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Posted December 15, 2010 by Jake in Video Cards

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by Jake
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AMD Eyefinity

With the pervasiveness of information being provided at an increasing pace these days, we are simply at the mercy of our monitors’ ability to display that information; quite simply, a single monitor cannot accommodate the visual real estate many people now need. Using three monitors across a desk is not terribly uncommon nowadays. Multiple-display setups and technology were traditionally full of headaches and disappointment, but Eyefinity changed that completely.

AMD Eyefinity Technology provides advanced multiple monitor technology enabling an immersive graphic and computing experience with innovative display capabilities, supporting massive desktop workspaces and super-high resolution gaming environments. AMD Eyefinity technology with DisplayPort connectivity enables a single GPU to support up to six independent display outputs simultaneously. There will be many combinations of viewing space configurations available, both in portrait and landscape format, as well as a hybrid of both simultaneously. Several examples are shown below:

There are a couple of caveats here, however: the first is that Windows Vista or Windows 7 must be the operating system, so Win XP will not work. The second stipulation is that to enable more than two displays, additional panels with native DisplayPort connectors, and/or certified DisplayPort adapters to convert your monitor’s native input to your cards DisplayPort or Mini-DisplayPort connector(s), are required. So, DisplayPort is required in some fashion, and while the DP monitors are expensive, the new adapters are not, allowing users to get into Eyefinity with existing DVI monitors. It should also be noted that the monitors do not need to be the same make/model, unlike Nvidia’s Surround solution, thereby allowing more versatility here in Eyefinity.

Needless to say, the prospect for gaming across three screens simultaneously is drool-inducing. But there must be support in game for these odd spanning ratios and resolutions. Developers are finally offering support in the latest games on the market, but older titles are hit and miss. One example of a newer title that supports widescreen gaming and proper aspect ratios is Aliens vs Predator. As you can see below, the viewing is not improperly stretched even across the three screens.

Another example of supported Eyefinity setup is Tom Clancy’s HAWX 2 that offers a panoramic and immersive experience spanned across several monitors for example.

If you have the need for multiple displays and the budget to support it, chances are you’ll be inclined to run three screens across in landscape format. Further, panels that have DisplayPort connectivity but also come with very thin bezels to reduce the "jump" between screens are even more rare. Samsung is working on a couple such products but no release date has been mentioned. So the reality is that multiple-panel gaming is now available, but it’s expensive.

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