Skip to main content

Tom's Hardware's 2010 Holiday Gift Guide: Part 2, Last-Minute Luxury

Display: Samsung MD230X6 6 x 23" Display Array
By: Chris Angelini

Here’s the big mama of our 2010 guide. It took some arm-twisting to get this down to our Culver City office, but at the end of the day, our friends in AMD’s Markham, Ontario office made it happen with a 200+ pound custom padded box, which showed up the day of our photo shoot.

This is really the epitome of what AMD’s Eyefinity technology is all about. When we first tested the company’s Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition card, we had to cobble together six Dell displays using a four-monitor stand and a separate two-display stand. I got close-to-perfect alignment several times, but the setup never looked like a cohesive unit. And the bezels on those Dell displays were just so damn big that I simply couldn’t stand to game across all six screens.

I wish I could say that Samsung’s MD230X6 changes my perception of six-screen gaming, but as long as bezels run through the center of action, it’s going to be hard to get used to missing that critical space. What this configuration does change, however, is the cleanliness of Eyefinity 6. This kit is made to go together. It sits on one relatively unobtrusive stand, the outer screens can all be swiveled to match your preferred viewing angle, and fasteners applied to each edge keep all six screens lined up in a precise way. The finished product is truly jaw-dropping. I was proud of myself after getting the Dell setup all built up. This is way better, though. Pro tip: put the kit together where you intend to use it; at 95 pounds assembled and 62” across, moving it (oh, say, across an office) isn’t an option without a team of helpers.

Right now, the only way to take advantage of this kit is with the 5870 Eyefinity 6 card, which you can find for about $350 online. Soon, though, it’ll be possible to use any of AMD’s Radeon HD 6000-series boards as well, which are in the process of being validated for DisplayPort 1.2 support. Once multi-stream transport hubs become available, you’ll be able to drive several screens from a single DP output.

We really wish the MD230X6 wasn’t priced so far north of $3000 (the current price works out to $600 per display). At the same time, this product is one-of-a-kind, and if you’re the sort of enthusiast able to appreciate and exploit the real estate made available by six 1920x1080 screens (that’s 5760x2160, for anyone counting), than Samsung’s setup sitting on your desk may or may not cause emotionally-compromised individuals visiting your workspace to cry in awe. I’m not even going to lie; shipping this array back to AMD hurt me, physically. It could have been pain of watching such a cool setup roll out the front door (to be fair, though, it was probably related to getting several hundred pounds of LCD glass to the front door for pickup).