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How the HECK do I set up Eyefinity?

I have a Radeon 5970 and a 24" monitor; going to be picking up two more monitors this weekend, but there are only two ports on the video card. What else do I need to buy besides the monitors? Also, is it ok to buy two monitors that aren't the same brand as the middle monitor?

Thanks in advance for the help; I'm just really confused :hello:

Here are my system specs for reference:
Intel Core i7-920 (stock)
Diamond Radeon HD 5970
Patriot Extreme Performance Viper DDR3 6GB 1333MHz Tri Channel 7-7-7-20
Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R
Corsair CMPSU-650TX- 650W
WD 750GB Serial ATA/300HD, 32 MB buffer
Cooler Master HAF 932
Lite-On 24X SATA DVD-RW Gen II
Netgear WG311 G PCI 54 Mbps Wireless-G PCI Adapter
Windows 7 Home Premium
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  1. By the way, the screen I have is a Viewsonic 24"
    http://www.frys.com/product/5818953?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    Preferably I'd like to just buy two more of these.
  2. Eyefinity requires that 1 of the displays use the Display Port. You can have a combinations of (2) DVI or (1) DVI and (1) HDMI display, but the 3rd MUST use the display port. The only work around to this is buying a display port to DVI active converter. These run about $100+ from what I hear. I also don't know if this causes any lag in monitor response either.

    Once you have 3 displays working, you just use the ATI drivers and turn on Eyefinity, which is basically just a single desktop spread across 3 displays. Eyefinity is just a marketing name.
  3. Wow thanks, very informative =]

    I looked up display port to DVI converters, and they weren't that expensive. Less than $20 in fact. Is there a difference between display port DVI "converters" and "active converters"?
  4. yes there is, and passive converter wont work....
  5. What is the difference between both adapters?

    DisplayPort to DVI Video Adapter Converter
    http://www.startech.com/item/DP2DVI-DisplayPort-to-DVI-Cable-Adapter.aspx

    Can't he use that? And if not what can he use? I googled it and that is the only adapter that came up....
  6. Another piece of info that might be important; my 5970 has a mini display port, dunno if that's relevant.
  7. All this time I thought that you would be able to use a 20 dollar adapter as opposed to the one that jay is referring to.....
  8. apple had active adapter...

    but i cant remember the exact reason why it had to be active. It has come up in the reviews... maybe it had something to do with those 30'' displays with higher resolutions they were using in the reviews or dual links or something completely different

    http://www.startech.com/item/DP2DVI-DisplayPort-to-DVI-Cable-Adapter.aspx
    Quote:
    This adapter supports display resolutions of up to 1920x1200 allowing you to take full advantage of single link DVI capability.



    edit and looks like sapphire has one also
    http://www.hartware.de/press_11580.html

    edit2 list of monitors that have displayport http://www.hardocp.com/article/2009/09/28/amds_ati_eyefinity_technology_review
    Dell 3008 - Dell U2410 - Dell 2408 - Dell P2010H - Dell P2210H - Dell P2310H - NEC MultiSync EA231WMi-BK - HP LP2480zx - HP LP2475w - HP LP2275w - Lenovo 2440x

    edit3 still havent found the reason for active....
  9. I don't see the point of buying a 700$ GPU to later find out that you have to spend another 100$ on the adapter....
  10. So.. anyone with a definitive answer on what adapter I need to buy?
  11. Hm.. there are HDMI ports on these screens.. could an HDMI- mini displayport adapter work instead of using a DVI- mini displayport adapter?
  12. You need either the Apple or the Dell active adapter. These have a USB cable to provide power for the adapter electronics. You may find them hard to find in stock since a lot of Eyefinity users have been buying them.

    A better option is to buy this http://www.google.com/products/catalog?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4ADFA_enUS358US358&q=dell+displayport+monitor&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=12247390447437611988&ei=l_sqS_KiIdP_nAeUyaz8CA&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBcQ8wIwAg#ps-sellers

    or

    http://www.google.com/products?q=nec+ea231wmi&aq=0&oq=NEC+ -- this is a VERY nice monitor for its price.

    which will directly plug in with no issues. Just an FYI, you need to order a DP cable with the NEC...
  13. ckim2116 said:
    Hm.. there are HDMI ports on these screens.. could an HDMI- mini displayport adapter work instead of using a DVI- mini displayport adapter?


