Part 2: AMD's Eyefinity Technology Explained

Valid Impressions

As with dongles and (soon) monitors, AMD also has a two-tier Eyefinity validation program for software. You can check out the growing list of approved applications here. As of this writing, 16 titles appear on the Validated list, and another 20 are officially Eyefinity Ready.

What’s the difference? The answers might be hard to spot. One of the biggest differences is that a Validated app is guaranteed to have all resolutions appear as available in the software from the moment it’s installed. With a Ready app, you may have to force the title into a certain resolution by editing an INI or configuration file. The resolution setting is supported in both cases, and neither will stretch or contort at that resolution. However, the odds of that setting being easier to access is assured a Validated program. Before the Eyefinity validation program was in place, AMD reports having seen software that would crop the top and bottom of some content while stretching the remainder across the large surface.

AMD also works with ISVs on things like HUD elements, making sure that the gauges, dials, and such needed during play are properly rendered (not stretched) and visible where you’d expect them to be. At the same time, you don’t want the middle screen of your shooter cluttered with HUD readouts, so AMD sends its criteria list to developers to help guide them toward popular layout principles.

“We have internal teams checking software for this sort of thing,” says AMD’s Gasson, “even on titles we don’t have any arrangements with. We don’t want our relationships to impact anyone’s Eyefinity experience.”

Triple-screen gaming

As with any major first-gen technology, AMD’s Eyefinity has had a few kinks to iron out, but we’ve been glad to see that the company is listening to user issues and suggestions. Above all else, we’re excited to see real innovation happening in the graphics space. Eyefinity leverages the excellent developments in the DisplayPort standard, but we hope this is only the beginning. After all, the vision of a media-saturated man cave still sizzles the imagination. And then? It’s a long way from here to the holodeck...but not quite as far as it was before Eyefinity.

  • akula2
    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.
  • akula2
    Could someone tell me what happened to the "Print" feature on Tom?
  • ckim2116
    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!
  • cangelini
    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 :)
  • jsowoc
    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.
  • xrodney
    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.
  • 1898
    Very interesting read, thanks.

    From the article:
  • RazberyBandit
    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...
  • gaborbarla
    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.

  • ArgleBargle
    $749 for a dual 5970? I thought a single 5970 cost that much!