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Sapphire 6850 Eyefinity set-up

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 8, 2011 5:53:15 PM

Wondering what my best option is for setting up eyefinity with my new Sapphire 6850.

I currently have one 20" 1600x900 monitor (Thinking about adding two more for eyefinity)

With the price of LCD monitors being pretty low was debating selling the 20" (a friend already wants it) and jumping up to (3) 22"-24" monitors

My GPU oc's easily enough and I have good ventilation so I feel comfortable doing this while gaming (WOW) but I'm sure eyefinity will have me playing other games

My long term vision was to eventually buy a new MB and another 6850 and crossfire when the need arises. I don't want to upgrade those parts now just monitors

I guess my question being 1) How will my card perform in eyefinity for these setups:

(3) 20" 1600x900 (4800x900)
(3) 22" 1680x1080 ( )
(3) 24" 1920x1080 ( )

2) If I buy the larger monitors can I play them at a lower resolution in eyefinity until I'm able to upgrade to crossfire?

I know that I will also need a display port adapter to get this to work, and it looks like prices have dropped

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

It would be cheapest to go with the 20" but if your gonna set up eyefinity it would be nice to have larger monitors and would only be around a 100$ more than just getting two 20" by the time I sell my old monitor.

Guess my main question is performance based and what to expect from each potential eyefinity setup.

Thanks for taking the time to review my post. Any insight into how my card will perform in eyefinity would be greatly appreciated.
a b C Monitor
February 8, 2011 6:27:53 PM

Your performance will degrade as you add monitors because the single card will have to work to create an image for each. Your performance will degrade as you increase the resolution because of the increase in screen area per screen.

Once you crossfire, you should start to see improvement because you'll be able to increase some of the details since the cards will share in the image rendering tasks.

If your primary purpose is gaming, your going to need to go without some of the details (even crossfired), though it seems like you know that.

I will play with a multi-monitor setup some day, myself. I like the whole idea of surrounding myself in a session of MOH or BFBC2 with three monitors. But for now, I really like the quality I'm getting on a single 1080p screen with my 3 5850s. I don't know how much of that I'd want to compromise.
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February 8, 2011 7:09:12 PM

Thank you for your response.

Curious what size the monitor you game with?

My workstation has two 23' monitors (at work) My workstation at home has one 20" 1600x900.

Honestly 20" is pretty good, but when I went to price out going to a dual monitor set up for my home workstation/light gaming I was surprised how close 20" monitors were in price to 23" which got me thinking about just upgrading them..... And before you know it I'm pricing out an eyefinity setup, lol.

For the resolution I've been playing at the 6850 has been a nice improvement over the 5670 I previously had which I had to kick the rez down a notch for better fps.

Could do the three 23" monitors for only about 100$ more than the 20" setup once I sell my old 20". I could definately use three monitors for work (AutoCad) was hoping to translate that into a better gaming experience without breaking the bank.

Sounds like I'm gonna be crippled by my GPU untill I go crossfire or I can play at lower resolutions to keep fps up.

Was hoping to see an eyefinity GPU chart as to what I could expect for performance/resolution from my 6850. Having a tough time buying two more 20" when the 23" aren't much more.

Thanks ubercake.....pretty sick system.
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a b C Monitor
February 8, 2011 7:52:56 PM

I wish there were a chart too. It would be nice to be able to compare multiple monitors for different resolutions and details in different games with 1, 2, 3, or 4 cards to determine the effects of crossfire on Eyefinity quality and performance.

I use a Samsung P2770FH 27" monitor. I picked it up for $249 at Sams Club. I've seen some nice Acer 23" monitors at Staples lately for around $149 a piece. I'm just not familiar with their reliability.
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a b C Monitor
February 8, 2011 9:01:33 PM

I would upgrade the mobo and crossfire before you go for the monitors.I'm sure by then they price will be much cheaper for LCD's as the LED's are starting to come onto the market more.

Making the image smaller than the native res on a tri monitor setup looks really really bad.It creates gaps between each monitor and makes it look like it's not one constant image.Like ubercake said your performance will degrade with each monitor you add.I don't even think you would get playable fps with just 1 card.Even in WoW.
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February 8, 2011 10:38:34 PM

Thanks for responding purple stank

From what I've read today I thought that I would need a display port adapter for the third monitor. I though I'd read that you can only have two monitors set up with (2) DVI or (1) DVI and (1) HDMI as they are somehow connected. The display port adapter is able to send its own signal but if you don't have a monitor with display port you would need and adapter to keep the digital signal but use a different interface to connect to your non display port monitor. I'd read that this set up would'nt work with a display port to vga though.

Thanks for your response not sure what to do at this point

A new MB would run me around 100$
Another 6850 $160-180
Three new monitors $450

A little more than I want to spend right now.

Do you think my card in it's present configuration would be able to power (3) 20" 1600x900 monitors? All told I think I could do it for around 250$

Or option two do the upgrades 280$ and buy one new 23" monitor to start $145 all told 425$ The sapphire card I have is on sale again now

Rather not rebuild my computer but.......

