Eyefinity, what am I missing here?

I am in the process of upgrading my ancient yet functional desktop to something more up to date. In the process of doing all of my research I ran across the Eyefinity stuff and fell in love with the concept.

This is something I am seriously considering however I have a few nagging questions that just don't add up to me. First and for most is what the heck is a DisplayPort? I have yet to see this listed on any 5000 series card as a port, Newegg searches under LCD monitors don't show it to be a valid interface.

I see about a billion references to a hardware used for DisplayPort but what the heck does it plug into? It is obvious I am missing some simple explanation here. Does it plug into the the standard HDMI in/out?

So far I understand that you need a 5000 series card, of which I am going to go with a 5850. You need three monitors and Windows Vista/7.

As a side note I am using a 24" monitor and would like to add a 21.5" to either side. I would end up running all three at a 1920 x 1080 resolution. This is the monitor I thought about going with Sceptre X226W

Any insight on this would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Eyefinity needs at least one display port monitor to be used at one time for eyefinity to work. many vendors ditch the displayport port in favour of hdmi. Hdmi is not the same as displayport. Displayport is just another way of getting video to your monitor. If you dont have a display port monitor, then you can get a displayport - vga signal converter for around 60$
  2. DisplayPort is a video output plug/cable that is just like DVI/HDMI and VGA, nothing all that special its just a new type of plug that ATI is trying to push onto the market. You wont find any monitors on the market except for $1K 2560x1600 resolution monitors.

    In order to get eyefinity to work you will need a DP monitor or one of two DP adapters. The first is a DP to DVI/HDMI Active adapter that will cost you $100, the second is a DP to VGA active adapter that costs $25. The 3rd monitor in a eyefinity setup has to use the DP output, even though the 5000 series cards have two other DVI and a HDMI output.

    EDIT: links to adapters
  3. Display port is a digital connection like HDMI but different enough where you can't use a simple adapter. In a eyefinity 1 of the 3 monitors must use a display port. Check dells website (they actually make nice monitors) for displays with display port.

    You can use a display port to DVI adapter. But you must purchase an ACTIVE adapter which should be close to 100 dollars last i heared.
  4. paperfox said:
    DisplayPort is a video output plug/cable that is just like DVI/HDMI and VGA, nothing all that special its just a new type of plug that ATI is trying to push onto the market. You wont find any monitors on the market except for $1K 2560x1600 resolution monitors.

    ATI had nothing to do with the display port and that thing about the monitors is not correct. Here is an example;
  5. Seems my info is a little old then. Anyways the vast majority are 30"...
  6. That done it for me. I guess if you look and look and look sometimes you just freaking miss what is right in front of your face.

    So this is what I need.

    Windows Vista/7
    ATI 5850
    Two monitors on DVI
    One monitor using the DisplayPort output from the Video Card to VGA and or DVI. VGA unless I want to mortgage my house for the DVI version.

    I know its annoying pointing out the simple, so many thanks for the response.
  7. One more thing, do I have the resolution thing right? I can mix the 24" and the 21.5" or similar as long as all of them are running the same res?
  8. I believe that is correct. However it's good to run LCD monitors at their native resolution for best results.
    FYI I believe they are attempting to eliminate the display port requirement at some point with a driver update.
  9. You can mix monitors but Eyefinity will default to the lowest resolution and use that on all monitors. I did that on the 9.12hotfix version. I would expect that at some point they will allow a mixture of resolutions via a driver update, but thats a pure guess (hope) on my part.

    A single 5850 is going to struggle a little with 3 1900x1080 monitors.
  10. Thanks for the follow up.

    I actually decided to go with a 5870. It looks like it would be a good investment for the long term. Would that be enough to power 3 1900x1080? Would I be better off going with the 5850 and Xfire?

    I don't need 99 FPS on Bad Company 2, but close would be nice :)
  11. Quote:
    DisplayPort is a completely new signal for sending an image to a display. VGA is the first real standard, and send an analog signal. The DVI came out, sending a digital signal. The digital signal used in DVI was then adopted into a new plug called HDMI, for use in HDTVs. Both DVI and HDMI use the same signal, despite the fact that the plugs look completely different.

    The newest player is DisplayPort (DP). DP is a completely new signal scheme, allowing much more information to be sent than the DVI/HDMI standard. This is important to know, because sending a DVI monitor cannot understand a DP signal. This is why these “active converters” are important. An active converter changes a DP signal into a DVI/HDMI signal.

    There are only a handful of monitors that have DP inputs. I haven't seen these listed on newegg either, but they are listed on the Dell and HP sites, and they are much more expensive than your average monitor. I assure you that a DP compatible monitor will be much more expensive than a simple DVI monitor and a DP-DVI converter.

    The DP looks a bit like an HDMI plug, but they are different in shape. And again, they also carry a completely different signal.

    Yes. Eyefinity only works under Vista or 7. And yes, you need 3 montors for the full effect. Technically you can still use eyefinity with 2 montors, but having the middle of your screen meet at your bezels is not helpful for anything.

    So you’d have 3 monitors all at 1080p, which would merge perfectly. All 3 of your monitors are DVI, so the only thing missing is an *active* DP-DVI adapter.

    When I got mine about 5 months ago, I had to buy a large $100 box from Dell, because that's the only thing available on the market at the time. Now they have pugs with embedded chips, that do the same job.

    Searching newegg, I found this DP-HDMI adapter, which is only $15, and specifically states “Support conversion from DisplayPort signal to HDMI signal.”

    Over at TigerDirect you can get this DP-DVI for $25, and it again specifically states “converts a DisplayPort signal into a DVI signal.”

    Whatever DP adapter you find, make sure it specifically states that the DP signal is converted into a DVI signal, and that it’s not merely a plug that passes things through.

    Absolutely awesome. Thank you!
  12. Are you sure those cheap adapters work? I wouldn't recommend such things unless I was certain.
  13. Unless you can find some reviews of people using those adapters with Eyefinity I would be hesitant to buy them and be the first to find out.
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