Tag Archives: eyefinity

Crossfire, Eyefinity and You.



31502_1311688796823_1368725465_30768315_5327779_n_thumb.jpgRecently, I upgraded my computers video card from a GTX275 to dual 5870’s to, hopefully, increase the framerate and overall enjoyment of having 3 monitors.

Prior, I was using SoftTH for 3×1 gaming.  While the software was extremely flexible and, personally, a more preferred method of Mult-monitor gaming as it allowed far more customization.  The 5xxx cards are MADE for multi-monitor gaming thru Eyefinity.  Sure, it sounds like just a gimmick, given that SoftTH proved just about anything could do it.  But, the Radeon 5xxx line was designed with this in mind, with the ability to hook up 3 displays to one card, and a hefty amount of streaming units to help keep those higher resolutions running smooth.  Going from SoftTH to the built in Eyefinity setup, I gained anywhere from 20fps to 50fps.  Some of the negatives of Eyefinity are few, but substantial.

First, in order to use bezel compensation, the ability to “increase the screen size past the bezel around the viewing screen.” so you get a more seamless, window like view is only allowed when you have 3 of the same monitor.  Second, all monitors must be pointing the same direction when using 3 in a portrait fashion.  May not sound like a problem, but not all monitors are symmetrical.  some have larger bezels at the bottom, or even curved, non-uniform bezel bottoms near the base, making it impossible to get a clean, gapless look between the monitors unless you swivel one of the end screens the opposite direction.  but this isn’t something you can do with Eyefinity, you could with SoftTH.

And the single biggest issue I am having right now with Eyefinity actually has to do with Crossfiring 2 cards together.  Not too long ago, Crossfire simply didn’t work at all with Eyefinity.  When Eyefinity was enabled, Crossfire was ignored.  Until the 5970 was released (2 5870’s on one board.) with that, ATI released the 9.12hotfix drivers that allowed for Crossfire+Eyefinity (Cross-finity)  But this had issues, and to this day, it is still far from spectacular… lets face it, it’s just about useless.

Continue reading Crossfire, Eyefinity and You.

Triple monitor gaming with SoftTH

image415014422.jpgThe newest line of ATI cards have a new feature built into them called Eyfinity. Which is a fancy name for Triple monitor support in games. And, for the most part, it simply works.

Nvidia owners might feel a little left out of the loop on this you might think. Only now has Nvidia announced “Surround Gaming”. But for whatever reason. They are saying that this feature, in future driver released, will require a SLi setup… Hmm.. Sounds like a spendy option.

Well, I stumbled upon a wrapper set called SoftTH which allows nearly any PCI-Express cards to run many games on monitor screens. While this may be more of a hassle for ATI 5xxx card owners. This is great for people with nvidia cards.

What SoftTH does is catch the games call to DirectX with it’s own DirectX file that you place in the games directory. This file then tells the game to display at a higher resolution across 3 or more monitors.

This system works well for the most part. But isn’t an ideal solution by any means.

The benefits over Eyefinity:
Can use existing video card.
Supports mutliple custom resolutions.
Supports lower or higher resolutions on side monitors.
Allows for different sized monitors

Of course it’s not all roses. The bigger issue is the requirement for a second video card. Don’t worry though, the secondary card doesn’t need to be a power house. It doesn’t even need to be a good card. It’s mostly there to allow another monitor to be hooked up.
Also, Framerate.. Compared to Eyefinity setups, SoftTH will give you about half the framerate. Granted, the game is probably still very playable. Just don’t expect triple-digit fps.
The final issue, which is probably the biggest problem is compatiblity. This setup does not work with all games. BioShock 2 is one that doesn’t work. All OpenGL games don’t work. And finally. It only works with DirectX8/9 games. Any game that is DX10/11 exclusively (not many..if any) will not work.
Also, there is a lot of tweaking involved with same games to get them working properly. You’ll have to edit the SoftTH.cfg file. It’s nothing extreme. But can still be time consuming initially.

With all that, I am loving SoftTH. 3 monitors placed horizontally makes racing games very immersive and allows for a much more enjoyable and easier to play from the cockpit view. Being able to see out of the side windows helps immensly. While have the monitors vertically (on there sides) is great for FPS’s and adds to there intensity. For racing games. The bezels really don’t get in the way at all. Much like a car and the column between the side window and the windshield. The bezel doesn’t block anything. When vertical and playing a FPS. After a couple minute playing they, for the most part.. Melt away. As in you don’t notice them when you get into the game.

If you are interested in SoftTH. I suggest highly checking the site

http://www.kegetys.net/SoftTH/

Also, make sure to read up on the forums there for some help with configuring to get games working 100%