Building An Eyefinity-Capable System
Eyefinity and Six Monitors
Most cheap monitors only have DVI and HDMI inputs. AMD came out with an Eyefinity Edition Radeon HD 5870, but we haven't seen a card with six outputs since then.
Because we're working with a Radeon HD 7970 from Sapphire, we reached further into our bag of tricks and produced three Sapphire Vid-2X splitters (we also chose not to think about what a setup like this costs).
We used one Vid-2X (PSE-DV2185) to extend the 7970's dual-link DVI output to two monitors and two Vid-2Xes (PSE-DP4196) to do the same for its mini-DisplayPort connectors. Both models offers twin DVI outputs, letting us save some money on the monitors.
The Vid-2X video splitters are based on VESA's Plug & Play standard. They show up as one large display to the graphics card and then divide its output into two signals for the monitors. One advantage they confer is that they're not bound by a panel's native resolution. In certain games it might make sense to use a lower resolution to help with performance, but the picture quality degrades too much to step back like that on the Windows desktop.
We didn’t have six of the same monitor in our German lab, so we performed four- and six-screen tests at a local computer hardware store. This also gave us a nice audience to perform in front of. I was able to talk about Tom's Hardware and answer a lot of questions while setting up the benchmarks. In the end, we came away with some great feedback on ways to make our 2013 Graphics Card Performance Charts even more interesting.
Of course, the focus of our conversation was the Eyefinity setup, which wouldn’t have been possible without the three splitters or a nice array of monitors.