smurftech

ATI 58xx and eyefinity

Hey all,

Not the normal sort of thing I would post up but considering how much trouble I had finding any information(complete info not just 2 word comments) on this thought I would post up my experience with my shiny new Gigabyte 5870 and tri-screen setup.

Ok most of you would have heard about ATI’s new 58xx series cards and their shiny new party trick “Eyefinity”, when I first read the pre-release info on these I was stoked, I have been running a tri-screen rig for years, and it has never been what you call fun to find compatable hardware to be able to do it. Up till now I have had to use multiple video cards to obtains tri-screen, my latest config was a GTX275 powering a 27″ Acer @ 2148*1152 with a 8400gs powering dual 20″ Viewsonics @ 1400*1050(previous to this had 2* 8800gt oc sli’d and a 8600gt that was fun to setup). Now this rig worked pretty well, but obviously the idea of having a single card running all 3 monitors for the first time was awesome.

Being my normal self I wait for actual release only to hear some disturbing information…….. needed displayport to run tri-screen 🙁 3 monitors not one a displayport, ok then fair enough how much is a displayport monitor (or 2)…. oh that much…. really….your sure….F&&^ you then…. ok so after deciding getting a 58xxx and some new display port monitor was outside my budget let see how else we can get this to work….. This was not a fun research, there are bit and pieces of information on forums, some half arse not clear stuff in AMD help area that all seem to hint at one thing or another, from what I could read you could get away with effinity but only with an active adaptor but couldn’t find anything about using different monitors etc…

After umming and ahhhing around for awhile about if it was worth while to spend $500 on a punt, I finally broke last week and purchased a Gigabyte 5870. To start with I didn’t bother to purchase any adaptors etc… as I didn’t feel like throwing more money away without testing to see if the card was even worth it yet. After getting the card on monday though quickly discovered theHey all,

Not the normal sort of thing I would post up but considering how much trouble I had finding any information(complete info not just 2 word comments) on this thought I would post up my experience with my shiny new Gigabyte 5870 and tri-screen setup.

Ok most of you would have heard about ATI’s new 58xx series cards and their shiny new party trick “Eyefinity”, when I first read the pre-release info on these I was stoked, I have been running a tri-screen rig for years, and it has never been what you call fun to find compatable hardware to be able to do it. Up till now I have had to use multiple video cards to obtains tri-screen, my latest config was a GTX275 powering a 27″ Acer @ 2148*1152 with a 8400gs powering dual 20″ Viewsonics @ 1400*1050(previous to this had 2* 8800gt oc sli’d and a 8600gt that was fun to setup). Now this rig worked pretty well, but obviously the idea of having a single card running all 3 monitors for the first time was awesome.

Being my normal self I wait for actual release only to hear some disturbing information…….. needed displayport to run tri-screen 🙁 3 monitors not one a displayport, ok then fair enough how much is a displayport monitor (or 2)…. oh that much…. really….your sure….F&&^ you then…. ok so after deciding getting a 58xxx and some new display port monitor was outside my budget let see how else we can get this to work….. This was not a fun research, there are bit and pieces of information on forums, some half arse not clear stuff in AMD help area that all seem to hint at one thing or another, from what I could read you could get away with effinity but only with an active adaptor but couldn’t find anything about using different monitors etc…

After umming and ahhhing around for awhile about if it was worth while to spend $500 on a punt, I finally broke last week and purchased a Gigabyte 5870. To start with I didn’t bother to purchase any adaptors etc… as I didn’t feel like throwing more money away without testing to see if the card was even worth it yet. After getting the card on monday though quickly discovered that the 5870 was definately worth it, the 5870 had a nice jump in FPS over the gtx275, so first hurdle down.

Budget being my first hurdle I decided, before spending a few hundred on an Active Displayport->DVI adaptor that I would try using a passive displayport->vga adaptor, there where a few comments stating this would work, but I couldn’t find much information on how screen resolution would be affected by using VGA.

I found HP DISPLAYPORT TO VGA ADAPTER on megabuy(http://www.megabuy.com.au/hp-displayport-to-vga-adapter-p137004.html) for $22 which was the cheapest in australia i could find and decided to give it ago.

As I couldn’t find much reliable info on this setup, when I recieved the adaptor I just to decided to plonk in on and see how I went. For my rig I decided to connect the 27″ and 1 of the 20″ via DVI. The other 20″ monitor I connected using the dp->vga adaptor. That’s is, that’s all it took and wam working tri-screen(note tri-screen does not mean eyefinity), both dual 20″ running @ 1400*1050, 27″ running @ 2148*1152 all same gama, same colour, same brightness. All I need to do was to arrange the monitors in Control Centre(left monitor on left, right monitor on right etc..) and working great. Before moving onto eyefinity ran a few gaming tests to see how it went.

Single Display Results
Team Fortress 2 @ 2148*1152, all high/very high – Max – 252fps, Avg – 124fps
Trackmania Nations Forever @ 2148*1152, High/very high – Max – 120fps, Avg 95fps
COD6(mw2) @ 2148*1152, Everything Max. – Max 270fps, Avg 176fps
Just Cause 2 @ 214881152. – max 140fps, avg 95fps

Ok everything is running awesome, let’s tempt fate…..eyefinity time.

Ok first config to see if it works, changed all monitors to the same resolution 1400*1050(yeah i know 4:3 res but my 20″ are 4:3 monitors), went into catalyst and created a new group using all 3 monitors, resolution 4200px*1050px….. DONE! working perfectly well maybe not perfectly because I have two “4:3” monitors and one “16:9” monitor the image is looking somewhat stretched but eyefinity is working perfect not only without a native displayport monitor or even a active displayport adaptor, just using a cheap displayport->vga adaptor.

Eyefinity Results
all games @ 4200px*1050px, all setting same as single monitor test

Team Fortress 2 – Max 170fps, avg 98fps
Trackmania – Max 109fps, Avg – 71fps
COD6 – worked but massive stretching made unplayable. Couldn’t run fair comparison.
Just Cause 2 – Failed center monitor would not display image.

For my rig at the moment although eyefinity is a possible it’s not worth while, due to the stretching caused by having to run a 4:3 resolution on a 16:9 image are way to skewed to be used ingame, in so saying though if you had different size monitor that where at least the same ratio I don’t think monitor size would be too much of any issue.

Anyway hope this may help out some people stuck with the same scenario as me.

Trackmania

Trackmania running @ 4200*1050

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