Go Back   Hardware Canucks > HARDWARE > Video Cards

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 12:21 PM
CMetaphor's Avatar
Quadfather
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 4,999

My System Specs

Default Eyefinity Clarification Thread Q&A

I've been doing far too much reading on this subject, talking to engineers and reading various threads on multiple forums, so I thought I'd answer a few of the very commonly asked (and most confusing) questions concerning The 5870/5850 & Eyefinity. I apologize to anyone that may already know this information and/or finds it redundant. But 1) I we don't have a thread concerning these specific issues a 2) lots of people are asking me where to get answers.

The first, and most important, asked question people are asking me is:

Q: "How can I run three displays with a 5870/5850?" and "Will x adapter work?"
A: Multi-part answer: Number one, passive Displayport to DVI adapters will not work.
Why? The 5870/5850s have two clock generators which are required to create DVI signals. Displayport does not make use of a clock generator in this fashion when using three displays, therefore passive DP to DVI adapters Will Not work because they cannot create a clock for a DVI panel. An Active DP adapter is required.

Two, the only known Active DP adapters that have been testing a Do Work are made by Dell/Bizlink and are approx. $100 CAD. Yes, it's expensive, but still far cheaper than buying a new LCD with DP built-in. AMD is working with OEMs to make more/cheaper adapters.

Three, To run a triple, monitor setup with a 5870/5850 all three monitors must have the same resolution. Mixing & matching is not an option here, as Eyefinity only supports SLS (Single Large Surface) which requires that all monitors used to create an Eyefinity group have matched resolutions. This may be changed in the future with a software and/or Bios tweak, we'll see.

There, that's not too bad is it? Get 3x matched (and getting cheaper by the day) 22''+ LCDs with DVI inputs + a $100 active DP adapter and your fancy 5870 and you're laughing.

Note:
Unlike a Matrox TH2Go setup, Eyefinity is NOT limited to 3x1680x1050 maximum resolution and can scale just fine all the way up to 3x2560x1600. It also supports triple portrait setups as well.

Q: "Can I Use one of each connect for Eyefinity?" (aka 1x DVI, 1x HDMI & 1x DP)
A: Yup.

Q: "Can I CrossfireX and an Eyefinity setup at the same time?"
A: No, not yet. You can do either or, but CF with Eyefinity is not yet working (but is also being worked on).

Q: "Can I run a 4th monitor on side, next to an Eyefinity setup?"
A: All signs point to No. As mentioned above, with only two clock generators (both of are being used when using Eyefinity) there are none left for use with your remaining connector. AMD has shown possible setups for the Future of Eyefinity, which involve a Triple monitor setup + extra displays, but to my knowledge those extra modes will only work with the 5870 Eyefinity6 (5870 w/ 6x mini DP connectors).

Q: "When the Eyefinity Edition (aka Eyefinity6) comes out, will I still have to use an Active DP adapter?"
A: Yes, but don't kill me if I'm wrong yet. All documents and data I can find concerning this card indicate that will still only have two clock generators, and thus an active DP adapter will be needed for the 3rd, 4th, etc displays.

Q: "Why displayport? Adapters/changing monitors is annoying and expensive"
A: A few reasons. First being bandwidth = 8Gbps theoretical. This easily allows for the 30'' panels to connect seamlessly without worrying if your DVI connector is dual-link or not. Another reason is that Displayport directly informs the monitor how to properly display a mode. Gone will be the days of EDID, where a monitor "informs" a graphics card what resolutions/modes it supports and how to display them. Displayport will simply tell the monitor how to display any mode, and thus will (hopefully) decrease the cost of LCD monitors in future, since all the eletronics/complications related to EDID will be gone.

Q: "Which drivers work for Eyefinity?"
A: These drivers: Link - and only these work, thus far.

Update: 10/18/2009:

Q: "Can I use any three monitors with the same resolution for Eyefinity?"
A: Yes. Provided that they all share the same resolution/aspect ratio/orientation.

Q: "I know I can't get Eyefinity to work with with a Passive DP-DVI adapter, but I can I use it anyway just to have 3x monitors?"
A: This seems to be a mixed bag, some people online have reported that a passive DP adapter will work and that you'll be able to use all 3 monitors as either cloned or extended desktop. However, in my testing I have not yet found a passive adapter that will work At All with the 5870. I'll update this again if I find anything different later on.

