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If two monitors are not enough, six may help in both business productivity and… video gaming.

ATI, graphics business group of Advanced Micro Devices, is set to offer a graphics solution that will drive video games beyond high-definition. The ATI Eyefinity technology will support video output to up six monitors, which means resolution of games will increase from 2560x1600 today to up to 7680x4800 tomorrow. The technology, however, is not without obvious limitations and drawbacks and the main is computing power.

ATI Radeon HD 5800-series graphics cards – which are code-named Cypress, Hemlock and Juniper – will support output of video or 3D rendered images to three monitors. However, ATI has ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition graphics card in the plans, which will support output to six monitors using DisplayPort connectors. The card, which supports DirectX 11 application programming interface as well as rather promising performance, is set to be available sometimes in Q4 2009.

ATI Eyefinity technology is a combination both hardware and software innovations. In particular, the software handles combination of images onto three to six displays. ATI’s  Terry Macedon promised that multi-monitor solution should work without an issue, which seems to be correct as the company has multi-year experience in multi-monitor solutions for business computers.

ATI Eyefinity is not free of prblems, however. With six monitors the resolution increases (in case of premium “30 displays) by nine times, meanwhile, the computing performance of ATI Radeon 5870 is about 2.7 times of computing performance of existing Radeon HD 4870 hardware.

Obviously, the new HD 5870 model offers gorgeous performance in video games. ATI claims that actual performance increase from the current hardware should be  rather massive/.However, with six times increase in resolution and “only” three times in computing processing, it is not clear whether ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition will have appropriate performance/

The question of money – which does, frankly, exist in our graphics card reviews in a quite a  rare manner – is crucial here: gamers with funds will have to buy three to six displays as well as the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition graphics cards to enjoy them in the so-called eye definition/ While there is a market for ultra-premium graphics sub-system solutions, that market is quite small, at least, when it comes to gaming PCs.

Tags: ATI, AMD, Evergreen, Cypress, 40nm

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