6400×1080: Testing Mixed-Resolution AMD Eyefinity

Introduction


Around a month ago we announced to you that AMD was releasing version 3.0 of its Eyefinity software package. One of the key new additions to AMD’s Eyefinity 3.0 software is the ability to support mixed resolution monitors in an Eyefinity configuration through a variety of methods. This exciting addition means you can mix and match a variety of displays so there’s no reason to scrap any mis-matched monitors if you want to do multi-screen gaming.

Mixed resolution support will be implemented in three different ways: fill mode, expand mode and fit mode. The first of those, fill mode, utilises the full resolution of all displays but as a result of that the resolutions created are not quadrilateral (i.e. are not rectangular). The next mode, expand mode, creates a rectangular resolution based on the vertical pixel count of the highest resolution display and the combined horizontal width of all displays. The resulting area that the smaller displays cannot show is designated as “unavailable area” because the displays lack the resolution to project it.

The final method is fit mode by which the vertical pixel counts are kept constant across all three displays so it will use the maximum common vertical height. In the example below you can see that you’d end up with three 1080p height screens but the middle one becomes 2560 x 1080. This differs to previous Eyefinity where it would simply set the middle display to 1920 x 1080, now you can use the extra width by sacrificing the height which is preferable to sacrificing both.

To test out this new AMD Eyefinity technology AMD have sent us over the required monitors to run a 6400 x 1080 configuration. The first is the central 2560 x 1080 resolution display, for this AMD sent us the AOC Q2963PM 29 inch panel. Despite being a 29 inch panel, the vertical height is the same as a 23 inch 1920 x 1080 panel because remember panel height is measured diagonally, the extra width doesn’t make this display any taller. To go either side of the AOC Q2963PM AMD also sent us two NEC MultiSync E231W displays. Together these three panels form a 6400 x 1080 resolution with a uniform vertical height that makes it look like a natural combination. For testing this high-resolution set up we are testing it with XFX’s R9 290X Double Dissipation 4GB graphics card on our usual high-end graphics card test system. We were tempted to use CrossFire 290Xs but decided to opt for one card to keep the results as realistic and accessible as possible.

AMD Eyefinity 3.0 Allows Mixed Resolution Support

AMD is set to release the third generation of its custom multi-display technology, Eyefinity 3.0. The third incarnation will bring new optimisations and features to the mix with the headline change being support for Eyefinity with displays of different resolutions. This mixed resolution support will be implemented in three different ways: fill mode, expand mode and fit mode. The first of those, fill mode, utilises the full resolution of all displays but as a result of that the resolutions created are not quadrilateral (i.e. are not rectangular). The next mode, expand mode, creates a rectangular resolution based on the vertical pixel count of the highest resolution display and the combined horizontal width of all displays. The resulting area that the smaller displays cannot show is designated as “unavailable area” because the displays lack the resolution to project it.

The final method is fit mode by which the vertical pixel counts are kept constant across all three displays so it will use the maximum common vertical height. In the example below you can see that you’d end up with three 1080p height screens but the middle one becomes 2560 x 1080. This differs to previous Eyefinity where it would simply set the middle display to 1920 x 1080, now you can use the extra width by sacrificing the height which is preferable to sacrificing both.

The most interesting of the potential uses for Eyefinity 3.0 is the ability to create Eyefinity resolutions from displays of the same panel resolution height. This means gamers with a couple of 1920 x 1080 displays can add a 2560 x 1080 display to their configuration and use it fully, or gamers with a 1920 x 1200 display could buy a couple of cheaper 1600 x 1200 displays to add to their existing set up.

Eyefinity 3.0 will arrive with the AMD Catalyst 14.6 driver package which is expected in June 2014.

What are your thoughts of the new Eyefinity 3.0?

