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Eyefinity, By The People

Part 2: AMD's Eyefinity Technology Explained
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As important as DisplayPort may be to the overall Eyefinity effort, software may be the most important of all considerations for the end-user. If the software is buggy or doesn’t live up to end-user’s expectations, Eyefinity’s prospects will quickly dim. AMD is keenly aware of this, so the company took its development efforts out to the community it so much wanted to serve. The Eyefinity team went to the operator of Widescreen Gaming Forum, who set up for AMD a roundtable group of users—“his trusted cadre,” according to Shane Parfitt.

“We ran our Eyefinity software requirements around to a lot of insiders and got some really valuable feedback,” says Parfitt. “There was a lot of debate about the HUD. Where the HUD occurs in the game depends on the game itself. In a first-person shooter, you’ve got a targeting reticle somewhere in the center of the screen that hopefully maps where your bullets are going to go. With strategy, you may have HUD elements that include what you’re building, how many resources you have, and all that stuff. So I got some great feedback on where they want those elements to be. FPS shooters, they were very clear that they didn’t want the center screen clogged up. They want a clear field of view, because that center is what they’re focusing on. The real-time strategy players wanted elements spread across the entire array in locations that made sense to that type of gamer.”

Left 4 Dead HUDLeft 4 Dead HUD

Other hot topics included things like field of view and how much scaling or stretching should occur. Naturally, no one wants stretching on side panels, but AMD states that never having any stretching is “a bit of a mathematical impossibility,” depending on the field of view associated with the front and side panels. The question was how users want that stretching to be handled.

Another popular issue was the reticle (crosshairs), because some users wanting a two- or four-monitor Eyefinity array option. AMD took the request back to game developers but had no luck. 

“The crosshairs issue came up a great deal in our focus group,” says Parfitt. “But it turns out that moving that targeting reticle even a little bit affects the ballistics of the gun, where the bullets end up going, and so on. It requires a major rewriting of their engine and code.”

You can’t win ‘em all, but the upshot of this and similar roundtable groups allowed AMD to go back to vendors with a list of best practices to try and make Eyefinity into what the bulk of users kept asking for.

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Top Comments
  • 11 Hide
    Tomtompiper , April 15, 2010 1:33 PM
    bogomanthe advertisements on this website are getting ridiculous...



    You aren't using FF + ADblock Plus?


Other Comments
  • 8 Hide
    akula2 , April 15, 2010 6:37 AM
    I use 3 LCDs with 5770 as well as 5850 cards to run many applications simultaneously. Eyefinity feature offers so much and one could easily avoid buying additional PCs by tapping the features from the processor and the graphics card.
  • -5 Hide
    akula2 , April 15, 2010 6:37 AM
    Could someone tell me what happened to the "Print" feature on Tom?
  • 7 Hide
    ckim2116 , April 15, 2010 6:39 AM
    It'd be nice if AMD had their own list of Eyefinity supported games. Some of the games on WGF don't work; in fact, the only games that have worked out perfectly for me have been TF2, Batman Arkham Asylum, Torchlight, and L4D2 (all you have to do is select your resolution in the options, in my case 5760x1080). In other games the menu screen just keeps blinking, and attempting to change the resolution just freezes the game.

    Can't wait until all the kinks are worked out!
  • 2 Hide
    cangelini , April 15, 2010 6:43 AM
    akula2Could someone tell me what happened to the "Print" feature on Tom?


    It's right above the comments section, to the right of "Share," amongst a ton of tiny little icons :) 
  • 6 Hide
    jsowoc , April 15, 2010 7:43 AM
    I don't see DisplayPort costing that much more. If I look at 22-24" LCDs, the cheapest they come is around $200 for a TN panel or $300 for a PVA monitor, and about $450-500 for an IPS monitor. It's personal preference whether the quality difference is worth the cost.

    If you compare a $200 TN w/out DisplayPort to a $500 IPS w/ DisplayPort, you are comparing apples to oranges. The Amazon price of $220 for a TN w/ DisplayPort is more representative of pricing.
  • 2 Hide
    xrodney , April 15, 2010 7:51 AM
    I am using 30" dell but only way i can use its native resolution is over DVI, on either HDMI or Displayport maximum of 1920x1200 is possible.
    I am not sure if this is limit on DELL only, but as far as I read neither ati 4xxx or 5xxx grapahic card and neither any widely available LCD supports more then that which is quite pitty.
    Even more disapointing is that DHCP working only over single DVI link (1920x1200 max) on DELLs and probably others as well.
  • 2 Hide
    1898 , April 15, 2010 9:34 AM
    Very interesting read, thanks.

    ckim2116
    From the article: http://support.amd.com/us/eyefinity/Pages/eyefinity-software.aspx
  • 1 Hide
    RazberyBandit , April 15, 2010 10:29 AM
    Hmm. Landscape-landscape-landscape seems like it would just be sick for gaming. ASUS monitor bezels are actually angled at the top and bottom. When stacked tightly in such an arrangement, they actually wrap around the viewer nicely. Three 24" 16:9 ratio (1920x1080) monitors stacked sideways yields a HUGE 3:2 ratio (3240x1920 resolution) display. Three 16:10 (1920x1200) monitors end up at 3600x1920. I like this idea better than the far more panoramic view of 5760x1080 or 5760x1200 for most games.

