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  1. #1
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    new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    MyCockpit ®NEWS: ATI EYEFINITY

    In a press meeting ATI just announced their new EYEfinity product range.

    The eyefinity cards can drive 6 screens. And it even gets better, 4 eye finity cards can be combined for a total of 24 cards.

    I dont know as how far FS is supported on 24 screens, but 6 should work for sure.

    On pictures they show a Flightsimulator running on 24 screens, but which one was not mentioned.

    The card is based on their next generation 5xxx platform.

    During the demonstration they showed it running H.A.W.X. and Dirt2, so the cards seem powerfull !!

    more info here:

    http://pcper.com/comments.php?nid=7744

    some pictures:



    anandtech preview: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=3635



    Imagine this with samsungs new ultra thin bezel displays or cheap minibeamers...

    .
    Last edited by AlexJ; 09-17-2009 at 07:50 AM.
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  2. #2
    500+ This must be a daytime job BHawthorne's Avatar
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    Re: new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    A few configuration limitations on EyeFinity...

    1. This new display span mode uses something called SLS (single large surface) mode. This is similar to nVidia's old XP span modes, but works with up to 6 displays.
    2. EyeFinity only works at this time with single-GPU and single-card. You can't span across mutli-GPU nor multi-card.
    3. Crossfire does not currently work with EyeFinity. So if you're pushing all those pixels you have no scaling support from multi-GPU.
    4. Displays must be all symmetrical in size and orientation. You can't mix and match display orientation and different resolutions within an EyeFinity SLS grid.
    5. You can have displays that work independant of the SLS grid or you can have multiple SLS grids used. Keep in mind that displays within an SLS grid have to be connected to the same single GPU/card.
    6. Displays grouped in an SLS grid must not exceed 8192 pixel width. This is related to the framebuffer maximum limits on the 5000-series cards.
    7. The 5000-series cards demoed seem to have at least 2 different port out configurations -- one that uses 6 mini displayport ports and one with 2 dvi and 2 hdmi port outs.
    8. EyeFinity can work with a grid of portrait rotated screens or a more typical landscape orientated grid of screens. You can not mix portrait and landscape in the same EyeFinity grid of screens though. They need to be symmetrical.
    9. Mini-DP to DVI active adapters can be purchased for around $100 each, so existing DVI displays can use this new 6 head card, but it's going to cost a bit for adapters.
    10. nVidia 300-series is still under wraps, so there is no information one way or the other to know yet how nVidia will counter EyeFinity with a competing capability.


    A lot of these news reviews are writing incomplete or inaccurate information so far on this. This looks to be a knockout blow to Matrox, because who needs a TH2G if you can just make it work with the video card only?

    A comment about the 24-screen X-Plane demo. This is a bit misleading. The configuration used in that specific demo is 4 instances of X-Plane running in Linux -- 1 instance per 6-port card. This is all done on a single machine but it is not in-fact an example of a single game running a DirectX based title in Windows. It's 4 instances of a game running in Linux. The 24-screen setup is not functional for use with any random DirectX Windows game. EyeFinity only scales to a maximum of 6 displays from a single GPU/card. EyeFinity can not bridge GPUs or cards right now.

    While it's nice that everyone is excited about this, I want to make sure the record is set straight about this and the mechanics are not glossed over. There are specific limitations put on this technology just like any other alternative surround-gaming tech. It looks to work great if you are within those limitations though.
    Last edited by BHawthorne; 09-12-2009 at 03:50 AM. Reason: Fixed information into list format

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    500+ This must be a daytime job autocadplease's Avatar
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    Re: new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    Awesome!
    I hope it will be able to do 6x1.
    Grant D.
    Nelson,B.C. Canada
    Win7 32bit, FSX, PM Boeing, TH2GO, GEX, VoxATC

  4. #4
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    Re: new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    A comment about the 24-screen X-Plane demo. This is a bit misleading. The configuration used in that specific demo is 4 instances of X-Plane running in Linux -- 1 instance per 6-port card. This is all done on a single machine but it is not in-fact an example of a single game running a DirectX based title in Windows. It's 4 instances of a game running in Linux. The 24-screen setup is not functional for use with any random DirectX Windows game. EyeFinity only scales to a maximum of 6 displays from a single GPU/card. EyeFinity can not bridge GPUs or cards right now.
    Thanks for the additional info. Indeed this is not mentioned on most tech sites.

    However would this mean you could run different views on the different xplane instances and have a spanned view this way ? Thats how it looks in the demo's.
    A bit like wideview ?
    Xplane has excellent capabilities to adjust views and span screens. a bit like wideview built in.

    but we really dont need 24 screens

    6 is enough. In xplane it should be possible to give 180 degrees view this way.
    Hmm are there any display port video projectors available ?