Hopefully all this info helps I'll update this thread when more news/info comes out.
__________________
"Backed by common sense and physics!" -Squeetard
Opteron Server for Sale! http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...ade-ideas.html

Last edited by CMetaphor; December 11, 2009 at 01:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 12:33 PM
Sagath's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Petawawa, ON
Posts: 2,509

My System Specs

Default

Thanks CM. Nice easy roundup for alot of the questions people have regarding this new tech. Lets just hope it doesnt turn into vaporware

Quote:
This made by changed in the future with a software and/or Bios tweak, we'll see.
Not to be a grammar nazi, but I think you mean "This may be changed"? Just helpin' out
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lpfan4ever View Post
AKG shot the hamsters, and then Perineum drove his Mustang with summer tires into the server.
My Disclaimer to any advice or comment I make;
Quote:
Originally Posted by CroSsFiRe2009 View Post
I'm a self certified whizbang repair technician with 20 years of professional bullshit so I don't know what I'm talking about
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 01:09 PM
CMetaphor's Avatar
Quadfather
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 4,999

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagath View Post
Not to be a grammar nazi, but I think you mean "This may be changed"? Just helpin' out
Fixed. Thats what i get to writing a long involved post what a hectic day on my hands, bleh.
__________________
"Backed by common sense and physics!" -Squeetard
Opteron Server for Sale! http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...ade-ideas.html
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 01:31 PM
MacJunky's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Creston, BC
Posts: 1,718

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CMetaphor View Post
It also supports triple portrait setups as well.
Badass! Gaming on that would be sweet.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 01:37 PM
CMetaphor's Avatar
Quadfather
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 4,999

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacJunky View Post
Badass! Gaming on that would be sweet.
Hell yes! Even 3x 22'' panels @ 1680x1050 gives your more pixels than a 30'' panel and more screen area as well:
Screenshots | [H]ard|OCP
__________________
"Backed by common sense and physics!" -Squeetard
Opteron Server for Sale! http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...ade-ideas.html
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 01:45 PM
gingerbee's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Orillia, Ontario
Posts: 6,828

My System Specs

Default

thank thank thank ( what about dvi to vga adapters being used in conjunction with a active dvi for the third monitor ) some of us are trying not to have to buy all new monitors for this
__________________
Fav quote "One should strive to achieve; not sit in bitter regret." Ronin Harris
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 01:55 PM
CMetaphor's Avatar
Quadfather
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 4,999

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerbee View Post
thank thank thank ( what about DVI to VGA adapters being used in conjunction with a active dvi for the third monitor ) some of us are trying not to have to buy all new monitors for this
If you're asking if you can use a regular DVI to VGA adapter on the 2x DVI ports then yes, they're backwards compatible (that's part of the DVI spec actually). As for a Displayport to VGA... Haven't seen one yet, and it would probably involve some sort of D2A (digital to analog) converter since AFAIK Displayport has no native analog compatibility.
__________________
"Backed by common sense and physics!" -Squeetard
Opteron Server for Sale! http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...ade-ideas.html
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 02:02 PM
gingerbee's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Orillia, Ontario
Posts: 6,828

My System Specs

Default

ok so i can run an active displayport to dvi and then run 2 x dvi to vga adapters and eyefinity6 will work
I have 2 x vga monitors.
so all i need is a 1 x active display adapter and 1 dvi display plus my 2 vga's and eyefinity will work

am i right on this so confused damn?
and of course the 5850/5870
__________________
Fav quote "One should strive to achieve; not sit in bitter regret." Ronin Harris
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 02:17 PM
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Edmonton,Alberta
Posts: 104
Default

What gingerbe said
Has anyone tried DisplayPort to VGA for the third monitor
Do you need really need to run DVI-D dual link for Eyefinty

My two 22" monitors have both DVI and VGA
I would have no problem running triple VGA for now
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old October 6, 2009, 02:26 PM
gingerbee's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Orillia, Ontario
Posts: 6,828

My System Specs

Default

I don't want triple vga. 2 x vga adapter from the dvi ports and then 1 x active display adapter to dvi from the display port
2 x dvi to vga
1 x active display adapter to dvi for the displayport
so all i need to buy is
1 x dvi monitor that match's my monitor's res
1 x dvi active display adapter
and 1 x 5870/5850
I know that you can not run 3 x vga it needs the dual link for the 2 clock gens
Good luck to all that are trying to run this
__________________
Fav quote "One should strive to achieve; not sit in bitter regret." Ronin Harris
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Comment Thread for The Future of Stereo 3D Part 1 &2 SKYMTL Display Units 45 October 23, 2009 06:01 AM
Jump to Eyefinity or not? CMetaphor Video Cards 38 October 9, 2009 04:17 PM
HWC lan party [Games&Benchmark list] &RSVP Thread Cowboy Off Topic 6 August 10, 2009 02:56 PM
AM2+ versus AM3 Motherboards and CPUs, clarification needed superj CPU's and Motherboards 17 February 25, 2009 08:48 AM
HD4870 & HD4850 Crossfire Review Comment Thread SKYMTL Video Cards 56 August 12, 2008 05:40 AM