    Alas, I'll be waiting on the next-gen cards and monitors in hopes that prices drop and availability increases. I'd also like to see the proposed standards mentioned within this article actually go into effect, as well as see adoption of display port grow and the technology itself mature.

    Lastly I hope stands adopt a standard that supports landscape-landscape-landscape, portrait-portrait-portrait, and any combination in-between. Having to go out and buy 3 cheap VESA mounts, some metal tubing and round-bar, then get to cutting, bending, and welding my own stand together sounds like a fun project, but I'd rather just buy a mass-produced one.

    Edit: I meant portrait-portrait-portrait...
  • -3 Hide
    gaborbarla , April 15, 2010 12:19 PM
    Bought a 5870 HD the other day.
    Two questions remain for me that I couldnt filter out from these articles by skimming through them:

    1. Why do we need a display port again? I thought the whole point of HDMI was to introduce a digital standard that works with everything TVs Digital signal processors, PCs. Now that most monitors, graphics cards and even some motherboards are starting to support HDMI they come out with a new format... (dot dot dot)

    2. Why does the 5800 series need a display port? why couldn't it have 3 DVI-Ds? So far I haven't even seen a single monitor that has displayport.

  • -2 Hide
    ArgleBargle , April 15, 2010 12:25 PM
    $749 for a dual 5970? I thought a single 5970 cost that much!
  • 0 Hide
    rhelme , April 15, 2010 1:05 PM
    Arglebargle$749 for a dual 5970? I thought a single 5970 cost that much!


    the TDMS streams that the card can currently push is 2... That is for what I have heard some timing reason between 3 cards and that each TDMS stream supports 2560x1600p. If there was a way to trick the card and go over 1920x1200 then in the future, if you could plug in an adapter that said I will only output in 1920x1200 and lower, then the extra bandwidth of not supporting 3 displays at the 2560x1600 goes away and if you do the math, that leaves enough timing open to allow you to plug in a displayport to single output DVI and run three cards without an active dongle..


  • -3 Hide
    Tomtompiper , April 15, 2010 1:17 PM
    gaborbarlaBought a 5870 HD the other day.Two questions remain for me that I couldnt filter out from these articles by skimming through them:1. Why do we need a display port again? I thought the whole point of HDMI was to introduce a digital standard that works with everything TVs Digital signal processors, PCs. Now that most monitors, graphics cards and even some motherboards are starting to support HDMI they come out with a new format... (dot dot dot)2. Why does the 5800 series need a display port? why couldn't it have 3 DVI-Ds? So far I haven't even seen a single monitor that has displayport.


    As it says in the article display port can support touchscreen signals, usb, 7.1 audio and rapid changes in resolution,refresh rate and colour depth and a higher resolution than HDMI due to higher bandwidth. Think of HDMI as 4inch Goodyears on an Aston Martin, and Display port as 12inch Pirellis.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , April 15, 2010 1:27 PM
    the advertisements on this website are getting ridiculous...
  • 11 Hide
    Tomtompiper , April 15, 2010 1:33 PM
    bogomanthe advertisements on this website are getting ridiculous...



    You aren't using FF + ADblock Plus?


  • -1 Hide
    meat81 , April 15, 2010 2:10 PM
    Quote:
    As it says in the article display port can support touchscreen signals, usb, 7.1 audio and rapid changes in resolution,refresh rate and colour depth and a higher resolution than HDMI due to higher bandwidth. Think of HDMI as 4inch Goodyears on an Aston Martin, and Display port as 12inch Pirellis.


    Careful on using car analogies, last time i did that the nerds got angry.
  • -3 Hide
    Tomtompiper , April 15, 2010 2:17 PM
    Screw the Nerds. Should I explain the first word for them?
  • -1 Hide
    Turas , April 15, 2010 2:25 PM
    Any word on when the Samsung multimonitor setup will actually ship? Getting really tired of always seeing pictures of it with no new information.
  • 1 Hide
    adaman2576 , April 15, 2010 2:41 PM
    Great read. Exactly what I wanted to know about eyefinity and all of the different dongles that one needs to be able to do this.
  • 1 Hide
    baddad , April 15, 2010 2:55 PM
    Displays made to size is a better solution.
  • -1 Hide
    cadder , April 15, 2010 3:06 PM
    You compare $680 vs. $300 panels- the difference is partly in volume because the cheapest part will sell a lot more than the expensive one, but the big difference in functionality is IPS panel technology vs. TN panel technology. TN is a lot cheaper but only puts out 6-bit color so it is undesireable for photographers. Gamers don't care about colors so they can benefit from the cheaper monitors.
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