Could'nt find the spec for power requirements for two Sapphire 6850's in crossfire...I've got a new corsair 650w PSU

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a b C Monitor
February 8, 2011 11:24:53 PM

ooo.I was unclear on how the eyefinity setup works.Thought all connectors would work.But it has to be from the display port only?not the hdmi?

IMO i rather have 3 20" than 3 1080p's.You will get better FPS with running 720p monitors instead of 1080p.And i don't see a huge difference in HD quality when it comes to monitors.

I tryed running a dual monitor setup once.2 20" with a 6870 and played Black Ops.Wasn't to bad the game was maxed out and i was getting 60+fps.

The eyefinity setup sounds fun but i would rather crossfire than eyefinity.I like eyecandy and i would rather have that first than barely being able to get stable fps.

What is the rest of your specs?
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February 9, 2011 12:02:09 AM

No worries I did most of my research today pulling bits and pieces from different forums and such. Eyefinity seems to have come a ways in the last year and from what I read the adapter I posted (granted there are others) has come down alot in price, some say its pretty much plug and play. Figured it was manufactured by the same company that made my card so it would have a good chance of working.

Almost seems like I should have gone with a 6950 (2gb) had I had eyefinity in mind, just bought the card about a week ago so guess I could return it and pay a restocking fee and go with something with a little more power. But since I hav'nt seen any eyefinity charts I could end up in the same situation I'm in now.

I'm happy with the card on the 20" 1600x900 I've got all settings at max (wow) and plays very fluid. But I do imagine adding two more monitors would put quite a strain on it.

Built a budget rig about a year ago

Phenom II X2 555, unlocked to triple core runs solid at 3.8ghz when needed
CM Hyper 212+
6gb DDR3 1333 ram
MSI 785GM-E51 MB
Corsair 650w PSU
ASUS DVD
Seagate 160gb HDD
Sapphire 6850 which replaced my old 5670 (good card)
Win 7 64-bit

I agree that 720p would be fine wish they were a little bigger but 20" isn't to bad, just wish someone with an 4800x900 eyefinity setup would way in how this card holds up at that resolution even overclocked to near a 6870 would that allow me to work eyfinity? Guess I'll be looking for some charts tonight. I just looked and only have two days to return the 6850

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a b C Monitor
February 9, 2011 12:38:35 AM

If you have the money i would say go for it.The 6950's are becoming very cheap.Even cheaper than when the first 6870's came out.I have never found any charts either of those high resoultions.Usally a 1G card will perform the same as a 6950 until you start going higher than 2560x1600.Higher than that and that's where you will start to see the 6950's start to pull away from the pack.The higher the resoultoin the better it will do because it has more VRAM(you probably already knew that).
I think just adding another 6850 should handle the eyefinity setup fine.But a 6950 is better suited for the job.
Really think 20" is plenty.Thats already 40" when dual monitors.And if your using a desk it is HUGE.Almost didn't have enough space for 2 20".If you had 3 24" monitors it will take up a lot of space.

Do you play any other games than WoW?
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February 9, 2011 3:32:00 PM

Think I'm gonna RMA the 6850, a great card and will always be curious if it would have run (3) 20" 1600x900 in eyefinity playing wow at max setting....if so that would be a pretty awesome budget eyefinity setup.

From what I've read wow does'nt do well with crossfire so I think going with the more powerful single card setup will favor the game I play most. And If they make improvements and crossfire has better support in wow I can always cross fire the 6950's

Saw a 6950 on newegg today for 259.99....pretty good price Not sure if I should go with the Sapphire or spend 10$ more for the xfx which has double lifetime warranty. All my cards have been sapphire and I've had really good luck, but lifetime warranty sounds pretty good...that is if they stay in business, lol.

So I guess that leaves the monitors to be determined.....My workstation desk is an old kitchen table it's like 6'x4' so space is'nt an issue only how much I want to spend. I raised my 20" last night and having it at a higher (eye) level made a pretty big difference and Think I could be happy with (3) 20" monitors and it would be very affordable. Basically I could spend around 300$ on (3) 20" monitors or spend around 450$ on (3) 23".

I've already got someone who wants my 20" monitor if I want to sell which would open the door for 23's. I agree though 20" is probably enough.

Kinda have the same question for the 6950 as I had for the 6850............will it give me ultra settings on (3) 23" 5760x1080?

If I get this setup I'm sure I'll be exploring new games, any suggestions?

Still interested to know if the 6850 would power (3) 20" 1600x900 monitors in eyefinity playing wow at ultra settings??

If anyone has tried it would like to hear what your results are?

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a b C Monitor
February 9, 2011 7:34:53 PM

Make sure you get the 2G version of the 6950.That price you saw for the 6950 was probably a 1G version.Got to be careful now that their making 1G versions.
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February 9, 2011 8:13:44 PM

Good to see were on the same page, from what i've read you definately want the 2gb for eyefinity

Sapphire ($259.99) after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

XFX ($269.99) after MIR
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Display Port adapter ($26.99)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I've always gone with Sapphire and always been happy but the lifetime warranty is appealing have you ever used XFX cards before?

