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3 monitors w/ diff resolutions w/ 5870?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 30, 2009 11:55:37 PM

Quick question. I have 3 - 24" monitors. 2 of them are 1920x1080 and the third is 1920x1200.

I do not want to game on all 3 screens (Eyefinity), just one. So, will the 5870 support all 3 monitors at their native resolutions for surfing the web, etc?

I also understand that I need a display port adapter. Does it have to be an "active" adapter even though it won't be used for gaming? Anyone have a link to what I need?

Thanks for all the help, I'd be so lost without this forum.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2009 12:05:11 AM

http://www.elitebastards.com/index.php?option=com_conte... is pretty good at explanations.

I haven't really looked into your question because I'm much more interested in gaming, but I do believe that everything you are looking for is possible, and in fact easily done.

The one thing I'm not sure about is the display port adaptor. From what I have learned, you must have one native display port lcd or eyefinity won't work (in gaming). In non gaming, I don't know. There is no reason why it wouldn't work fine in non-gaming situations - i believe the reason for displayport is bandwidth issues - but you should look into that before buying.

I do think you will be able to game on 1 screen while doing other stuff on another 2 screens with no issues whatsoever.
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a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2009 12:19:50 AM

I've seen a couple of things suggesting that the hdmi and dvi's are mutually exclusive, at least 1 of them is (while using eyefinity).

You can pair the hdmi with 1 dvi, or have both dvi's (and the displayport ofc) while using eyefinity. You can't run eyefinity on both dvi's and 1 hdmi though.

Not sure if i'm helping or hindering here, but I'm just trying to make sure everything is clear in regards of eyefinity, how that works out in terms of normal 3-screen non-gaming I'm really not sure.
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Related resources
October 1, 2009 1:03:21 AM

In some of the reviews I heard that the adapter has to be an "active" adapter that costs around $100. I've seen adaptors at newegg for around $15 that converts DisplayPort to HDMI:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I'm not sure if this would work though. 2 of my monitors have HDMI and no DisplayPort so I guess I'm just really confused on what I need to just get 3 monitors working in non-gaming situation.
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a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2009 9:12:11 AM

Keep us updated on how that works out.
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October 4, 2009 9:57:44 PM

Yuck! I was afraid it might be something like that!

I think I might just do 2 5850's in Crossfire instead. I wanted to do Crossfire either way and the $100 premium to run 3 monitors on a single card makes it a lot less attractive.
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a b U Graphics card
October 5, 2009 12:22:38 AM

You should be able to buy a displayport lcd a bit cheaper than $100 hopefully.

It's a bit of a pain for people who already had the 3 lcd's I suppose, but with a little luck we should start to see more, cheaper native display port lcd's soon.
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October 5, 2009 12:28:12 AM

The 5850's couldn't be crossfire, you can only use one cards outputs in xfire.
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October 5, 2009 5:53:49 AM

Ionno why they use display port instead of adding another HDMI or DVI, display port isn't compatible with DVI signal like hdmi is so there is probably an expensive adapter.

I don't really get the goal of display port it seems more like a competitor to hdmi expect one is targeted at monitor and the other at TV's. Which i find odd as DVI is compatible with HDMI you'd think it be the other way around.

We don't need 3 different types of interface 1 type for the tv 1 type for the monitor is all we need transition is a bitch i guess even if display port is the new standard for monitors?Some monitors with like Composite/hdmi/dvi/rgb/displayport all on that monitor oh that poor thing.

I'm pretty sure mutli monitor set up for xfire and sli has been solved for nearly a year now netherwind.
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
October 5, 2009 7:19:51 AM

You need an active adapter for both DP and HDMI if the resolution is above 1920x1080 (so don't use it to drive the 1920x1200 monitor for either), but for DP to work (passively) the card must be able to pass the TMDS signal through the DP connection, I'm still not sure if this is possible with the HD5K as review have said both essentially just parroting those launch slides without comprehension, I haven't seen anyone test it though.

So near term I would say drive 2 (including the 1920x1200 monitor) off of the DVI, and drive the third monitor off of the passive HDMI to DVI adapter which is sufficient for the 3rd monitor (and can support high resolutions through its faster TMDS in the HDMI, but it is not dual-link HDMI just fast single-link) but not higher resolution or colour depth without an active adapter.

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October 5, 2009 3:16:07 PM

Netherwind said:
The 5850's couldn't be crossfire, you can only use one cards outputs in xfire.


Can someone please elaborate on this? I'm not sure I follow.
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October 5, 2009 11:39:16 PM

Quote:
*Buying a Second Card will never never allow you to use more than 3 monitors. Crossfire works by offloading the processor demand between 2 chips on two separate cards. CrossFire doesn't even use the ram of the second card. The final calculation result is piped through the primary card, while the secondary card is just there as a co-processor. So the only output you'll get from Crossfire will be restricted to the outputs available on the primary card.


