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Crossfire w/ 3870, can it run in cf mode w/ dual monitors?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 2, 2007 3:55:29 AM

I am currently in the process of building a new computer, and I was wondering if while in CF mode I can use both my monitors. I have an old 17" one, and a new 28" one that runs at 1920x1200, so crossfire will have a moderate performance increase, I just want ot make sure I can use bother monitors while I have crossfire enabled.

I heard some of the earlier SLi rigs couldn't.

Thank you.
December 2, 2007 4:01:39 AM

Yes you can I pretty sure. If you just hook up the DVI and if the computer detects it im pretty sure. Somebody verify.
December 2, 2007 4:53:53 AM

I have heard it might, but I just wanted a confirmation.
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December 2, 2007 5:45:00 PM

Can anyone with a crossfire set up confirm this please?
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 2, 2007 6:12:43 PM

You can't use crossfire to accelerate both monitors, the action of Xfire works on just one monitor output, but you can disable it when you need dual monitors, and your can run each monitor independently where they each use the full graphics power for each monitor, but it requires support from the app (usually for flight sims, etc).

SLi still has this limitation, you no longer have to power down and reboot to switch, but neither can use mutli-vpu power to accelerate both monitors.
December 2, 2007 7:23:57 PM

Err, I only wanted the power of xfire on one monitor, but I would like to have the second monitor still active, that way I can look at a web page, or talk to people online.

For example I would run WoW on the 28" monitor with xfire enabled, while I have www.thottbot.com loaded on a website on my 17" monitor (with out xfire accelerating this monitor).

Is this possible with xfire, or can xfire run only one monitor, and not display a second one?
December 2, 2007 7:43:44 PM

i know the Matrox Dualhead2go allows sli/cf to be used with dual monitors, but it renders them together (i.e. it will take 2 1280x1024 19" monitors and make it into a 2560x1024 dual monitor), but in your case i dont think what your asking is possible

i think you can get another graphics card (either PCI or PCI-E if your motherboard has more than 2 slots), 2 can be used for crossfire, and you can get a 3rd cheap card for use with the 2nd monitor
December 2, 2007 7:46:42 PM

for example (sorry about the double post) i remember seeing a guys sig on another forum (dont remember which), he had 2900XTs crossfire for benching, and an 8800GTX for gaming in his third slot (i think the intel bad axe 2 975x motherboard has 3 slots... better ask about it though)
December 2, 2007 8:57:56 PM

Hmm, I may go with a signle card then, I want to beable to run games while I have my second monitor up still...


perhaps I will get an evga GTS refresh, then step up to the new 9800 (or whatever teh name of the series) is coming up jan/feb
December 2, 2007 9:27:55 PM

Hmmm i had a different question still related though...

I was thinking of getting Crossfire HD3850's, but i use 3monitors 24" Dell and 2x 19" Samsungs. Can i use the Crossfire for gaming on the 24" when when back in windows disable crossfire and have my 3 monitors work?
December 2, 2007 10:44:24 PM

You need a splitter.
December 3, 2007 1:04:15 AM

Hmm, then I may end up getting an eVGA GTS refresh card, then stepping up to the newest chipset coming this feb.

I would have liked not to get nVidia's card, since they don't allow SLi on the x38 chipset, but I may just stick with a single card.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 5, 2007 11:37:11 PM

Actually that doesn't Show Xfire+Multi-mon, it shows Xfire on it's own, then Multi-mon on its own (what part of the 8 monitors is using Xfire?).

The support for 8+ monitors is a function of M$ Flight sim, and it can support even more than that and acoss multiple PCs even (I remember seeing a 12+ setup on the back of Maximum PC with like 6 PCs), there's a bunch of more 'mundane' ones here;
http://www.wideview.it/wideview.htm
FSX has high multi-mon supoprt built in though and no need for apps like wideview.

But suporting Xfire with multi-monitors would be like having Card A+B powering one monitor, and then a third and/or fourth card powering another/other monitors.

