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AMD Displays Graphics Games Technology

Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 — Gaming On Six Panels 111

Posted by Soulskill
from the for-the-truly-dedicated dept.
MojoKid writes "AMD's 6-output Radeon has been seen in action at a number of events, but today the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition is being officially launched. HotHardware paired the card up with six 22" Dell LCD panels in a 3x2 configuration — with a max resolution of 5760x2160 — and ran it through a number of popular titles including Dirt 2, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Crysis. For specialized, high-end graphics cards like this, the market potential may be relatively small. If, however, the idea of multi-monitor gaming is appealing to you and you've got the means to score one of these cards (along with multiple displays), you won't be disappointed." Reader Vigile adds a different analysis of the card's six-monitor gaming: "PC Perspective found FPS games were basically unplayable because of the bezel through the middle of their vision while RTS and racing games like StarCraft 2 and DiRT 2 were spectacular."
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Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 — Gaming On Six Panels

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  • Hmmm (Score:5, Funny)

    by Stooshie (993666) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:34AM (#31685146) Journal
    It's 6 of one and half a dozen of the other as far as I'm concerned!
    • by iamhassi (659463)
      FTA: [pcper.com]
      "Should you find yourself multi-monitor curious..."

      hey! whoa! slow down there partner! I mean, yeah sure I'm interested in six monitors, but curious? No, no I am not curious... about anything... not that there is anything wrong with that [tv.com]
      • by drkim (1559875)
        I had a multi-monitor experience in college once, but it was just an "experiment."

        I'm happy to say that years ago I met a lovely single CRT, we hooked up, and after some screwing, we've settled down together.
        Though sometimes, I find myself staring at some of those hot young LCD 3-D monitors at the mall... Those things just "pop out at you"... if you know what I mean.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Its 6 of one and half a dozen of the other only on crossfire capable motherboards.

      The great unwashed, with their single PCIe 16x slot, have to settle for "6 of one or half a dozen of the other"....
  • by dingen (958134) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:39AM (#31685188)
    Is the increased resolution of 6 screens really that much of an improvement over one large Full HD television, that the fact there are lines running right through your vision is acceptable? I really doubt that.
    • by santax (1541065) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:42AM (#31685204)
      Well the next step is off course to remove the casing from the screens. At least, that would be my mod numero uno. But I can image this setup (more screens, setup as a 180 degree panorama) being more 'realistic' and immersive(?) than one flat screen.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by 91degrees (207121)
        6 HD projectors should work for you. I wonder if the drivers have functionality to allow overlap.

        This sort of setup is very much a niche market for gaming, but pretty useful for commercial flight simulators or display walls.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by VolciMaster (821873)
          and with projector prices coming so far down, I don't see why they wouldn't be preferable now :)
          • Heat is going to be a MAJOR issue, as well as bulb replacement costs. Not to mention you need a room big enough to throw a decent distance.
            • by 91degrees (207121)
              Heat can't be that great an issue. At my university they had a three projector screen, and since each projector consisted of separate RGB elements, it must have been equivalent to 9 modern projectors. You will need a big room, but 6 HD screens aren't exactly tiny, and you'll need to be some way back to appreciate the full splendour there as well.
        • by TheLink (130905)

          > This sort of setup is very much a niche market for gaming, but pretty useful for commercial flight simulators or display walls.

          Wonder what it takes to do stuff like this:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8-kqovVjss [youtube.com]

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdbINlqjTUI [youtube.com]

      • by Ironhandx (1762146) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:23AM (#31685890)

        I've had this done with 3 monitors for a couple of months now. Its actually pretty easy to do and I got the bezel down to about 1/8th of an inch which is barely noticeable at all. They were Lenovo 22" monitors to begin with and only had a little more than 1/2" of bezel between two monitors regardless. Sadly I actually LIKED the bezel for separating things I was working on multiple desktops with, I noticed this after the mod was done of course.

        YMMV.