    No. No adapter that does not also have a USB plug for power will work.

    :o
  14. redwolfexr said:
    You need either the Apple or the Dell active adapter. These have a USB cable to provide power for the adapter electronics. You may find them hard to find in stock since a lot of Eyefinity users have been buying them.

    A better option is to buy this http://www.google.com/products/catalog?sourceid=navclient&rlz=1T4ADFA_enUS358US358&q=dell+displayport+monitor&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=12247390447437611988&ei=l_sqS_KiIdP_nAeUyaz8CA&sa=X&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBcQ8wIwAg#ps-sellers

    or

    http://www.google.com/products?q=nec+ea231wmi&aq=0&oq=NEC+ -- this is a VERY nice monitor for its price.

    which will directly plug in with no issues. Just an FYI, you need to order a DP cable with the NEC...


    I'm actually only looking to spend around $200 for each screen, with a tiny bit of flexibility.
  15. Ok so I found this online:
    Question: Will this adapter support Dual Link DVI connections?
    Answer: No, DVI uses a different protocol for extended graphic resolutions than DP. Dual link can not be supported without an active converter. These adapters are passive.

    So I guess I answered my own question =P
    I suppose I'll have to buy one of those hundred dollar converters :(

    One more question, is there a difference between displayport and mini displayport? The Diamond website says one or the other in different places. I'm confused.
  16. And also, would it work to get, say, two 23" screens when the middle monitor is 24"?
  17. ckim2116 said:
    Ok so I found this online:
    Question: Will this adapter support Dual Link DVI connections?
    Answer: No, DVI uses a different protocol for extended graphic resolutions than DP. Dual link can not be supported without an active converter. These adapters are passive.

    So I guess I answered my own question =P
    I suppose I'll have to buy one of those hundred dollar converters :(

    One more question, is there a difference between displayport and mini displayport? The Diamond website says one or the other in different places. I'm confused.

    Yes, in the same way that there is a difference between USB and mini USB, mini is smaller but I can't recall the exact dimensions.
  18. Mousemonkey said:
    Yes, in the same way that there is a difference between USB and mini USB, mini is smaller but I can't recall the exact dimensions.


    So to confirm, since the 5970 has a mini displayport, to connect a DVI monitor I need an active DVI- mini displayport adapter?
  19. hey there,

    reread jay2tall's response

    you need an active displayport to dvi converter-approx $100

    a passive adapter will NOT work-approx $20

    also, i heard apple displayport adapters do not function properly

    accell, dell or bizlink are your best bet nb:stocks are limited

    http://www.amazon.com/Accell-UltraAV-B087B-002B-DisplayPort-Dual-Link/dp/B002ISVI3U

    sapphire also have one but not sure when they will be coming out

    good luck
  20. how would an active displayport to dvi converter work if the 5970 has a MINI displayport?
  21. use the minidisplay port to displayport dongle that came with your card
  22. Ahh I see, thanks. Are there active mini displayport to dvi converters available though? I just think that'd be easier.
  23. Nevermind just checked my box; all it has is a DVI to VGA adapter. So I need to by a mini displayport to displayport adapter now as well?
  24. hey there

    to my knowledge there are no MINIdisplayport to dvi adapters.

    use this dongle with the active displayport to dvi adapter.

    ie, VGA card minidisplay port>minidisplayport to displayport dongle>active displayport to dvi adapter>dvi monitor cable

    im pretty sure this should be the CENTER display setup

    the other monitors should be connected directly to the dvi ports on the back of the video card

    you can setup the correct sequence in CCC

    this is what i will be doing when my displayport adapter arrives so i hope this info is correct!

    i hope this helps :hello:

    PS: the dvi to vga adapter is useless for this setup
  25. What is a mini displayport to displayport dongle? My Diamond 5970 did not come with anything like this.
  26. ckim2116 said:
    What is a mini displayport to displayport dongle? My Diamond 5970 did not come with anything like this.

    it's just a short cable with minidp on the other end and a normal dp on the other

    edit like this one
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812270262
  27. Thanks.

    Another thing, will it be ok to use two 23" screens for the side monitors if they are they same resolution as my middle 24" screen? I read somewhere that they just have to be the same resolution but can be different sizes. And if I do this, can I still game with this setup?
  28. There is another thread on displayport monitors. Just buy two more monitors that are that same that have DisplayPort. Dell monitors are excellent for this purpose. As long as they have the same resolution as your current one it'll be fine.

