkill, how about 6? If that caught your attention then you'll be pleased to know that an update to ATI's Eyefinity technology is going to enable gamers to take advantage of up to 6 display's.
Given the complexities involved in laying out that many monitors, ATI has teamed up with Samsung to offer an out of the box solution they plan to ship early this year called the SyncMaster MD230. The package can be ordered as either a six or three panel design, with a price of $3,099 and $1,899 respectively. The six monitor setup is capable of displaying a jaw dropping 6x 1080p, with each panel sporting a resolution of up to 1920 x 1080.
In an era when PC gaming seems to be under constant attack on all fronts, its pretty satisfying to be able to claim your rig is spitting out a resolution equivalent to over 12 Xbox 360's. Of course you may need to re-mortgage your house to be able to afford any of this, but hey, our hobby is all about sacrifice is it not? Either way its great to see out of the box three and six monitor packages that make getting Eyefinity up and running that much easier.
Ever wondered what it would be like to game at 3600x1920? Of course you have! And lucky for your, [H]ardOCP has posted a screenshot of Left 4 Dead 2 running at just such a resolution courtesy of its Eyefinity setup running on a Radeon HD 5870. Check out the full sized pic here.
In case you haven't been following, AMD surprised everyone in September when it showed off a single videocard powering six 30-inch Dell dsiplays configured as a single, 7680x3200 resolution monitor. Will Smith took the whole thing in and has a writeup on it here.
So AMD’s ATI graphics division has got something in the works that supports up to six monitors.
If you’ve ever navigated even two displays with a mouse, you may realize something: multiple, high resolution displays may be outstripping the mouse’s capability as a primary user interface tool. Now toss in six 30-inch monitors – 24 whopping megapixels in all – and you’ve got a real problem. Even if you drop that to six more affordable 1920x1080 displays, that’s still over 12 megapixels you need to navigate. Just visually tracking the mouse cursor becomes problematic.
Still, it's a setup I’d love to have.
What’s needed for huge pixel count displays is multi-touch. Windows 7 now incorporates an actually useful multi-touch display capability, but it’s currently relegated to all-in-one PCs with multi-touch, a handful of laptops and the expensive (at $12,500 a pop) Microsoft Surface. Still, multi-touch isn’t perfect.
Today’s graphics cards can barely handle one 30-inch monitor in gaming. Pushing around 2560x1600 pixels is a challenge for current-generation GPUs. While it’s true that each new generation of graphics cards can push performance, we weren’t quite prepared for the preview AMD gave us of its upcoming DirectX 11–capable graphics hardware.
AMD ushered us into its Sunnyvale, CA, test lab, where it had a high-end system set up with a single graphics card. AMD would only disclose that the card had a single GPU, and was one of the company’s upcoming DirectX 11–capable chips—nothing about the amount of video RAM, clock speeds, or anything else. This particular graphics card also sported six DisplayPort connectors. Attached to each DisplayPort connector was a 30-inch Dell display. The whole affair was configured as a single, 7680x3200 monitor. That's 24.6 megapixels!
Sure, you say, you can hook up six monitors and run Windows… but can it do 3D?