Crossfire, Eyefinity and You.

Recently, I upgraded my computers video card from a GTX275 to dual 5870’s to, hopefully, increase the framerate and overall enjoyment of having 3 monitors.

Prior, I was using SoftTH for 3×1 gaming.  While the software was extremely flexible and, personally, a more preferred method of Mult-monitor gaming as it allowed far more customization.  The 5xxx cards are MADE for multi-monitor gaming thru Eyefinity.  Sure, it sounds like just a gimmick, given that SoftTH proved just about anything could do it.  But, the Radeon 5xxx line was designed with this in mind, with the ability to hook up 3 displays to one card, and a hefty amount of streaming units to help keep those higher resolutions running smooth.  Going from SoftTH to the built in Eyefinity setup, I gained anywhere from 20fps to 50fps.  Some of the negatives of Eyefinity are few, but substantial.

First, in order to use bezel compensation, the ability to “increase the screen size past the bezel around the viewing screen.” so you get a more seamless, window like view is only allowed when you have 3 of the same monitor.  Second, all monitors must be pointing the same direction when using 3 in a portrait fashion.  May not sound like a problem, but not all monitors are symmetrical.  some have larger bezels at the bottom, or even curved, non-uniform bezel bottoms near the base, making it impossible to get a clean, gapless look between the monitors unless you swivel one of the end screens the opposite direction.  but this isn’t something you can do with Eyefinity, you could with SoftTH.

And the single biggest issue I am having right now with Eyefinity actually has to do with Crossfiring 2 cards together.  Not too long ago, Crossfire simply didn’t work at all with Eyefinity.  When Eyefinity was enabled, Crossfire was ignored.  Until the 5970 was released (2 5870’s on one board.) with that, ATI released the 9.12hotfix drivers that allowed for Crossfire+Eyefinity (Cross-finity)  But this had issues, and to this day, it is still far from spectacular… lets face it, it’s just about useless.

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