ATI Radeon 5870 Eyefinity6 Review - Productivity & Entertainment (Continued)

Submitted by skipclarke on 5 April, 2010 - 15:09

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3x1 Landscape

Since my first TripleHead2Go, I have attempted to use virtually every available port in a traditional three monitor setup. My last 3x1 setup was three Dell U2410's. I specifically chose them for their multitude of connections: DP, DVIx2, VGA, HDMI and Component. At the time of my initial setup, all existing Eyefinity cards offered a variety of ports versus the all-DisplayPort configuration of the Eyefinity6 card.

Since I couldn't set up the Eyefinity with all DP connections, I chose to use the DisplayPort and DVI-1 connections. Two DVI-2 connections were hooked up to my Mac Pro. The HDMI ports were paired with the HDTV cable box, Xbox 360 and PS3 Slim (aka the Blu-Ray player). The VGA connections were assigned to the external VGA port on my work (day job) laptop, Nintendo Wii and Sega Dreamcast. Yes, VGA cables are available for both the Wii and Dreamcast (and yes they help the picture quality).

I had originally intended to connect the Wii through a set of component cables, and use two VGA connections with my TripleHead2Go and my work laptop. However, the old chipset on the laptop wouldn't accommodate the TH2Go. I purchased the available Sound Bars for each monitor as well. The HDMI devices played directly through. I ran cables from the PC audio into the three cables, hooking up the three bars as Left-Center-Right.



3x2 with Eyefinity6

Knowing that I wasn't going to keep the 3x2 configuration as my final option, I didn't spend a great deal of time working on a perfect alignment on the monitors. I got them relatively close for testing, but I would do a better job if they were being installed permanently.

In testing the Eyefinity6, my next "new" configuration was the "three over three," or 3x2 configuration. The Dell P2210H monitors that ATI provided have DisplayPort, DVI and VGA connections. They do not have an HDMI connection. I will probably end up getting an HDTV to for all the HDMI devices. However, the additional monitors allowed me to add a 2nd video card to my Mac Pro and connect a total of four monitors. Below are pictures of three different configurations.

Six displays offer a wealth of options. The three I am highlighting here are:

  • 3x2 Eyefinity on all three screens
  • 1 (laptop on bottom left) + 2x2 (Mac Pro)
  • 3x1 Eyefinity on top, with bottom row split between laptop (left) and Mac Pro on two screens (center and right)

The "three over three" configuration would work well if your monitors had HDMI connections. You could game on the lower three (if that aspect ratio was your preference for that game), and put a movie or TV on in a top screen. I'm not a WoW player, but I do hear there can be a lot of down time while waiting for team and raid groups to gather.

3x2 Eyefinity Configuration

Work laptop connected in the lower left. Mac Pro on four screens.)

3x1 Eyefinity on top three screens. Work laptop and Mac on bottom three.