AMD Eyefinity FAQ
Eyefinity is AMD's multi-monitor technology that allows Windows to see multiple display panels as a "Single Large Surface (SLS)". The SLS allows Windows to span 3D accelerated graphics across the multiple panels, enabling multiple monitor gaming. Mutli-monitor gaming was originally developed by Matrox and dubbed "Surround Gaming."
There are hundreds of games which support multi-monitor gaming and Eyefinity. In general, any game that supported the Matrox TripleHead2Go or NVIDIA's new Surround initiative will work on Eyefinity. There has been one instance of a title only working for Eyefinity, but it was patched to support other ecosystems.
Two yeas ago (when we wrote our FAQ for the TripleHead2Go), there were over 250 titles with multi-monitor support. Since then many, many more have been added. You can see which games we know to be working (along with particular information about support) by browsing through the WSGF Wiki or the Detailed Report and Multi-Monitor Sections of the forum.
AMD has developed guidelines (with help from the WSGF) for game developers, to help them deliver a good multi-monitor experience. AMD has created two certifications "AMD Eyefinity Ready" and "AMD Eyefinity Validated" to identify games that provide either a minimum or exceptional level of multi-monitor configuration. AMD has also developed the AMD Eyefinity ADK SDK to help support developers.
How Does It Work?
On the hardware side, the Radeon 5000 series provides support for up to six display pipelines per GPU. The Catalyst video drivers can combine individual display pipelines into a "single large surface." DirectX now sees the group as a single display in the display properties. The Eyefinity architecture now does what the Matrox TripleHead2Go did - all a single GPU.
Possible Display Configurations
There are a number of different options available. A few are outlined below in the graphic from AMD. At this point, the 5x1-Portrait option is supported through driver versions 10.12 and newer.
Is PLP Supported?
No. PLP (Portrait - Landscape - Portrait) configuration is not supported. Each image in an Eyefinity group must be of the same size, and oriented in the same manner.
What GPUs are supported?
AMD Eyefinity is only available on the Radeon HD 5000 series. It is not available on the 4000 series.
Is CrossFireX supported?
CrossFireX and Eyefinity were initially exclusive technologies. CrossFireX was initially only supported in widescreen, but not in Eyefinity. The 10.2 release of the Catalyst driver suite brought CrossFireX to Eyefinity. Catalyst 10.2 also brought a re-write of the CrossFireX profile architecture. CFX profiles can now be updated through a separate software update, outside of the monthly Catalyst release. Catalyst 10.7 brought CrossFireX support for 3x1-Portrait.
Is CrossFireX required?
No, a multi-GPU configuration is not required.
What about Tri-Fire and Quad-Fire?
Users have had spotty performance with Eyefinity and 3-GPU and 4-GPU configurations. Catalyst 10.7 brought performance enhancements to Tri-Fire. Catalyst 10.8 is anticipated to bring more fixes as well.
Do I need a Display Port monitor?
No, you do not need a monitor with a DP connection. If you do not have a monitor with a Display Port connection, you will need a Display Port Adapter. You will need either an Active Display Port adapter to convert from DVI to DP, or a Passive Display Port adapter to convert from VGA to DP.
Is there a way to avoid Display Port?
Yes. Sapphire has just recently announced and launched the Sapphire HD 5770 FleX Edition. The card forgoes 2 DL-DVI outputs, in favor of 1x SL-DVI and 1x DL-DVI. This allows the card to utilize three display clocks to drive the outputs - up to a maximum of 1920x1200. A SL-DVI connection only requires one clock (but maxes out at 1920x1200). A DL-DVI connection requires two clocks (which allows it to max out at 2560x1600).
Can I use different monitor sizes?
Yes. However, each monitor in an Eyefinity group must display the same resolution - and they will default to the lowest common denominator. Two displays at 1680x1050 and one display at 1920x1200 will all display a 1680x1050 image - stretching that image across the 1920x1200 display. If you utilize different aspect rations (i.e., 2x 1920x1080 and 1x 1920x1200), the image on the "odd display" will either be letterboxed or stretched.
What OS is supported?
Eyefinity is only supported on Windows Vista and Windows 7, in either 32-bit or 64-bit. Windows XP is not supported.
What AMD Catalyst drivers are needed?
Eyefinity was launched with the 9.12 driver. Significant enhancements have been made along the way. The WSGF maintains a changelog summary of the Eyefinity enhancements in the different driver updates.
How is Eyefinity set up?
Eyefinity display groups are created in the Catalyst Control Panel.
Is HDCP supported?
Yes. Protected content such as Blu-Ray discs can be played on an Eyefinity SLS.
Are "Intermediate Resolutions" supported?
Support for "intermediate resolutions" (i.e., displaying 3x1680x1050 on three 1920x1200 displays) was introduced with Catalyst 10.1.
Is Bezel Compensation/Management supported?
Bezel compensation was added in Catalyst 10.3. Below is a YouTube video we produced on how Bezel Management is set up.
How do I fix Display Port flickering?
A number of users have experiencing flickering on monitors using a display port connection (either native, or active adapter). Newer drivers from AMD have proven effective in reducing flickering. To ensure maximum potential for driver fixes, it is recommended that you use Driver Sweeper after the initial Catalyst uninstall. Many users have found that using the "cleaner" made the different on a driver update. Also, avoid using unofficial "beta drivers." The official driver releases from AMD follow a specific branching, and keep all previous fixes. Leaked beta drivers cannot be ensured to follow the official code branch and retain previous fixes.
Some users also experience flickering with an Active Display Port adapter. User Delphium found that upping the current provided to the adapter (they use USB for power), fixed his issue. Even though the adapter was rated to only need 400mA of power, his flickering went away when he used a 1A USB charger for his HTC mobile phone. He then built a USB Y cable to draw power from two USB 2.0 ports. This also resolved the flickering. Powered USB hub may not provide enough current. A 5-port powered hub that is rated at 2.5A is probably only sending 500mA to each port (as per the USB 2.0 spec).
How do I improve CrossFireX performance?
Update to the latest drivers, and the latest CrossFireX profiles. As stated in the item above, using Driver Sweeper is heavily recommended.
How do I configure games to work with Eyefinity?
Many games now work properly out of the box. For help on how to get specific games to work in Eyefinity, search or browse the WSGF Wiki and Forum.