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Eyefinity vs Crossfire

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 22, 2011 8:43:54 PM

What is the difference between Eyefinity and Crossfire? I would like to build a gaming system capable of driving 3 monitors. After reading System Builder Marathon, Sept. 2011: $2000 Performance PC , it got me thinking that instead of buying a single monster graphics card to do the job, I may be better off buying 3 cards (one to drive each monitor). However, I'm confused on the difference between Eyefinity and Crossfire. Does one necessitate the other? Thanks.

More about : eyefinity crossfire

September 22, 2011 8:54:32 PM

Quote:
eyefinity is expanding the game image across 3 screens to give you a more immersive gaming experience.
crossfire is using 2 identical cards ( 2x 6970 for example) and pairing them together to theoretically double the gpu horsepower for gaming.


So, if I understand correctly, to use 3 graphics cards to drive 3 monitors they would preferably need to be 3 of the same card and support both Eyefinity and Crossfire?
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2011 8:57:48 PM

All recent AMD cards support eyefinity and most of the mid range and above cards support crossfire.

You only need one card to run eyefinity, the more powerful card the better obviously. You could use 3 cards in crossfire, but only one card actually performs the display on all 3 screens, the other 2 cards are just used for increasing rendering performance.

2x 6950 would be a good start, and reasonably cheap, but a lot depends on the resolution your screens will be at too. I run eyefinity with only a single 6850 and I'm quite happy with its performance at 3x 1680x1050, but I may buy a faster card soon.
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September 22, 2011 9:44:47 PM

eyefinity said:
All recent AMD cards support eyefinity and most of the mid range and above cards support crossfire.

You only need one card to run eyefinity, the more powerful card the better obviously. You could use 3 cards in crossfire, but only one card actually performs the display on all 3 screens, the other 2 cards are just used for increasing rendering performance.

2x 6950 would be a good start, and reasonably cheap, but a lot depends on the resolution your screens will be at too. I run eyefinity with only a single 6850 and I'm quite happy with its performance at 3x 1680x1050, but I may buy a faster card soon.


That makes sense, thanks. :)  Is Eyefinity, or Crossfire, an option that needs to be enabled, after the driver is installed? Also, am I correct in understanding that to drive 3 monitors (such as for a shooter game, ect.) all three monitors would need to be plugged into a single card, rather than separate cards, as indicated in my initial post?
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September 22, 2011 10:12:27 PM

You are correct, and not all games fully support Eyefinity either but I have gotten it to work in everything back to Quake 3 by manually setting the configurations. You will use only one of the cards for Eyefinity and I would do some research on the DisplayPort adapter and monitors with small bezel.

Simplest thing to do is set up a profile in the driver options so you can quickly go from Eyefinity on 3 monitors to one monitor if you want to take your computer somewhere or have a fallback plain.
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a b U Graphics card
September 22, 2011 11:01:01 PM

Yes all monitors are plugged into the same card. And what dasper says about setting up profiles is true as well. I can alternate between eyefinity, 3 screens without eyefinity, 2 screens and a single screen with just a keypress. It's a little bit more advanced but great once you get it working.
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a b U Graphics card
a b C Monitor
September 23, 2011 12:19:47 AM

If you are going to do either crossfire or eyefinity or both, make sure you understand the requirements.

For Crossfire (multiple same-model cards) your motherboard must support it and your PSU needs to be robust. You will connect the cards together using a "crossfire bridge" (or multiple bridges) which is sometimes included with a motherboard or graphics card.

For eyefinity (gaming stretched across 3 monitors) at least one monitor out of the three must be connected to a DisplayPort on the card. DisplayPort is pretty new and the vast majority of monitors out there don't have it. If one of your monitors doesn't have it, don't worry, there are $30 adapters called "Active DisplayPort adapter" that will convert DisplayPort into DVI or VGA. Your other monitors could be connected with DVI, HDMI, or VGA. Eyefinity (and NVIDIA's equivalent) is awesome in most newer games. I highly suggest it.
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September 23, 2011 5:17:42 PM

Best answer selected by pcpro178.
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