      • Or even more with these [engadget.com] bad-boys.
      • by edxwelch (600979)

        Another option would be to have 9 monitors, instead of 6, with an added benefit that you could scoff at people with "only" a 6 monitor rig.

    • by bbqsrc (1441981) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:43AM (#31685208) Homepage
      Most TVs can only handle resolutions of up to 1920x1080, as they're made for HD video, so there is a slight advantage to the multiple monitor layout. However, the frames between the monitors would drive me insane.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by sznupi (719324)

        Do the frames between windows of a car also drive you insane? Likewise when you wear glasses? (you might not need corrective ones but sunglasses are common enough) And those two translucent outlines of your nose, that you see all the time, must be really tormenting...

        Seriously, it works rather fine (well, 6 monitors, with frame right in the center, is a poor choice...but not the only one)

        • by nacturation (646836) * <`moc.liamg' `ta' `noitarutcan'> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:13AM (#31685394) Journal

          Do the frames between windows of a car also drive you insane? Likewise when you wear glasses?

          Those are all on the periphery of your vision. Would you wear glasses that had an opaque cross on the lens centered directly over your iris?

          • by sznupi (719324)

            I specifically said I'm talking about 3-monitors (or any other number than ill-concieved 6 (just to have the biggest number with workable implementation?)). In that case frames are also on the periphery of your vision.

          • by sznupi (719324)

            Well, I said that in post right next to the one you're replying to, anyway ;p (but I still said there are better numbers than 6)

        • by Lumpy (12016)

          If the car windshield had frame every 2 feet? yes. in fact it would and most people would not buy that car.

          What kind of car do you drive that has frames all across the windshield?

          • by sznupi (719324)

            Did you really miss high resolution, widescreen monitors? Frame ends up approximatelly of the size and place like those in a car...

      • by srussia (884021) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:31AM (#31685958)

        However, the frames between the monitors would drive me insane.

        That's okay, I only play Tie figher sims anyway.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      Nevermind 6, let us talk 3 (since this works better in most types of games, also FPS). With three big monitors you can effectivelly almost fill your field of vision (perhaps even with the left and right one tilting slightly, so three monitors form a semi-arc)

      With one big TV...not really; unless you sit so "close" that it's no longer an enjoyable experience.

    • Depends on your scale; with this, you can use six large Full HD televisions if you like, rather than those dinky little 22" LCDs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by KillzoneNET (958068)

      Looking at the videos, I can confidently say that yes, it'd be better to get a large TV.

      One thing to point out with those videos and the review is that the FOV is like a typical monitor. He goes on to mention how great it is, but its really just him sitting 3 feet in front of a 66" display. Anyone will say the same thing playing a game on a typical 40-50" display running at a much lower 1080p resolution.

      The key to playing in such an array is to get immersion in games. You're much better off making a configu

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tom17 (659054)
        I agree.

        I also like this... "racing in Dirt 2 on a 3x2 Eyefinity configuration is a totally different experience than playing on a single, smaller screen" - Indeed, but I also think that probably, "racing in Dirt 2 on a 3x2 Eyefinity configuration is just like playing on a single, similar sized screen, except with annoying frames"
        Surely a projector would be just as good/better?

        One area that I think this kind of setup would be very great is where the 'peripheral' screens were displaying 'peripheral' vi
      • One thing to point out with those videos and the review is that the FOV is like a typical monitor.

        That entirely depends on what game you're playing, most games allow you to adjust the FOV at least to some extent, even if you have to dig around in the settings files (which you have to do with most new games now anyway, as they seem to have their FOV set up for 4:3 monitors not 16:10).

        Personally I would use 3 monitors and as I'm happy enough playing with 1 monitor, I'd increase the FOV to have the side-screens as peripheral vision; which you can't do with a large screen because you can't 'curve' it or sit

      • One thing to point out with those videos and the review is that the FOV is like a typical monitor.

