Eyefinity, gaming, and dual monitor workspace questions

A 6870 was selected to solve this question. Thanks to everyone.

My current setup is:
CoolerMaster CM 690 Advanced
ThermalTake TR2 RX 850w
Core2Duo E6750 2.66ghz
4gb Kingston HyperX
Gigabyte P35-DS4
Radeon 3870 Series 512mb
Radeon 5450
2 DVD Burners SATA
3 Raptors
•74gb - Scratch drive for Adobe + Vegas
•150gb - XP Native - Win 7 Scratch
•300gb - Win7 Pro Native - XP Scratch
2 Seagate 2TB Raid 1 Backup and storage
1 Seagate 1TB Storage
2 21.5" LED monitors @ 1920x1080 driven by each gfx card

Primary purpose is daily computing, Photo/Video Editing (HD/21mp sources) and moderate single screen gaming.

Case PS, and drives are staying as is
Currently on hand:
Intel i5 2500k
8gb Kingston HyperX

After going to dual monitors in 2006, I would see pathetic frame rates while gaming. ATI support suggested disabling 2nd monitor while gaming or adding a secondary cheap card to fix problem. So I added a cheap gfx card to drive second monitor and saw my regular single monitor frame rates return. Problem solved. One monitor is used as a completely calibrated monitor for photo and video work, for WYSIWYG when I send to lab for prints, and video authoring. The other is completely UNcalibrated so that I can see the my work as it would appear on the average monitor.

Budget is ~$200. I like XFX for their advance replacement and no issues lifetime warranty. Overclocking maybe, but not likely beyond ati's auto overclock. Crossfire, no

As I understand it now, a single eyefinity card should be able to drive both monitors with no appreciable loss in FPS while gaming on a single monitor. An XFX 6850 or XFX 6870 is what I'm looking at. for the little extra money the 6870 looks to be the leader. I'm not interested in the best of the best of the best, just setting up a great system that will last me another 4 years like this one has.

Should this card do what I need, or will I still need to use a second gfx card to drive my 2nd monitor and keep single monitor frame rates high? Going to order the new card on the 30th and need to know if I should go ahead and grab another 5450 for chump duty or if I only need the 6850/70 and can move the current 5450 to the new htpc.

Thanks in advance.
4 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about eyefinity gaming dual monitor workspace questions
  1. Best answer
    Either card will be fine.

    I use a HD 5850 in a dual monitor setup (both are 1920x1200); I have no performance issues.
  2. A while back, I used a 3450 and a 5870 to drive two 2560 x 1600 monitors. Performance was fine, but the 3450 did not give very good colors.

    I replaced them with a single GTX580 which works much better.
    Gaming gets directed to the primary monitor, and the secondary is largely static stuff like e-mail, monitors, etc.

    I think your problem is that neither current card is very strong.
    The 6850/6870 cards are much stronger, and should be fine.
  3. I seem to remember ATI saying something back then about the card only having 1 video processing unit and thus that's why it got crappy fps sending a v-blank to the second monitor.

    Based on both of your statements I'll order the 6870 and call it a day. Worst case, Microcenter is 35 min away with a gigabyte 5450 for 34.99 and that will solve the problems.
  4. Best answer selected by cgravil.
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