    Buying a monitor: Resolutions: 1920 x 1200 or 1920 x 1080
  29. http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=104&cp_id=10428&cs_id=1042801&p_id=5135&seq=1&format=4#feedback

    See customer review, re: works for 3rd monitor on customer's 5750

    Might be worth a shot @ ~$20
  30. They have active mini displayport to DVI converters. This one is out of stock, but you can probably look elsewhere.
    http://www.amazon.com/Accell-B087B-003J-UltraAV-miniDisplayPort-Dual-Link/dp/B0030XMREG/ref=sr_1_34?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1261509338&sr=1-34

    With all the hassle of the converter, I think I'd be looking for a display that already had a displayport, at least for just one of my monitors. You never know what kind of lag there will be when you are shooting a signal through an active converter. lag + games = BAD
  31. Here is what Sapphire is delivering. I do not think it is out yet though.
    http://www.techpowerup.com/110927/SAPPHIRE_Solves_Eyefinity_Issue_with_Active_DisplayPort_Adapter.html
  32. He doesn't need an active adapter if he's runing a resolution lower than 1920x1200 which requires only single-link, and that monitor is 1920x1080, he should be fine with the passive adapter.
  33. TheGreatGrapeApe said:
    He doesn't need an active adapter if he's runing a resolution lower than 1920x1200 which requires only single-link, and that monitor is 1920x1080, he should be fine with the passive adapter.


    Now there is the detail I was looking for.

    Tyvm.

    :)
  34. Interesting... I just started reading through some documentation and found just what the great ape said. He is so wise.

    "If only one or two DVI/HDMI monitors are attached through a DisplayPort connector, then only simple
    passive adapters are required. With a passive adapter the GPU outputs the display signal required for
    the monitor with no conversion occurring within the adapter itself."
  35. I'm not a wise man, I just play one in the nativity scene at the community centre. :evil:
  36. ^ HAHA.
  37. TheGreatGrapeApe said:
    He doesn't need an active adapter if he's runing a resolution lower than 1920x1200 which requires only single-link, and that monitor is 1920x1080, he should be fine with the passive adapter.



    One more question for clarification:

    A passive adapter only works for resolutions lower than 1920x1200 -or- does it also work for 1920x1200, but nothing higher?
  38. It can work for 1920x1200 but it depends on the monitor. Most LCDs will support reduced blanking, but some don't, however it's like 95+% do. The soft cut-off i1920x1080, and the hard cut-off is 1920x1440, but there's a little play in between depending on how the montior supports the signal. Most monitors should be fine with 1920x1200 @ 60hz @ 32 bit colour (8 per channel plus alpha).

    But you can even push beyond that like 12 bit per channel 1808P HDMI is not supported by single link, even though it's just 1920x1080, due to the added colour and the headroom for audio, you can do 8 bit per channel HDMI with audio on single link though.

    I wish it were an easy yes/no answer but it's not. The best answer is, most times it will work for 1920x1200, and that's as good as it gets. :sol:
  39. :heink:
    Im sorry I asked.

    Seriously tho, thanks much for the information. I appreciate the details even if I don't understand them completely.


    Edit:

    This info shed some light on your explanation for this rube:


    Quote:
    Reduced blanking

    To understand blanking time it helps to understand the basics of how CRTs display images. CRTs work by by shooting a beam of electrons at phospors on the front surface of the CRT tube. The phospors glow for a little while after being hit by the electrons. CRTs use this glow to draw an image on the front of the tube. A CRT draws a screen image starting at the upper left corner. It moves the electron beam from left to right across the screen to draw the top row of the image. It turns the electron beam on and off as it moves from left to right to draw the row. When it has reached the right-hand side, it moves the beam back to the left and down by one row. That move is called a horizontal retrace. Then it draws the next row from left to right. It repeats this process to draw the rows successively from top to bottom on the screen. When the electron beam reaches the bottom of the screen it does a vertical retrace to move it back to the top so it can start the next screen image. During these horizontal and vertical retraces the electron beam is not actually drawing the screen image. It's just moving around to get it in position for the next draw. The CRT also has to spend time dealing with the empty border outside of the screen image. As a result, a CRT spends a substantial portion of its time doing retraces and other things which are not part of drawing the visible screen image. The timing can vary quite a bit among different screen modes, but for standard CRT timing about 70% of the time is spent drawing the screen image and the other 30% is invisible overhead. This overhead is often called "blanking time" because the signal is blank (shut off) while not drawing the visible screen image.

