AMD demos "Eyefinity" multi-monitor technology

By on September 11, 2009, 11:23 AM
Those of you who run dual monitor setups know the freedom it gives for multitasking. But with its upcoming DirectX 11-capable Radeon HD 5800 series, AMD is hoping to take this experience to a whole new level, via a new technology called Eyefinity that allows for multiple displays to be driven off of a single video card.

Specifics on the technology are still being kept under wraps, but a recent demonstration showed six 30-inch Dell displays running together to form one insane 7680 x 3200 resolution surface. The graphics card used in this particular demo sported six DisplayPort connectors, made possible due to the connector's compact size, though a spokesperson said that HDMI and DVI-based cards with fewer outputs should be available as well.

Apparently AMD has coded their driver to tell the operating system that a single huge screen is attached, instead of multiple monitors, thus enabling games to take advantage of the entire surface. Anandtech notes that the upcoming race title Dirt 2 was shown off at 7680 x 3200 with "definitely playable frame rates," for example, while Left 4 Dead on a three monitor, 7680 x 1600 configuration produced better results.

Maximum PC cites 12-20 frames per second performance in a 3DMark 2006 test, which is not what many would consider "playable," but getting that resolution from a single card is nonetheless impressive. Of course this six-connector GPU isn't a production model, but there should be three-connector versions at launch that will allow an ultra-widescreen setup off a single card. AMD didn't announce specific price-points, but did state that Eyefinity-based graphics will make it into desktops and notebooks "at very affordable prices."

The downside to using so many monitors (besides their total price of course) is that their bezels might get in the way. For this, Samsung is reportedly working with AMD to produce ultra-thin-bezel monitors and stands designed with Eyefinity in mind.

User Comments: 11

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Hmmm....not so sure about this. Seems to me it'd just be easier to buy a decent good sized HDTV and run your game through that rather than fooling around cabling and powering 3-6 monitors together, hoping your video card can run them all at a decent frame rate. And as mentioned, there's the bezel problem.

Don't think I'll spend any investment dollars on this little project. ;-)

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I've had multi-monitor setups like this (4 monitors), using 2 Nvidia Quadro's in SLI, but it was always for business rather than gaming. For business, multi-monitor setups are ideal when multi-tasking. For gaming, I would prefer to use a single large hdtv as TomSEA stated. There are always going to be trade-offs.

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

I think this is a great concept, yes the bezels are a problem but that just means manufactures have to come up with a bezel-less monitor/tv. I do find it interesting this article claims the frames per second are is 12-20 when the article on claims to be doing 80 fps.

Jos Jos said:

That 80fps figure is for World of Warcraft, which isn't very graphically demanding. I got the 12-20 fps data from another report (adding the link now) which quoted some 3DMark 2006 numbers.

gobbybobby said:

only really rich people have more than 2 monitors! WTF y would u need that many! (ok for the reasons in the article.)


it looks nice but i dont think that it wil be good for firing games and games need a concentration in the middle,as wendig sayd, 1 big monitr is better

Guest said:

Cry-Engine 3 for PC (First Time: Ati Eyefinity)

While I won't be using multiple monitors myself it speaks for a very powerful GPU:

MaXtor MaXtor said:

Monitors are made for sitting up close. Using a 24 inch monitor for PC gaming is more than enough, any bigger (more screens = bigger) you have look side to side or sit further back, you might as well have an HDTV.

T77 T77 said:

wow! thats pretty nice,except for the frames part

moeschen said:

I have two inexpensive ($35 ea.) video cards that still are plenty good enough to hanle two 23" monitors each, total of four. So there are four screens side to side and the setup is excellent. Assuming this card device costs hundreds of dollars (and you still have to buy the monitors) which would appear to be the better choice?

Badfinger said:

Looks ugly to me, if wealthy, just get 1 huge monitor?

Only folks I know in need of multiple monitors are developers, support folks, and poker players.

I tried two (with old monitor), and just didn't need it, and desk space is a premium.

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