Source: VideoCardz

Images courtesy of VideoCardz

Lichdom: Battlemage Seen Running On R9 295X2 4K Eyefinity

The AMD Radeon R9 295X2 is no ordinary graphics card, it’s the flagship of the AMD army right now and feature two Hawaii 295X cores on a single PCB, for some seriously powerful dual-GPU action. The card is kept cool by a custom 120mm all-in-one water cooler and the whole thing will set you back a staggering $1500. When it comes to gaming in 4K, this is the kind of GPU you want at your disposal,  but when it comes to gaming in triple monitor 4K Eyefinity, you’ll often need even more power than this.

The R9 295X2 is a very powerful card, something that has been recently demonstrated by one of AMD’s lead testers, Jason Megit. He tweeted “Testing Lichdom Battlemage at a super high resolution ;). Preparations for the next trip. ” along side two pictures of a gaming PC build which was running Lichdom: Battlemage. The game is running at 11520 x 2160 pixels, that’s a 3 display Eyefinity setup using Ultra HD monitors that can push 3840 x 2160 each!

Lichdom: Battlemage is powered by the ever popular CryEngine 3, the same engine that powers the gorgeous Crysis 3. The game is available for pre-order on Steam for $19.99, so if you have a few spare UHD monitors and a R9 295X2 at your disposal, you could always give it a try for yourself. I am of course curious what the FPS was on this, as I imagine even the mighty 295X2 has trouble keeping a smooth frame rate at this resolution.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechPowerUp.

Club 3D Display Graphics Products And Power Supplies At CeBIT 2014

While we love taking a look at the ultra-high performance ranges of graphics cards, it’s often easy to forget that their the play things of a small part of the market as your average consumer typically buys into the low and mid ranges. On Display are three mid range cards, the AMD Radeon 280X which has been treated to a new cooler, the R9 270 which now features the popular Coolstream cooler, great for reducing noise and temperatures when compared with the stock AMD offerings and the HD7800 series, which also features Coolstream and is still a popular choice for those wanting to power three displays via Eyefinity.

Further down the range we also have the entry-level cards and while they may not be power houses suitable for modern games, the HD 6450 series cards are perfect for HTPC users as they can operate multiple displays at high-resolution while operating completely silent, this also makes them perfect for professional or business computers. The Radeon R7 250 offers a little more power and features a semi-passive cooler while also being suitable for lower end systems, HTPC / Media centre builds and business use.

Also on display you’ll notice a wide range of adaptor cables, while they may not be the most exciting products on earth they’re still very important. Club 3D have been earning a solid reputation for their connectivity devices, especially their MST hubs while we discussed earlier today in an interview with Club 3D and having devices such as their DisplayPort hubs, as well as a range of connectors means you should have no issue hooking almost any display type or configuration into your Club 3D graphics card or similar compatible device.

Finally we have two of their new power supplies which come in semi-modular and non-modular formats, offering great value for money for the mid range markets and high end gaming markets. Club 3D were kind enough to spare us some extra time to talk about all of these products and their uses in yet another great video interview which you can check out below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OJ-AlCmagU&list=UUb9tDXXfM-REtXni2MOpwgA&feature=share&index=2[/youtube]

We’ve got plenty more coverage to bring you this week from CeBIT 2014, so stay tuned for even more updates from many of the top manufacturers at this years event.

AMD’s E8860 Embedded GPU Offers 92% 3D Graphics Improvement and 768 GFLOPs

AMD has announced their first discrete graphics card based on Graphics Core Next architecture, the AMD Embedded Radeon E8860 codenamed “Adelaar”, which is said to advance the visual growth and parallel processing capabilities of embedded applications.

Compared to its predecessor, the AMD E8860 is said to deliver 3D and 4K graphics to embedded devices, such as digital signage, commercial aerospace and conventional military, medical imaging, gaming machines, and other embedded applications, having a 33 percent higher single precision floating point over the previous generation.

Also, having an output of 768 GFLOPS (single precision), it enables the AMD E8860 to tackle the most complex parallel applications like terrain and weather mapping, facial and gesture recognition and biometric and DNA analysis.