    Blanking time is needed only by CRT monitors. LCD monitors don't have electron beams. LCDs just store the incoming image data directly into memory which is displayed on the screen. There's no need for retrace times or most of the other overhead required by CRTs. But DVI was designed to support both CRTs and LCDs so it sends out a digital signal which closely resembles the old CRT's timing including the blanking time overhead. LCDs don't need that extra overhead but it's in the DVI video signal anyway. Recall from the earlier single link and dual link section that a single DVI link has a maximum pixel clock of 165 MHz. For an LCD, the blanking time's portion of that 165 MHz is wasted due to using CRT timing. When connected to an LCD it would be awfully nice to be able to get rid of that overhead because you could display the same screen resolution and refresh rate with a lower pixel clock. A lower pixel clock means the data is less likely to be corrupted going through the cable. It's also easier on the DVI transmitter which can be useful if you have one of the NVIDIA cards with a slow transmitter. You could also get away with using a longer cable before the screen gets corrupted. With the blanking time overhead removed, you can use a higher screen resolution and refresh rate before having to resort to using a double link setup. Lots of things get better for DVI if you can get rid of the CRT overhead when using an LCD. Fortunately, there's a fairly well standardized reduced blanking video format which reduces the overhead to about 5%.

    Cite: http://www.playtool.com/pages/dvicompat/dvi.html
  40. Here's another good explanation from Lars who used to do reviews here and now works for nVidia;

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/tft-connection,931.html'

    It does a god job of explaining how DVI works, and the ranges, and also the carying quality at the time between integrated TMDS.

    Good view of what blanking means;
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/tft-connection,931-5.html

    Also a good idea of the usable ranges for single link;
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/tft-connection,931-6.html
  41. Sorry, haven't been here lately.

    My XFX card has a normal Displayport connection. Most cards should, except the forthcoming Eyefinity edition which has 6 mini-DPs for space reasons.

    Next: no, you cannot run 1920x1080 resolutions to a DP from an ATI without either a powered adapter or the right monitor. I hate to disagree with you Grape. The issue is that there is no power on the ATI version of DP to power the conversion electronics. I did a lot of research before I bought my rig. Its not a single link/dual link issue at all.

    I still think in the 23-24 inch range you can't beat the NEC monitor that I linked as a DP. It has all the bells and whisltes you might want (USB, speakers, headphone port), a good stand, and its an IPS. Its about $130 more than a basic 23 TN panel and you don't need the $100 adapter.
  42. It's OK to disagree RedWolf, BUT, ATi agrees with me on this one;

    http://www.amd.com/us/Documents/ATI_Eyefinity_Technology_Brief.pdf

    Read page 8 which specifically refers to using passive adapters for solutions requiring only single-link connections and details the options available from that passive adapter.

    This was not widely circulated enough initially, but it is pretty specifically laid out by ATi.

    Hope that helps clear things up, I didn't repost it earlier because it came up in our other thread on the subject at the time. :hello:
  43. Quote:

    ...
    If only one or two DVI/HDMI monitors...
    ...


    From your own link.

    You're giving bad information here and you're going to end up costing someone 20 bucks for a passive adapter, the time it takes to reorder and a ton of frustration.

    It's VERY well documented, and I can speak from personal experience that a passive adapter will not work at ANY resolution when running 3x monitors.

    Feel free to visit Wide Screen Gaming They've been all over Eyefinity since day one and have active forum conversations with the 2 ATI guys directly responsible for this tech.
  44. a4mula said:
    From your own link.,,
    ...
    If only one or two DVI/HDMI monitors...
    ...


    Nice selective quoting to try and cover your statement. :non:

    That full line reads: "If only one or two DVI/HDMI monitors are attached through a DisplayPort connector, then only simple passive adapters are required."

    Not if one or two monitors are attached to the card which is why you're confused.

    It works just fine, but you need to keep track of your connections, even in this case using your selective quote, you do understand, that he can use 1 VGA/DB-15 through the DVI-I, then the HDMI, and then a passive adapter to the output choice, or did you miss that part as well?