        Mmm ... no, it's not the same. Regular wide screen TV: 16x9. Regular wide screen monitor: 16x9 or16x10

        A six monitor (3x2) wide screen setup will be: 48x18 (16x3 and 9x2) or 48x20 (16x3 and 10x2). This is 24x9 or 24x10 which is 50% wider than 16x6 and 16x10 respectively. But thank you for playing.

        • Which again is a typical monitor. Widescreens are becoming the norm. Mine right now is a 24" 1080p monitor. So seeing his videos is no different from what I typically see.
          • A 1080p monitor is 1920x1080 pixels. That is a 16x9 format (16x120 = 1920 and 9x120 = 1080). It's still 50% too slim to match the 24x9 perspective.

            If it was a 3x3 configuration, it'd be the same format. But it's 'only' 3x2, so you're cutting a third off of the height. If you want to get an idea of the perspective, try setting a game to a resolution of 1920x720.

      • by drkim (1559875)
        Actually - this gives me an idea...
        What if you had 3 (or 6) HD projectors aligned so there was no gap or overlap? Then you could have the full resolution with no seam. You could even project into a hemispherical screen...?
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Why didn't they make it an odd number so that you could have a center screen without having two monitor edges dead center?

      • by lattyware (934246)
        Well, 1 should be self-explanetory, 3 has been done before, 5 doesn't go into a nice layout, neither does 7, and 9 is a lot of monitors.
      • From my perspective, it might be ideal to have 5 screens in eyefinity. 3 across the middle, and one on top and on the bottom in the middle. That allows me to see above and below and to the sides. Does eyefinity allow this kind of setup?
    • by AHuxley (892839)
      you can try 2880 x 900 via http://www.necdisplay.com/newtechnologies/curveddisplay/ [necdisplay.com]
    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Yes, 6 1080p screen 1.5 feet from my eyes is 8000% better than 1 62" 1080p screen 1.5 feet from my eyes. there is a crapload more resolution in the 6 panels together than ANY big TV made.

    • Bezel hack! Can some mod kick him to validate my poor game play?
    • by dkf (304284)

      Is the increased resolution of 6 screens really that much of an improvement over one large Full HD television, that the fact there are lines running right through your vision is acceptable?

      Think about it. You could have 6 Full HD televisions...

    • by Belial6 (794905)
      Since, the choice of monitor or Full HD television is totally unrelated to the number of displays, the real question becomes, is a line running through your vision better or worse than not having that vision at all. Since the first monitor will be their either way, and it is only a question of whether you add the other 5 monitors above, left and right of where your current screen currently ends.

      The ultimate setup would be to have projectors on the outside of a box made of screens that you can see the pi
  • 6 is unplayable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by loufoque (1400831)

    6 is stupid.
    Either go for 3 or 9.

  • Imagine a beowulf cluster of those!

    Heh... I remember doing my graduate numerical electromagnetics research using a DEC/Alpha that performed in the MFLOP range... Boy I wonder if I could run all my old FORTRAN77 code on this thing! :p

  • ...who read "Gaming On Six Pixels?"

  • by kcbnac (854015) <kcbnac@nosPaM.gmail.com> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @06:22AM (#31685454)

    I am currently running with an Eyefinity setup - Radeon HD5770, with 3 20" displays at 1600x1200 each. (Traded up from a HD4850, brought down the idle temp and fan noise, and gained Eyefinity capability) So I'm running at 4800x1200, when it is set up as a "single panel." I've got the left and right monitors set up at a slight angle.

    Most games work fine with it, some that aren't designed to scale to such a ratio I have to keep at a single monitor's resolution - but when it detects something running fullscreen, at say, 1600x1200 (each monitor's native display) it just mirrors it across all three.

    Some games like RTSes have a GUI interface at the bottom - some just move the corners (unit details, commands) and leave plenty of space in between - others 'stretch' - so games will have to be patched or designed with this in mind, to fully work. (If it doesn't, at least it degrades relatively gracefully)

    Some games don't scale at all - and when they go above a certain resolution, just stretch in general, or zoom their interfaces based on the aspect ratio it can generate. These ones I have to keep at a lower resolution.