“The demand for rich, vibrant graphics and enhanced parallel compute capabilities in embedded systems is greater than ever before, and is expected to continue to grow as we enter the Surround Computing era,” said Scott Aylor, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Embedded Solutions. “Legacy graphics no longer meet the needs of embedded solutions for today and tomorrow. With unprecedented performance-per-watt, the AMD E8860 GPU addresses the need to drive multi-displays, 3D and 4K content and GPGPU compute across small form factors, harsh environments and mission critical applications.”

AMD’s E8860 is said to feature 2GB of GDDR5 frame buffer having a 128-bit bus interface, advanced GPGPU capabilities for parallel processing, AMD APP technology and improved performance with 92 percent higher 3D graphics performance-per-watt than the previous generation, sporting a 2689 score in 3DMark 11. Other features span from the ability to have support for multiple displays with the help of AMD’s Eyefinity technology, to support for DirectX 11.1, OpenGL 4.2 and OpenCL 1.2.

In terms of operating system support, the E8860 is stated to run on Microsoft Windows 7, Windows Embedded 7 Standard, Windows 8/8.1, Windows Embedded 8 Standard, Linux and real-time and safety-critical operating systems supported by CoreAVI’s suite of embedded software drivers.

The AMD E8860 GPU is stated to have a seven-year longevity supply guarantee and is available as a mobile PCI Express module as well as a PCI Express add-in board. No price has been announced at the moment, though the GPU is said to start shipping in Q1, which most probably will be March.

Thank you Guru3D for providing us with this information

Battlefield 4 Graphics Performance Overview With Current Generation GPUs

Introduction


Battlefield 4 has been one of the biggest game releases so far this year for gamers on all gaming platforms. The FPS title from EA and DICE has got off to a relatively shaky start with numerous audio, graphical and gameplay problems across the various platforms it was released on. In fact for many Battlefield 4 owners the game is still in a dysfunctional or buggy state, but you can expect (or hope) that EA and DICE will begin to patch and fix the majority of the problems within the coming weeks as they have said they will. The shaky launch aside, what most PC owners/gamers want to know, if they haven’t already found out, is how do current generation GPUs perform in Battlefield 4 on the PC?

Today we put that question to the test with an extensive, albeit not entirely complete, range of current generation AMD and Nvidia GPUs. On the AMD side we have the R7 260X, R9 270, R9 270X, R9 280X, R9 290 and R9 290X while on the Nvidia side we have a few more offerings with the GTX 650 Ti Boost, GTX 660, GTX 760, GTX 770, GTX 780, GTX 780 Ti and GTX Titan. All of the aforementioned graphics cards are current offerings and to the sharp-minded readers you will notice some graphics cards are missing. Mainly the current generation lower-end graphics cards from both AMD and Nvidia are absent, that includes the Nvidia GTX 650, GT 640 GDDR5, GT 640 DDR3 and the AMD R7 250 and R7 240. The main reason for not testing these graphics cards, other than that we didn’t have most of them, is because they simply aren’t that capable of running such a high end gaming title. Of course that’s not to say they can’t but given the nature of the resolutions we test (mainly 1080p or above) and the quality settings our readers like to see (very high or ultra) these GPUs simply aren’t cut out for the test. Arguably they are more aimed at gamers with 1366 x 768 monitors tackling medium-high details but I digress. The system requirements for Battlefield 4 reveal a similar picture, if you want a smooth gameplay experience then you need an AMD Radeon HD 7870 or Nvidia GTX 660 or better. However, those system requirements show you very little about what you can expect at different resolutions.  So without any further ado let us show you our results and show you exactly how AMD and Nvidia’s offerings stack up!

Radeon R9 290 OC Announced By PowerColor

TUL Corporation (Technology Unlimited) announced another PowerColor choice of the R9 series for hardcore gamers, the PowerColor R9 290 OC. Based on the brand new “Hawaii” GPU, the R9 290 offers gamers latest DirectX 11.2 support, delivering fierce performance and revolutionary intelligence. Meanwhile, users are available to experience 4K ultra resolution gaming now without sacrificing a single detail.