    Also link to the article, don't say '2 ATi guys' @ WSG said something, because based on your selective editing I wouldn't be surprised if your omitting a pretty important point in why they needed the active adapter for their situation.
  45. There is no selective omitting going on here, just your misunderstanding. You take that to a new extreme by stating this misunderstanding of yours as fact. You're awfully quick to start slinging personal attacks around. I find it quite offensive and your behavior on this thread is a poor representation of this Forum as a whole.

    http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=64&t=16942

    You're more than welcome to go get your facts straight.
  46. Late to the party, but I only just got my Eyefinity setup configured and running, also using a 5970 (Sapphire, not Diamond).

    My center monitor is a Dell E248WFP flanked by a pair of Gateway FHD2401 displays. Both have the same screen sizes, but the Dell sits lower by default; I had a height-adjustable stand pulled from another display to make up for it (for consistency, the odd-monitor out should be in the middle and hopefully taller rather than shorter than the other two for comfort). As stated before, an active DP connection is required for at least one of the displays. I humored myself with a cheap mini-DP to DVI adapter I had around and confirmed that it did not work. An Accell Active DP-to-dual link DVI (my card came with a mini-DP-to-DP dongle) did the trick.

    Make sure that if you use Catalyst 9.12, you apply an appropriate hotfix as the current 9.12 does not support Eyefinity on the 5970.

    Guidance on setting up Eyefinity was frustratingly limited, so I'll give a quick overview. With all three monitors connected, go to the Desktops and Displays (or whatever it was called) menu in the Catalyst Control Center. Right click in the main pane and choose Create Group. Choose your appropriate layout and hit OK. It may prompt to confirm the ordering is correct (it usually isn't) or it may not. If not, right click on your group and find arrange in the context menu. One screen at a time will show blue, click the corresponding screen in the image. Once that is done, go to Display Properties and confirm that your resolution is extended, selecting the proper one if needed.

    One of the oddities I've noticed, at least in the Source Engine games I've tested, is that the extended resolutions are all located in the 16:9 aspect set.

    Hope this helps.
  47. sakanagai said:
    Late to the party, but I only just got my Eyefinity setup configured and running, also using a 5970 (Sapphire, not Diamond).

    My center monitor is a Dell E248WFP flanked by a pair of Gateway FHD2401 displays. Both have the same screen sizes, but the Dell sits lower by default; I had a height-adjustable stand pulled from another display to make up for it (for consistency, the odd-monitor out should be in the middle and hopefully taller rather than shorter than the other two for comfort). As stated before, an active DP connection is required for at least one of the displays. I humored myself with a cheap mini-DP to DVI adapter I had around and confirmed that it did not work. An Accell Active DP-to-dual link DVI (my card came with a mini-DP-to-DP dongle) did the trick.

    Make sure that if you use Catalyst 9.12, you apply an appropriate hotfix as the current 9.12 does not support Eyefinity on the 5970.

    Guidance on setting up Eyefinity was frustratingly limited, so I'll give a quick overview. With all three monitors connected, go to the Desktops and Displays (or whatever it was called) menu in the Catalyst Control Center. Right click in the main pane and choose Create Group. Choose your appropriate layout and hit OK. It may prompt to confirm the ordering is correct (it usually isn't) or it may not. If not, right click on your group and find arrange in the context menu. One screen at a time will show blue, click the corresponding screen in the image. Once that is done, go to Display Properties and confirm that your resolution is extended, selecting the proper one if needed.

    One of the oddities I've noticed, at least in the Source Engine games I've tested, is that the extended resolutions are all located in the 16:9 aspect set.

    Hope this helps.

    So are you saying that an active adapter is required for three screens regardless of resolution or DVI link?
  48. Mousemonkey said:
    So are you saying that an active adapter is required for three screens regardless of resolution or DVI link?


    I can only say that the passive adapter I had been using on my iMac did not allow me to extend my desktop across three 24" 1920x1200 screens. It could have been an issue with my display or video card, but current guidance suggests that an active adapter is required (relating to the way DVI and DP signals differ). If you have a spare passive adapter laying around as I did, you might as well give it a try before investing an extra $100.
  49. sakanagai said:
    I can only say that the passive adapter I had been using on my iMac did not allow me to extend my desktop across three 24" 1920x1200 screens. It could have been an issue with my display or video card, but current guidance suggests that an active adapter is required (relating to the way DVI and DP signals differ). If you have a spare passive adapter laying around as I did, you might as well give it a try before investing an extra $100.

    Interesting info, thanks for sharing.
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