Thanks for taking the time to write that up. It was extremely helpful.

I just want to make sure I understand the quote above though. Let's say I have 2 5850's with 2 - 24" monitors at 1920x1080 plugged into one card and 1 - 24" at 1920x1200 plugged into the other. If I want to utilize Crossfire's advantages only on my main gaming screen (1920x1200) will it work? I'm assuming i'd have to disable the other two monitors w/ ATI's software but I'm fine with that if I get the benefits of Crossfire on my main screen. Am I understanding how it works correctly?
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October 6, 2009 4:38:51 AM

Wow, I never knew that Zirb. I thought that Crossfire does not currently work for Eyefinity, but will work if I plan on gaming on 1 screen. I guess I was way off.
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October 6, 2009 6:24:29 PM

Ok ok, so I am ordering a 5850 today and plan on buying a couple smaller rotating monitors for the sides. All I need to do is make sure that they support "display port" correct?
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October 8, 2009 3:57:52 PM

Any update on your setup Zirb?
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October 9, 2009 8:34:55 PM

so you were not able to get the native resolution on 2048x1152 via the DP -> DVI? got a link for the adapter you got?
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October 9, 2009 9:53:54 PM

i have three of those 2343bwx monitors. so im trying to figure out how to hook up the 3rd one. i have read a few places that the DP to DVI wont support the 2048x1152. but i dont know whats right or wrong. im putting together a new windows 7 box, and im trying to decide to get two 4800's or one 5800. i would prefer the single card for sure, but will i be able to get that native resolution from the single adapter on all three
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October 11, 2009 9:38:05 PM

Quote:
The 3rd monitor (2333HD) that has the DP converter only supports 1080p. That's the native max resolution on the screen. But DP can go up to 1600p if I had such a monitor (I do not).

Adapter Link: Dell item 330-5521
http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Cables/prod...

If you hunt the web, you can find coupon codes. I got mine discounted to $75, but after 3-day shipping it still ended up being $95. The code I used expired last Monday, so it wouldn't help you.



will you hook the displayport with the adapter into your 2343 and see if it will pull off 2048x1152 ?
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October 11, 2009 11:32:17 PM

your a hero. adapter and card ordered!
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Anonymous
a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
October 12, 2009 10:37:39 PM

Quote:
*If you have 2 cards in crossfire, Eyefinity doesn't work. This is a driver issue. It's the same driver issue that prevents any Geforce cards from using 2 monitors while in SLI if you have an Nvidia card. So really, it's par for the course for everyone.
*The cards out currently only support 3 monitors, max. Yes, there are 4 display output ports. But there's only 3 signal chips in the hardware. ATI plans on releasing an Eyefinity edition with 6x mini-DisplayPort outputs, with all the signal chips to use all 6 ports at the same time. This means the cards you currently buy will always be limited to 3 monitors, because it's the hardware limitation.
*Buying a Second Card will never never allow you to use more than 3 monitors. Crossfire works by offloading the processor demand between 2 chips on two separate cards. CrossFire doesn't even use the ram of the second card. The final calculation result is piped through the primary card, while the secondary card is just there as a co-processor. So the only output you'll get from Crossfire will be restricted to the outputs available on the primary card.
*The display output chips on the available 5800 cards are currently 2xTMDS + 1xDP. TDMS is the signal used by either HDMI or DVI. DP is the signal used by DisplayPort. DisplayPort doesn't NOT understand a TDMS signal, and DVI/HDMI do NOT understand a DP signal. This is why DisplayPort has to be one of the outputs for 3 monitor Eyefinity to work, because the 3rd chip is only a DP output. It's also the reason why you need an active converter if you only have 3 DVI/HDMI monitors. The 3rd signal sent out has to be DP, and you need an special extra chip to translate the DP signal over to DVI/HDMI on the 3rd receiving monitor.
*Why DisplayPort? Wikipedia has a list of reasons. First, it's an open standard that does not charge royalties to use. So it's cheaper to make the chips, plugs, cords, and anything else needed to send the signal form the card to the monitor. After that, there's a lot of room to grow bandwidth with later versions. Especially with Fiber Optic options of the future. It's sort of Firewire vs USB, VHS vs Betamax, BluRay vs HDDVD. They both do the same thing, but it's up to who adopts and uses it who becomes the new standard. That's the cut throat nature of industry. Time will tell if DisplayPort catches on as the new standard. Right now, it seems like an annoyance, especially when I had to pay and extra $100 to make the port work with my 3rd monitor.


I think you are talking about SLI there, i have had a crossfire setup a long time and used 2 monitors with no problem, the other card's two connectors are also available for use though i have never personally tested 4 screens. Eyefinity would definitely not work.

You can also turn crossfire on and off via a button in catalyst control center. You don't need to restart your computer, Unlike what you describe, which sounds very familiar to nvidia SLI setup.
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