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Opinions on Eyefinity Setup Options

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 13, 2012 3:23:42 AM

I'm looking for opinions on the best possible Eyefinity setup I can get for my dollar. My graphics card is a Sapphire AMD 6870 1GB. I'm pretty cheap, so I'm aiming for the best value, not the best performance. So, here's a summary of what monitors I have now:

2x Acer S200HLAbd 20" 1600x900
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

1x Acer P216HV 21.5" 1920x1080
http://slickdeals.net/f/2984407-Acer-P216HV-bd-21-5-Wid...

1x Hannspree HF205DPB 20" 1600x900
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The way I see it, I have three options:

1. Buy a brand new Acer S200HLAbd from Newegg for $89.99, which isn't too bad of a price, and roll with a setup that has three identical monitors, all with fairly small bezels and an aesthetically pleasing form factor. The downside of this being that in desktop mode I would be stuck using 1600x900 on my primary monitor.

2. Go with the 20" Acer monitors on the sides, and the 21.5" Acer in the center. This would give me a larger primary monitor in desktop mode, but from what I've heard I would have to run it at 1600x900 in Eyefinity, making it look distorted. I have no idea how significant this will look, does anyone have experience with this? The monitors would still match fairly well, and all have small bezels. The 21.5" Acer isn't LED though, and I'm not sure if that's a big deal.

3. Go with the 20" Acer monitors on the sides, and the 20" Hannspree in the center. This would save me some money, but I have concerns that the Hannspree is the lesser quality of the monitors, so it seems stupid to have it in the center. I'm not sure how well the bezels will match up, but the Hannspree's are fairly small, probably no more than a quarter inch larger than the Acer's. Again, though, the Hannspree isn't LED, so I'm not sure if it would be stupid to have that as the primary monitor.

If anyone can provide me with opinions on which option they think is best, or maybe another option that I haven't considered, it would be much appreciated.
January 13, 2012 5:10:32 AM

Ideally no matter what resolution you run in, you want 3 identical or as close as possible in size and looks for it to look nice
If one is different its not going to look quite right, specially if the bezels are different sizes or the display is not quite the same size as the one beside it
January 13, 2012 5:31:47 AM

Try Aoc moniters cheper then other give more performance and value for ur money ,do not buy led moniters it affect eyes
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January 13, 2012 3:58:28 PM

Has anyone found a solution to the different resolution problems?
a b C Monitor
January 13, 2012 4:21:09 PM

I'll address each of your points having eyefinity myself:

1) In eyefinity your Windows desktop is extended to all three monitors. So your Windows desktop resolution using three 1600x900 monitors would be 4800x2700.

2) I don't recommend mismatching monitors in eyefinity. I haven't tried it but I wouldn't even bother.

3) This is your best option to at least try. You can always buy the additional Acer S200HLAbd later if the hannspree is annoying you.

In gaming your 6870 1gb will struggle mightily. Previously I have done eyefinity with a single 5870 1gb. The 5870 is more powerful than the 6870. My 5870 @4800x1200 was bottlenecked by its 1gb vram. I later added a 2nd 5870 1gb and while I was pleased with the additional performance, I was still forced to use low res textures to help overcome the 1gb vram bottleneck. Low-res textures really look bad on eyefinity - the fisheye effect makes them look that much worse.

My recommendation is to get no less than a 6950 2gb. I currently use a single 6970 2gb @4800x1200 and am very happy with the performance. I still get a minimum of 4xAA and 4xAF in any game with other settings no lower than medium. I'm sure a 2nd 6970 would really open things up, but am waiting to see whether I want to jump straight to a 7970.

I guess my main point is that your 6870 is going to struggle and you will want something more powerful albeit within your budget. It will get you started though, whetting your appetite for something more powerful.
a b C Monitor
January 13, 2012 4:58:30 PM

Try to match the 3 screens. Mismatched resolutions will not work. You will have to run all 3 monitors at the highest common resoluiton something lke 1360x728 (4104x728).