Just RMA'd the 6850 gonna order the 6950 shortly. The price is very good and from what I've read you can flash the card to get a 6970. That's a lot of performance for $260. Now I've got to decide if I want to go with (2) more 20" for 4800x900 ($200 +/-) or spend a little more and get (3) 23" 5760x1080 ($450 +/-) or wait and make due with one 20" in the meantime.

I guess LCD's are only going to get cheaper

That will give me a little more time to research how well the new card will work with either eyefinity setup.

Thanks for all the valuable information.

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a b C Monitor
February 9, 2011 9:27:35 PM

Running a 1080p setup will defnitly ask more of the card(s)but the resoultion of either the 720p or 1080p the 6950 should have no problem displaying.I guess it all comes down to which are you more comfortable with.But with x2 6950's you should have no problem at all maxing out even the newst games.I think i read somewhere that x2 6950's are even better than the 5970.

When choosing which company to buy from i always go by which company gives you the most stuff with the card.I own a XFX6870 and it didn't come with anything but a crossfirebridge.But i think that might be because of the warranty.I would choose the Saphire over the XFX because the Saphire version has a lot of added stuff.Stuff you could actually use, like the mini display to hdmi adapter.If you use that then you could just get a hdmi to dvi adapter for a lot cheaper than the display adapter your trying to buy.Better check with someone else tho on that idea.Dunno if an adapter to adapter will work.
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February 10, 2011 5:46:28 PM

Well I pulled the trigger and bought the Sapphire 2gb 6950. This should give me quiet a bit of headroom especially if I crossfire down the road. Price was 256.99 after MIR.

I also purchased the display port adapter, from what I've read you can only run two monitors off of either the (2) DVI or (1) DVI and (1) HDMI. For the eyfinity set up you need to run the third off of the display port. Good thing it comes with a free Mini display port to display port adapter....to display port adapter (DVI).

Hope I can find a good deal on monitors that Inlcude DVI cables, lol

Thanks for your input Purple stank....I do appreciate it
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a b C Monitor
February 10, 2011 6:31:22 PM

Your quite Welcome.Really just took a second to realize that your playing WoW and you just got a 6950.That is extreme overkill.But it is mostly for the eyefinty setup.

Every monitor that i've ever bought has come with both a DVI and VGA cord.If they don't and only come with either you still have the adapter from the Saphire.Or if they don't have the other cables they will defnitly come with an adapter(dvi to vga or vga to dvi).
When do you think you will actually get all 3 monitors running?

Goodluck.Happy Gaming.
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February 10, 2011 7:33:11 PM

Overkill indeed but I have a feeling the demands of eyefinity will warrant it. And if I decide to try on some other games I'll be set.

Want to do the research on what resolution would be best for this card without crossfire. Saw a pretty sweet deal on 21.5" monitors yesterday 1920x1080 for 119$ it was a pretty good deal. Would have bought the 21.5's but reviews were kinda a mixed bag and after just ordering the new card was having a cheap attack.

The 20's are good but when I come home from working on 23" all day there is quite a difference. Honestly for wow I think 720p is enough not sure how much better 1080p would be in what's a pretty low brow graphics game.

it should also do pretty well on the 50" LCD with settings at max.

I hope to have eyefinity set up in the next one to two weeks...keeping my eyes open for a good deal.
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a b C Monitor
February 10, 2011 7:52:42 PM

I would personally go for a 1080p eyefinity setup if i had the GPU power to back it up.I'm picky about my FPS and i really like it to stay above 60fps so that is why i would settle for a 720p setup.

Finally found a review on the 69xx series Eyefinity.They only have a few games but it does tell you what you will see.I bet with just 1 6950 you should have no problem maxing out WoW in eyefinity.I would go ahead and go for the 1080p monitors.But i should warn you,the display area is HUGE.

http://www.widescreengamingforum.com/wiki/AMD_Radeon_69...

The other games they tested are located at the top right corner of the screen.
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February 18, 2011 2:34:15 PM

Recieved my 6950 and its enormous but fits in my antec 300 with about a 1/2" to spare. Running at about 40 degrees at idle. Turn the fan to about 30% while gaming and pretty consistently at 47 degrees even when oc'd

Found a good price on (3) 21.5" 1080p Asus LED monitors for 135$ each after rebate the picture is amazing

Setup Eyefinity last night....nothing short of impressive.

After oc'ing the card I'm able to run WOW on ultra settings with shaders and a few other things turned down a little. Will see how it handles raids/dungeons etc

Very nice to have a three monitor workstation. Two monitors at work is good but three allows me to do much more.

I would definately recommend eyefinity

Thanks for your advice and input

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a b C Monitor
February 18, 2011 3:46:02 PM

Sounds great.
Are you looking to buy another one for crossfire?
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February 18, 2011 5:31:40 PM

Not for awhile, but when I do I will also need to upgrade

PSU
Probably a new case although two would fit in the Antec 300 not sure how the ventilation would be as it would be pretty full with no much room for air to flow.
New MB that supports crossfire
At that point I'd probably upgrade my CPU also

Would like to run a more graphically intense game to see how the system handles it.

Looks like crysis 2 will be out shortly maybe I'll pick up a copy to try it out
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