The PowerColor R9 290 OC is built with AMD “Hawaii” GPU, which utilizes the latest GCN architecture, and has 2560 stream processors, providing the best performance without compromise. Also, The R9 290 OC use the highest standard memory with 4 GB of GDDR5, clocked at 975 MHz core, 30 MHz above reference board, together with 1200 MHz memory clocks, offering gamers an immediate framerate gain. Furthermore, sharing the same memory interface, 512-bit, with R9 290X, successfully tackles demanding games titles without effort.

The AMD TrueAudio technology and Mantle play an important roles with the release of R9 290 OC. The AMD TrueAudio technology is the first discrete GPU featuring programmable audio pipeline, delivering a unique audio user experience on PCs. With Mantle support, game developers can get the unparalleled access to the GPU core, and bring a brand new way of looking at the world of digital gaming. To enable higher performance and more power efficiency, the PowerColor R9 290 OC supports AMD PowerTune technology, performing intelligent assessment of the GPU’s real-time power draw.

PowerColor R9 290 OC technical details:

  • Core Speed: 975 MHz
  • Memory Speed: 1250 MHz (5.0 Gbps)
  • Memory: 4 GB GDDR5
  • Memory Interface: 512 bit
  • Eyefinity: Yes
  • DirectX: 11.2
  • CrossFire: Yes
  • Output: DL DVI-D / DL DVI-D / HDMI / DP

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information

AMD Releases The Catalyst 13.11 Beta 6 Driver Update

AMD has recently released its latest version of the Catalyst graphics driver. 13.11 Beta 6 includes all the features of its predecessors and adds support for the new Radeon R9 290 and 290X adapters. Automatic AMD Eyefinity Configuration and “plug and play” configuration of supported Ultra HD/4K tiled displays are also new additions that come with this release.

On the performance improvements side, the new update boosts Batman: Arkham Origins with MSAA 8x enabled by up to 35%, Total War: Rome 2 by 10%, Battlefield 3 and DiRT Showdown get 10%, while GRID 2, Formula 1 2013, DiRT 3s and Sleeping Dogs get 5 to 8.5%.

Be advised that, although this driver comes from AMD, it is still a beta version. This means that errors and odd graphics behavior may occur. If that happens, the American manufacturer awaits your report on its Issue Reporting Form.

Here are the Feature Highlights of The AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta 6 Driver:

  • Includes all Feature Highlights of AMD Catalyst 13.11 Beta
  • Includes support for the new products:
    • AMD Radeon R9 290X
    • AMD Radeon R9 290
  • Performance improvements
    • Batman: Arkham Origins – improves performance up to 35% with MSAA 8x enabled
    • Total War: Rome 2 – improves performance up to 10%
    • Battlefield 3 – improves performance up to 10%
    • GRID 2 – improves performance up to 8.5%
    • DiRT Showdown – improves performance up to 10%
    • Formula 1 2013 – improves performance up to 8%
    • DiRT 3 – improves performance up to 7%
    • Sleeping Dogs – improves performance up to 5%
  • Automatic AMD Eyefinity Configuration
  • Automatic “plug and play” configuration of supported Ultra HD/4K tiled displays

For those of you who have an AMD graphics card want to try it out for yourself, you can download the beta driver from the AMD Official Website.

Thank you Softpedia for providing us with this information

Club3D SenseVision MST Hub CSV-5300 Review

Introduction And Feature Overview


The unique ability of the DisplayPort signal to be split into multiple streams is something that has been around for a while, namely since DisplayPort 1.1 compatible graphics cards have been on the market. AMD’s HD 5000 series were the first to offer multiple display outputs from a single DisplayPort but is very much limited by the low bandwidth of DP 1.1. In terms of DisplayPort innovations we haven’t really seen an MST hub from anyone up until now which has been quite sad.

