As a result of the way our splitters work, the monitors could only be set up in two configurations: ultra-widescreen with a 11520x1080 resolution or three rows of two monitors stacked on top of each other, resulting in 3840x3840. The second option just looked weird. So, we used the ultra-widescreen arrangement.
Although that looks like a fairly simple setup, few games will actually run at a resolution as crazy as 11520x1080. We were able to test with one synthetic metric and three real-world titles, comparing the performance of 3 and 6 GB cards at different clock rates.
Based on these frame rates, it's pretty clear that one card can't drive six monitors with playable performance, at least not without massively lowering the graphics settings. And if you're forced to do that, does it even make sense to spend so much money?
At similar GPU frequencies, Sapphire's Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition 6 GB is faster than Gigabyte's Radeon HD 7970 Super Overclock due to its faster graphics memory. The difference shrinks if we set both cards to operate at the same clock rates.
The lesson we learned is that 6 GB, on its own, doesn't really affect performance, even at the insane resolutions needed to take advantage of that much memory. The additional 3 GB is almost pointless today, then, particularly since one card isn't fast enough to push playable frame rates in popular games.
Unfortunately, one of our Sapphire Vid-2X splitters stopped working before we could switch over and try the 2x3 monitor setup. It seemed as though 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) in a full room on a hot summer day was too much for it. Clearly, heat problems aren’t exclusive to graphics cards.
We carried on with just four monitors, and were precluded from repeating the benchmarks later at a similar event, as Sapphire needed its card back.
- Sapphire Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition: 6 GB At 1600 MHz
- Board, Cooler, And Power Supply
- Clock Rates And Lethal Boost Mode
- Clock Rates And Power Consumption: Full Load
- Clock Frequencies And Power Consumption: Gaming
- Temperatures And Fan Speed
- Noise Level Comparison Videos
- Building An Eyefinity-Capable System
- Setting Up And Benchmarking Eyefinity 6
- Setting Up And Benchmarking Eyefinity 4
- If You Like Sapphire's Vapor-X, Stick With The 3 GB Card