ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices, has announced the world’s first consumer graphics card that can support output to six monitors at once. By launching the new Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 graphics board ATI increases resolution of PC video gaming by up to six times, however, the big question is whether customers will actually start adopting multiple monitors to improve their gaming experience.
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 graphics card, which was previously code-named “Trillian” carries one ATI Cypress graphics chip with 1600 stream processors clocked at 850MHz along with 2GB of GDDR5 memory operating at 4.80GHz. The graphics card features six mini-DisplayPort connectors that will be able to support monitors with DisplayPort, DVI-I and D-sub input with special dongles. The recommended price of the product $499, which is about a hundred of dollars more expensive compared to a typical model 5870 that supports up to three monitors, but is also equipped with only 1GB of memory.
The Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 graphics is set to finally show the potential of the Eyefinity technology in all its glory – it is able to render three-dimensional video games onto six displays at once in a bid to provide eye-definition visual experience. AMD itself now claims that gamers now have access up to twelve times higher resolution than the industry standard full HD (1920x1080, 1080p, approximately 2.1MP), or to 24.6MP (7680x3200).
“The ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition graphics card opens the door to a new era in personal computing. With the ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition, PC users get the ultimate panoramic computing experience in one powerful card. By bridging the innovation in ATI Eyefinity technology with broad ecosystem support, AMD is revolutionizing the PC visual experience,” said Matt Skynner, vice president and general manager of AMD graphics division.
At present ATI Eyefinity is an exclusive feature of ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 and will be an indisputable trump of the solution. However, only time will tell whether gamers will actually start using multiple monitors. There are a number of drawbacks of such ultra high-end solution: not everyone has enough space for six displays, the cost of six monitors is very high, actual user-experience can be compromised by bezels of displays that are still not very thin, far not all video games can take advantage of output to several monitors, far not all video games can be rendered fast enough in 7680x3200 resolution. ATI will have to work hard with hardware and software partners to make the disadvantages of the Eyefinity technology negligible.
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 graphics cards are available now for $499. Boards initially released to market will be manufactured under a special order by ATI and will include five adapters/dongles: two mini DisplayPort to DisplayPort adapters, two passive mini DisplayPort to DVI dongles, and one passive mini DisplayPort to HDMI dongle. Future variants designed by AMD’s partners may ship with different numbers and/or types of dongles/adaptors.