To me the OP was asking if he could power the big panel with some Xfire help from card B while running the small panel with what's left of card B. Which isn't currently supported by either. And even now multi-mon suport is not possible while using Xfire, but that too may change with the 3&4 card support. However those links don't show that support either, they show what people were doing with AGP card and 1-2 PCI cards before.
December 5, 2007 11:56:36 PM

Read the info link again. The new ATI cards DO support multiple monitor gaming in xfire and non-xfire mode. It's the older ATI cards that can't do this(obviously). It says "up to" 8 monitors. The MS flight sim is just an example!
You can have 1 3870 and do 2 monitors, or, 2 3870's and have up to 4 monitors.
The 4 card setup is just to show you what it's max capabilities are.
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 6, 2007 12:27:13 AM

What info link?

There's a link to Adrian's Rojak Pot site, and I read what it says, but it doesn't say what you say it does, nor does any other literature associated with it.
I don't think you understand what I'm saying or what is in that review. Two seperate sections, OCTO-view is one section, Quad-Fire another, and it says nothing about running it simultaneously, if you actually look at the last slide they were pretty specific about Multi-Monitor OR Ultimate performance, not AND.

Explain to me what any of those 4 cards are doing that is anything like multi-gpu acceleration. It may be called a form of Xfire, but it doesn't do what Xfire and SLi's purpose is, which is to increase performance by combining resources. What would happen if you unplugged the Crossfire bridges, anything?

It's not 2 VPUs per monitor, it's 2 monitors per VPU, which is what we've been able to do for a long time.

I could've had 4 ATi or nV dual output cards on a quad slot MoBo or 2 Quad-output cards displaying 8 monitors in Flight Sim before, how is this different?

None of what Adrian's site says that they are using Xfire mutli-vpu acceleration, they actually split it into 2 separate functions. The reason it's of note is that the previous quad PEG slot mobos before were from other chipset mfrs. But you could've done it before, even with 1 AGP and 3 PCI cards. It just needs support from software, since M$ will see all eight monitors (up to 9 in W98/2K/XP not sure the max for Vista) you could run it, and FSX runs native support for large numbers of monitors (IIRC 16 monitors, but might be higher like 32 or something).

Anyways, nothing in that link shows me that you can use the benefits of Xfire to boost multi-monitor performance, if anything the "OR" in their corporate literature kinda implies the opposite of that.
December 6, 2007 12:55:11 AM

"I don't think you understand what I'm saying or what is in that review. Two seperate sections, OCTO-view is one section, Quad-Fire another, and it says nothing about running it simultaneously, if you actually look at the last slide they were pretty specific about Multi-Monitor OR Ultimate performance, not AND. "

I stand corrected on this. I read it more carefully and you are correct.

"It's not 2 VPUs per monitor, it's 2 monitors per VPU, which is what we've been able to do for a long time."
Um, I know. That's what I'm excited about.

I'm pretty sure though on older ATI cards(like my x1800xt), multi-monitor gaming wasn't supported(eg, running 1 game on 2 monitors through 1 card). But as you can tell, I've been wrong before. :pt1cable: 
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
December 6, 2007 1:20:56 AM

No worries, just making sure people don't get confused.

I've run flight sim on a friend's rig with 3 monitors with 2 GF6800 cards before, and I know of others in the flight sim forum who've done it with different setups. The biggest problem was driver support on FS9 with both the ATi and nVidia cards often locking up after a while (lol once again matrox being the most stable back then), but FSX has better native support now.

Anywhoo, it (surround-gaming) used to be my favourite application of multiple PCIe slots, but it took too long to get support, and unlike either the Parhelia or TH2G, neither AMD nor nV have pushed for greater support, so it's still relegated to either Flight Sims, and I think a StraTrek game, and then whatever Matrox supports.
Now Quad-Xfire/SLi running a TH2Go rig would be SWEET! Especially if it were triple projectors. :sol: 

Think of this view on your basement wall at a solid 60fps ;

http://www.matrox.com/graphics/media/common/th2go/screenshots/gaming/screengrabs/hl2_lost_coast/HL2_Lost_Coast.jpg


more here;
http://www.matrox.com/graphics/en/gxm/news/artwork/th2go/home.php

Now that's sweet.

PS, I don't doubt eventually they might support it (as it would almost be required for 2 R680s running dual monitor correctly at full power), but right now it's still a feature we can hope is coming.
!