I agree with Larkspur about the GPU power needed to run extra wide resolution. I have 2 gtx 470s in surrond vision. I know it is different tech but the idea is the same. They stutter have trouble when running games like BF3 or even MW3.

On a side note extra wide resolutions are cool but they can be infurating becuase most games dont have proper support for the res, or if they do they get the fov or aspect ratio is all screwed. Think short fat guys, or tall skinny guys. This forces you to look to 3rd party tools like wide screen fixer.
a b C Monitor
January 13, 2012 5:25:59 PM

bucknutty said:
On a side note extra wide resolutions are cool but they can be infurating becuase most games dont have proper support for the res, or if they do they get the fov or aspect ratio is all screwed. Think short fat guys, or tall skinny guys. This forces you to look to 3rd party tools like wide screen fixer.


If a game has a locked aspect ratio (like 4:3 or 16:9) then extra wide resolutions look terrible. On games like that (most of the console ports) I just do what everyone else does and play them at the native resolution on my center screen. Nothing lost there - you don't even have to turn eyefinity off (not sure about nvidia surround) - just set the game's resolution to one of your monitors' native resolution - it will clone the screen on all three screens - turn off the right and left monitor and you feel like everyone else again albeit with a tendency toward claustrophobia.

The real trouble with eyefinity/surround resolutions is when a game has fixed window positions. Vanilla world of warcraft for instance mostly has fixed windows. So when you open a vendor screen it shows up on your left monitor. You open your inventory and it opens on your right monitor. Your head swivels from left to right and other than giving you a stronger neck, it is very tiring.

Luckily more mature games like WoW have plenty of mods/add-ons that allow you to move and set those windows to ideal locations. Having the right and left screen allows someone to offload clutter (like chatboxes, recount, minimap or whatever you want) to areas that don't interfere with your main vision. Unfortunately brand new games (like SW:TOR) don't have those add-ons yet (I haven't yet researched that though). Or maybe they never will. Either way, you can always play the game on one screen like everyone else.
January 13, 2012 7:45:26 PM

I can still return this card to Amazon, so I guess my question is, would it be smart to swap it for an XFX 6870 2GB?

I got the Sapphire for $135, and I could get the XFX for $179, so it would be a $44 upgrade. Is that smart to do? I'm starting to think I'm jumping through way too many hoops for this...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=14-150-...
May 30, 2012 5:07:03 AM

2gb will though have an upper-hand, bt believe me until *, u would not wish to do any serious gaming in the eyefinity on a single 6870gpu.

*do:-
crossfire another 6870 - depends upon mobo n psu capabilities - <least preferred>
or
get something like 6950 or more - <best option>
a b C Monitor
May 30, 2012 9:54:11 AM

^+1 on the 6950 2GB. I play a lot of games on single 6950 2GB at 3x1920x1080 & its not too bad (Prince of Persia, Dead Space 1& 2, Avatar, Prototype). All very nice at around 30-45fps. I was forced to get a 2nd 6950 only when playing Crysis WH & Crysis 2 & AVP. SKyrim will run 30fps on single 6950 too.

With only 3x1600x900, I guess the 6950 2GB will work just fine.
a b C Monitor
May 30, 2012 9:59:00 AM

terdinglage said:

The way I see it, I have three options:

1.

2.

3. Go with the 20" Acer monitors on the sides, and the 20" Hannspree in the center. This would save me some money, but I have concerns that the Hannspree is the lesser quality of the monitors, so it seems stupid to have it in the center. I'm not sure how well the bezels will match up, but the Hannspree's are fairly small, probably no more than a quarter inch larger than the Acer's. Again, though, the Hannspree isn't LED, so I'm not sure if it would be stupid to have that as the primary monitor.

If anyone can provide me with opinions on which option they think is best, or maybe another option that I haven't considered, it would be much appreciated.

I'd go for option 3. It's not stupid at all specially since you do not need to spend anything. It is called making the best of what you already have. I can see also that it have thin bezel so it should go well with the 2x20" acers on the side. Whatever savings you get on just using your existing monitor & not buy anything, you can sink into a better graphics card like the 6950 or 7850.
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