Sapphire Radeon 5770 FleX Edition
DisplayPort Be Gone!
Eyefinity is ATI’s answer to the problem of traditionally requiring dual graphics cards for multiple displays. Eyefinity enables a single GPU to support three or more displays simultaneously, and will alllow users to group multiple monitors into a large integrated display surface, enabling windowed and full-screen 3D applications (including games), images, and video to span across multiple displays as one desktop.
The problem with Eyefinity (until now) has been that at least one of the monitors must have a DisplayPort connection. Monitors that have DisplayPort are typically more rare and expensive than the long list of displays that support DVI. But the beauty of the Sapphire 5770 FleX is that a DisplayPort monitor is not necessary to run Eyefinity.
The 5770 FleX is the first card on the market to support three DVI monitors in ATI Eyefinity, out of the box, without the need for costly active adapters. The majority of HD 5000 series cards require the third monitor to be DisplayPort compatible, or have an active DisplayPort-to-DVI or VGA adapter. With the 5770 FleX, the first two monitors are connected to the DVI outputs, as usual. A third DVI monitor can then be connected to the HDMI output with a passive cable adapter (included). This allows users with existing DVI monitors to use three of them in ATI Eyefinity mode without any additional investment. Four monitors can be used in Eyefinity mode with this card – but the fourth monitor does need a DisplayPort connection.
So what’s the catch? Well, other than the fact that you need three monitors to begin with, a Radeon 5770 doesn’t really offer enough horsepower to run games at such extreme resolutions of, say, 5040×1650 (three 22" screens) or 5760×1200 (three 24" screens) with good framerates. Your framerates will tank in just about any modern game.
There’s also the issue that only a few very new games support the resolutions offered by Eyefinity. As you can see below, after we hooked up the 5770 FleX in Eyefinity mode, we tried Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, released in Fall 2009. Eyefinity isn’t properly supported, even when set to the correct resolution; the aspect ratio doesn’t match and the visuals are stretched unnaturally wide.
However, in Aliens vs Predator, a much newer game title released in Spring 2010, it has no problem supporting Eyefinity at the proper resolution and aspect ratio. As you can see below, stretching or distortion is not evident in the game.
Let’s take a quick look at how to set up Eyefinity for those of you who are unfamiliar with it.