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Old 07-04-10, 12:27 PM
Diablo Diablo is offline
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Eyefinity: inital thoughts

Eyefinity initial thoughts:

Whilst I may not be pushing eyefinity to its limits at the moment, with a mere 3 1920*1200 screens, I think I am in a good position to give a first impression of eyefinity.

To use eyefinity you need an ATI 5xxx series graphics chip, two DVI monitors and a displayport monitor or an adaptor to take displayport to DVI. This has to be active and they generally cost around £70-£80. On top of this factor in the cost of three monitors, a high end graphics chip and you'll be looking at the end of £1000. Of course one could go for an ATI 5870 eyefinity 6 card, with 6 2560*1600 monitors, a custom stand and then wince at the £6500 tag it carries with it.

Eyefinity was very easy to setup, just plug in the screens, open up catalyst control panel and create a group. Easy. This now tells windows you have one screen with a 5760*1200 resolution, extends the task bar and starts every program in full screen, which unfortunately isn't ideal.

With a little tweaking, everything settles down and you begin to revel in the awesomeness of having such a large desktop space. Then comes the big moment and you boot up a game. One of two things will happen: The game will boot fine, or it won't. If it doesn't it's a matter of tweaking the ini file to accept such a massive resolution and hoping.

Crysis: Crysis was very easy to setup for eyefinity, taking one resolution change. However when you sit down to play this monster, all the problems you thought you had left behind after upgrading, such as slowdown suddenly appear, giving you some idea of what crysis is like as a powerpoint show.

With the FPS figures down in the single digits with a pair of overclocked 5970s, I decided to take the antialiasing down to 0, and suddenly the frames shot up. Any form of antialiasing is too much for the poor graphics chips, so unless you happen to have a powerpoint fetish, avoid.

The visuals however are stunning, with three monitors surrounding me, it felt like being in the jungle (albeit without chunks of hot lead piercing me every few seconds). The extra space enables you to see enemies trying to flank you. If you have the chance, see it in action, words struggle to describe the experience.

Oblivion: Oblivion is a fair bit older than many games tested today, and will happily run at least 2x AA with no problems. Be aware that the side monitors tend to display a slightly stretched image for some reason, and that having a third person point of view will lead to motion sickness without the motion.

Fallout 3: Fallout 3 is one of my favourites, however it will not behave with 2x AA on, and the scopes and Pipboy are screwed up. No matter, avoid going into the menu too much and it looks amazing, the full landscape stretches forth and is definitely worth the poor menu and scopes.

DIrt 2: Dirt 2 in full 3 monitor glory is a sight to behold, with some of the best water physics and full DX11 support, it's almost criminal not have the maximum resolution. Again AA is best left off, although it was possible to engage 2x until too much action occured, then it was hello powerpoint.

RESI 5: The menus in Resi are completely zoomed in, making it nearly impossible to play. I wish they would get on and patch this.

Overall, eyefinity is definitely worth the money for me, but others may feel it is just too much cash. The experience is amazing, the extra width is worth having, but on the other hand todays graphics chips are struggling and there are more than a few bugs.

I'm all for it, it adds an extra something to gameplay, and doesn't need the geeky glasses or give you a headache as 3d vision does. I think the technology needs to have a few bugs ironed out, but overall it is totally useable. The biggest downside aside from the cost is the need for the most powerful GPUs in town to power it.
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Old 07-04-10, 05:55 PM
Pyr0 Pyr0 is offline
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nice write up m8,

i still need to upgrade my gfx card, just nothing out there making me think "oooh, gotta get me one o them!"

as you pointed out too... eyefinity would cost me far too much for another 2 monitors

i believe the displayport/dvi adapter should only need to be active or powered if you want to use a higher resolution than 1920x1200 though
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Old 07-04-10, 06:18 PM
cl0ck_ed cl0ck_ed is offline
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Nice review. The cost is the biggest killer. But I question the amount of detail needed in the two flanking monitors. Imo Ati should decrease the image Quality if possible as the gamer will not be staring at them, they will mostly just be in the corner of the eye of the beholder. Like in reality, the corners of our vision is only really sensitive to motion so we don't need all the detail of a 1920x1200 monitor.

As for cost I got my new Benq 1920x1080 24" for 140GBP so 3x140=420 + hd5770 trifire = 420 + (120x3)= 780GBP all in! Sounds more appealing now!!

That desk top shot looks ridiculous lol, can you post up a random screen shot of your desk top in use. Is it really possible to use the whole desktop with out filling with Task Manager, realtemp etc ...
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Old 07-04-10, 09:47 PM
a8875624 a8875624 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by name='cl0ck_ed'
That desk top shot looks ridiculous lol, can you post up a random screen shot of your desk top in use. Is it really possible to use the whole desktop with out filling with Task Manager, realtemp etc ...
Indeed that desktop shot is ridiculous. For me - the price is just too much, and it doesn't bring that much advantage. Others may disagree, but I just feel that 3+ monitors can begin to get a little pointless.

On a side note : [just reminded me of it] This is coool! http://www.ostendo.com/crvd/
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Old 07-04-10, 10:59 PM
Diablo Diablo is offline
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5770 trifire should be very good considering how fast those cards are.If you clock those, I reckon you'd be looking at a 5870Xfire killer.

THe display port has to be active if you are using three monitors unfortunately, regardless of size. Its something to do with clock generation and the 5000's only having two generators, or according to other rumours, magic.

I know what cl0ck_ed means when he says they should reduce the qquality on the other two screens. In some games, like Dirt 2 or grid, you only need the movement to tell you of another car alongside etc. but in RPGs like oblivion, it just helps with immersion having that quality. I would love an option like that so that I could have crysis running all the visuals on one monitor and maybe only mainstream on the side.

About the price, you're right with 1080p monitors, unfortunately I had a very nice 1920*1200 model to begin with, and the 1200 monitors are a bit more pricey. Unfortunately for many people the price will put them off, but after a couple of days playing with multimonitor gaming, I'd struggle to go back.

Its kind of like that initial second monitor, once you go dual screen you don't want to have to go back.

Below is my desktop, how it is normally, with a half monitor devoted to firefox, one to outlook, one to itunes, half to chem draw, half to chem 3d, msi afterburner checking the gpu temps and overclock (900/1200) and the rest to vpn clients etc.

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