    So far all of the Source engine games from Valve work great - I haven't tried Counter-Strike: Source, but everything newer works fine, giving me peripheral vision. I just hope Valve updates these to allow the HUD to be movable - only downside to them that I've encountered yet.

    Fallout 3 works with it, with some tweaking - had to edit the configuration file to move the HUD interface options, and fix the PipBoy 3000 interface - it zoomed too close to see the top and bottom.

    So as we discover more games that do or don't work - let the developers know, hopefully they'll update their games to support the aspect ratio. At a minimum at least it degrades gracefully if it can't use the extra monitors - and by making it available on all of the 5xxx series cards, it will become a standard. Hopefully nVidia is able to implement a similar feature so that it isn't a manufacturer-centric feature that some developers won't support since it isn't 100% usable...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AHuxley (892839)
      Really need some list like http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/wiki/Essential_Games_List [widescreen...gforum.com]
      to add some extra "scale" info.
    • You should turn the screens to portrait.

      The 3600x1600 will be much more viewable with most games and the screen won't seem so dauntingly vast.

      • by sgtrock (191182)

        The whole point of such a setup for FPSes is to gain peripheral vision, though. Back when we were playing QW and Q2, I knew a guy who would set up his FOV to 140 degrees (default is typically set to 90). Made for some heavy distortion onscreen, but sneaking up on him was pretty tough! :) Personally, I used to set mine to 110 or 120.

        As an aside, 90 degrees is really low. Most people have peripheral vision out to about 160 degrees. Mine is slightly higher. There's one retired running back in the NFL who

    • by aka1nas (607950)
      Nvidia users are supposed to get triple-head gaming with SLI support later in April with the new driverset for Fermi. It will require two or more cards in SLI as they only offer dual output cards. The feature name is 3d Vision Surround, but the triple-head feature is not tied to the 3d vision part.
  • In addition to the 6 screen setup acting at one unit, the screens will, I assume, be able to act independently of one another for 6 separate screens, or possibly even 2 or 4 combined with 4 or 2 staying independent, respectively. This would allow for imaging-types of applications (MRI's, Digital X-Rays, CAD) be displayed on a large surface while having a few separate screens for applications that do not require visuals - all on the same machine. I can totally see this being used is hospitals and graphics de
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      You can set them up as separate displays already, and have been able to for years. The difference here is multi-monitor gaming. nVidia lets you set up multiple displays on one card as a single, virtual display, but I've never tried gaming with it; and AFAIK they only offer two ports on one card, anyway. Matrox had a Parhelia with three ports some time ago, that would let you do triple-display gaming, but the performance was poor.

  • by mandark1967 (630856) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @07:38AM (#31686010) Homepage Journal

    I currently use an Eyefinity setup in Portrait Mode with a Dell 2408FWP and 2 Dell U2410s.

    Here's my trippy background http://img638.imageshack.us/img638/1050/echo.jpg [imageshack.us] (it's rather large at 3600x1920)

    The setup is pretty awesome in my opinion and is pretty easily driven by my single 5870.

    I do, from time to time, run into an issue where the card hits its framebuffer from being limited to 1GB or RAM so I believe I will upgrade for the sole purpose of getting that additional 1GB of RAM. I also believe the E6 cards probably come with some minor revisions to their architecture and BIOS that may allow them to be overclocked a little better than the original batch of 1GB cards that were released on Launch Day (When I got mine)

    I do understand the laws of supply & demand may cause some to raise prices somewhat, but I am hoping that the new cards are not offered at some outrageous price.

  • The pr0n enthusiasts must still be asleep; there has been no mention yet. Either that, or the world will definitely come to an end tomorrow.

  • I have two screens. I like it. I play the occasional game. When I play a game, I look at one screen. It's a shooter. It has my target right in the middle. I want to be able to glance at the screen and see EVERYTHING.

    The bezel just means there's this clear border - "this is screen 1, this is screen 2" and makes it hard for me to imagine anything else.