    Stef
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    500+ This must be a daytime job BHawthorne's Avatar
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    Re: new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    I'm unfamiliar with how X-Plane works. I just know what the hardware setup was at the demo.

    As long as the 6 screens don't exceed 8192 pixels wide total, one would assume you could do a 180 degree+ circular projection setup with one of these cards. It's one of those things that noone has done yet, so you'd have to do the experimentation though. 6 720p projectors would do 7680x720. 6 1280x1024 projectors would do 7680x1024. 6 1080p projectors wouldn't work because it pushes past the 8192 pixel width. You could use 4 1080p projectors to do 7680x1080 though. Keep in mind though that a theoretical projection setup like this could not use Sol7 simpit edition because it does not allow more than 3 projectors to be setup at once.

    No need to use a DisplayPort projector, just use HDMI or DVI projectors and an adapter. The only reason why they're using mini-DP is to be able to fit the 6 ports on the back of the card.

  6. Thanks dnoize thanked for this post
  7. #6
    150+ Forum Groupie choffmann's Avatar
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    Re: new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    This looks to be a knockout blow to Matrox, because who needs a TH2G if you can just make it work with the video card only?
    Still, as long as we don´t know the pricing conditions, we don´t have the opportunity to fuly "compare" the new product with TH2G. Having the limitations in mind, time will come to show if it pays.

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    Re: new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    some youtube videos:





    Xplane demo:






    Dirt2:






    Stef
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  9. Thanks Matt Olieman thanked for this post
  10. #8
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    Re: new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    Have any of the FS9/FSX demo's shown what the FPS is with that many screens?

    Even though its not the best indication of how fluid the simulation is, the FPS counter is all we have. Without FPS showing on screen, all I'm seeing is a static, one frame picture, not a fluid moving simulation.

  11. #9
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    Re: new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    In the youtube videos i've posted above you can see very fluid motion in xplane, h.a.w.x. and Dirt 2. The last 2 being very gpu intensive last generation games.

    however, fsx is more cpu intensive than gpu intensive and noone has seen it running fsx yet.

    the 5xxx series is the next generation directX 11 cards range, so most likeley faster than anything available now.

    personally im not that much interested in fsx benchmarks, but more in xplane because of its built in capability to span over multiple screens.

    with 24 screens it was running 4 cards.

    We just have to wait for the first full spec reviews.

    price wise i doubt that it will be more expensive then a high end card + TH2GO.

    I think the TH2GO will still be interesting for those using regular cards, so this will not really be a threat.

    Its just a interesting new development

    Stef
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    500+ This must be a daytime job BHawthorne's Avatar
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    Re: new hardware alternative to Matrox TH2GO

    I'll spell it out a bit better...

    Given the choice between buying a $350 Matrox TH2G Digital plus a $300 video card to run it on or...a $450 video card capable of running twice as many displays and higher resolutions...I think the math is quite clear here.

    The TH2G has less capability:
    • The TH2G can not push more than 3 displays for a game.
    • The TH2G can not push higher resolutions than 3x1680x1050.
    • The TH2G has a lot of compatibility issues with hardware even locking 3x1680x1050.
    • The TH2G can not use screens in portrait mode.
    • The TH2G can not use 3x1920x1200 or 3x1920x1080 or 3x2540x1600.
    • TH2G is limited to 57hz locking at maximum resolution.


    Simply put the new 6-port EyeFinity cards can do more things better than the TH2G for cheaper. If if it's not found cheaper than the combined cost of a TH2G Digital and a mid-range enthusiast card, it still has at least twice the capability, with more options and higher resolutions. Having dealt with the compatibility issues with 3x1680x1050 for going on a year now, it can safely be said that it's a hack that doesn't work right for many people. TH2G Digital was never designed for it. It was added in after the fact and it shows that it is a hack, with how compatible it is with LCDs and video card drivers. If that doesn't spell things out, I'm willing to elaborate a bit more.

    The standard 5000-series port configuration running triple-head EyeFinity:


    The 6-port mini-DP configuration running 6 display EyeFinity:


    I also need to point out that EyeFinity will do triple screen just fine without the 6-port version. They used thier standard 5000-series port out cards on a few of their demo rigs at the launch. The configuration those cards had are in the photos above. To do triple-head, they plugged 2 of the displays into the dvi slots and used an adapter on the 3rd port.

    Without bringing too much bias into the debate, I'm a community forum moderator over at the EVGA community forums. EVGA is a nVidia exclusive video card manufacturer, yet I am impressed with this new tech by ATI.

    I've been using pretty much all variations of multi-screen gaming possible for years now. I own all the Matrox GXM products (1 TH2G Analog, 1 TH2G Digital and 2 DH2G Digital) and have also used SoftTH extensively since it's initial release. My first surround-screen gaming setup was built in 2006. I'm not coming at this from an uninformed stance.

    Note: Credit goes to WSGF forum member GeneralAdmission for those photos.

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