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Sapphire Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition Review: Gaming On 6 GB Of GDDR5

Setting Up And Benchmarking Eyefinity 4

This arrangement isn't as exotic. However, you can replicate it yourself with two active mini-DisplayPort-to-DVI adapters, which only cost about $10. That's significantly more affordable than the Vid-2X, priced at $160 each. We already had the splitters set up, though, so we stuck with them. After all, connecting two monitors with a splitter didn't result in the sort of power consumption increase expected from two screens attached separately.

Both of these arrays are visually appealing, with the 2x2 setup better-suited to productivity-minded professionals than four panels set next to each other. Monitors with thin bezels, attached to a stand, and with no speakers work best. Although we didn't have the hardware needed to make the displays look really good all set-up and configured, we did run the benchmarks.

Then we ran them again using the widescreen setup, coming away with roughly the same results.

We're starting to get back into the realm of playability. The benchmarks above employ the highest settings possible to use as much graphics memory as possible, since we want to measure the effect of having 6 GB on-board. However, if you cut the anti-aliasing in half, performance would improve substantially. If you turned it off altogether, the frame rates would be quite decent indeed.

Granted, the differences between 3 and 6 GB vanish at that point; all that counts are core and memory clock rates.

Technically, we could dial back on resolution, too. Four old 19” flat-screen monitors in a 5:4 format look pretty impressive, despite the 5120x1024 resolution. We were able to put together a setup like this from older parts we had lying around. These monitors are fairly cheap these days, making a small video wall relatively budget-friendly.

Bottom Line

Eyefinity works pretty well, and Sapphire's Vid-2X splitters make the configuration easy to build. The splitters are expensive, so two active mini-DisplayPort-to-DVI adapters are a much more affordable way to connect four monitors. Six-monitor setups are probably best avoided for now, unless you have two of these cards in CrossFire.

We did encounter a small performance boost of up to 10 percent attributable to the extra 3 GB of memory on Sapphire's Toxic HD 7970 GHz Edition 6 GB. The practical difference isn't significant, though, and it's certainly not enough to justify a $600 board. In reality, there are very few environments where that much memory currently makes sense paired to a GPU with the performance of Tahiti.