    The other thing. Why not get 3 screens? That way you get a clear middle and then two more screens you can do stuff on.

  • the point in this because, for gaming in say MW2 or CS:S, you arn't interested in anything further out than a single monitor provides. The good players don't look around, they look blankly at the screen until they see something move and then twitch to it. Given that screen space of this vastness is going to put more of the game to your peripheral vision, i can't see the advantage. I'd be very surprised if you went to LAN parties and the 'elite' players used a setup like this. It does have its advantages fo
  • Quadroplex setup (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sanosuke001 (640243) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @08:07AM (#31686320)
    At work, we have dual 4K projectors behind a 32:9, 15 foot wide piece of glass on our main visualization display (we do 3D visualization software) and we run a system with two Quadroplex boxes (two quadro 5800's each I believe) and nVidia's drivers are a long way from actually working correctly for us. We see a lot of tearing when in mosaic mode and multiple opengl contexts can't run concurrently (it only allows half resolution height when doing so) and makes the system very unstable. Seeing that this card doesn't require clock sync and works with six screens seamlessly, it looks like a viable alternative to us. Considering that two cards could run our 7680x2160 screen (our 4K projectors are four 1080p screens each) it might be advantageous for us to upgrade had we not just bought the new quadroplexes (nVidia told us to update our quadroplexes as our old ones didn't support the mosaic mode correctly; unfortunately, the new ones don't seem to either...)

    I see these cards more useful to those with setups like ours; projectors that can display without borders and for high-quality visualizations.
  • Is it the same situation with these cards as with the Radeon Mobility HD cards whereby you cannot download updated drivers directly from ATI but must go to your PC/laptop manufacturer instead? Is there proper Linux support (proprietary drivers)? There's not for the Mobility cards
  • Here's a review [hardocp.com] of the same setup by HardOCP. Complete with video of not only gaming but screen setup, etc.
  • Next we'll see a six-panel LCD without bezels that can deform from a flat screen to having the monitors on either end of a 3x2 tilt out to create a concave screen (with proper distortion applied to the video simulate peripheral view) that creates an amazing and immerse experience.

    But that's just a stop-gap (and probably a very expensive one at that).

    The real end to this road is a giant 3-6' tall OLED screen that starts out flat, but can then be curved to create a similar wrap-around viewing experience. Only

  • by nrozema (317031) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @09:52AM (#31687796)

    Fuck everything, we're doing seven panels.

  • So, you can just plug in your 49" (what I did) HDTV and go gaming, do web sites or whatever, or buy 6 identical monitors & mounts and set it all up and in the end have higher resolution but have your windows all split into 6 parts ? Maybe for gaming it would work, but for web sites, having text split between monitors is really annoying. I think even for videos it would be rather annoying. What if amd drops support for this in a few years when you are ready for an upgrade ? Just wait a few years until
  • Having many different multi screen setups-
    my biggest gripe is whenever I stretch an actual video across multiple monitors--
    only one monitor gets the output-- the rest are black

    any chance I can expand VLC to span- and the video will as well?

  • anyone know if the ati linux drivers work for this?

  • PC Perspective found FPS games were basically unplayable because of the bezel through the middle of their vision FPS games have a target crosshair in the exact middle of the screen. Everybody knows you need an odd number of screen in each direction to be able to target anything, i.e. either 3 screens or 9 screens for multiscreen FPS. Also, at about 4k x 4k resolution human perception reaches the point where you can't make out individual pixels while the entire screen is in your field of view; higher resolut
  • "PC Perspective found FPS games were basically unplayable because of the bezel through the middle of their vision..."

    So just do 3x1 monitors and you won't have a bezel going through the center of your view.... You can just by 3 big monitors instead.

  • Well, gaming isn't much of my thing (anymore). But with decent software supplied with it it'd make a great tool for (in my case art) video presentations having a different video on each LCD. Instead of needing a separate computer for each video, I could use one computer and have 6 lcds connected to it. Neat.

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