Today we are looking something that isn’t exactly glamorous but fills quite a large hole in the market. Club3D’s MST (Multi Stream Transport) DisplayPort Hub is one of the first of those elusive MST hubs that allows you to split off a DisplayPort compatible graphics card output into any combination of resolutions that fills the maximum bandwidth of the link, the two links would be DisplayPort 1.1 or 1.2 aka HBR and HBR2. You can see full  bandwidth details below:

Most people will choose to use a trio of 1080p displays as these are currently the most affordable solutions on the market. This MST hub from Club3D does support Eyefinity but Nvidia surround does not work due to a lack of driver support from Nvidia, if and when Nvidia fix it the MST Hub will support it.

The ability to split a DisplayPort output into up to three displays of varying resolutions will also come in useful for mobile workstations where you need more display real estate but simply can’t get that in a mobile solution or when your graphics card supports more displays than it has ports. The Club3D MST Hub does require an external power source but uses only around 2.5-3.5 Watts.

The biggest rival to Club3D is the Matrox TripleHead2Go DP Edition but costing around £275+ this is mainly limited to the professional and business markets – most other people have made-do with other more affordable compromises and solutions. Club3D’s MST Hub on the other hand costs only around £90-100 making it about a third of the cost of its biggest rival and unlike the Matrox product the Club3D MST supports a higher overall resolution and more bandwidth over DP 1.2. This is compared to the maximum of 5760 by 1080 supported on the Matrox. It is also worth noting that the Matrox unit processes “on-chip” and sends the signal to the three monitors so isn’t capable of gaming, high frame rates or ultra high definition video playback whereas the Club3D MST retrieves the processing from the GPU so supports everything that the GPU would support.

The Club3D MST Hub, pictured above, serves a very functional purpose for desktop systems.  With the vast majority of graphics cards only having three to four display outputs, yet supporting 6 displays, the only way to achieve more displays than the number of ports is to use one of these MST hubs. We will be testing the Club3D MST hub’s capabilities in a triple display scenario through one port because unfortunately we do not have six displays or a second MST Hub.

Features

  • Standards compliance/support:displayport v1.2, displayport v1.1a,VESA DDM
  • Standard,HDCP V2.0,DisplayId,and EDID V1.4
  • Supports main link rates of 5.4 bps(HBR2),2.7 bps(HBR)and 1.62 bps(RBR) from source
  • Supports 1/2/4 lanes of main link for RX side
  • Supports three DP++ output port,or two dual-link DVI ports,or the combination of ports
  • For DP 1.2 source,supports DP1.2 MST multi video/audio steams
  • Supports 1.1 source,supports ViewXpand
  • Supports DP-DP Bypass mode
  • Supports AUX-CH enables SBM and I2C mapping over AUX between the source/sink and device
  • Dedicated I2C slave for main processor to access the device
  • Supported output resolution:up to 2560X1600@60Hz each monitor in DP1.2 MST and up to FHD/1080p in DP1.1 or DP 1.2 SST
  • Input pixel data depth 6/8/10/12 bits and supports output pixel format RGB444

PowerColor Radeon HD 7730 1GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


We’ve been tracking AMD’s HD 7730 for quite some time and now it is finally upon us. AMD’s HD 7730 GPU is a cut-down version of the HD 7750 GPU and it uses a special Cape Verde LE GPU. This Cape Verde LE GPU is essentially a HD 7750 with two compute units out of eight switched off. This means the HD 7730 has 384 stream processors, 6 compute units, 24 texture units and 16 ROP units. It runs with default clocks of 800MHz on the core and 4.5GHz effective on the VRAM which is available in either 1GB of GDDR5 or 2GB of DDR3, note the 2GB DDR3 model runs at an effective memory speed of 1.8GHz. We have the 1GB GDDR5 model which despite having less frame buffer is much faster than the DDR3 equivalent because of the significantly greater memory bandwidth.

The HD 7730 is interesting because it features 384 GCN cores, much like the highest spec AMD Kaveri APU will feature when it comes out next year. So while this is a HD 7730 review, you should be able to get an idea of Kaveri’s GPU performance based on this. Notably of the A10-7800K, if AMD follow the same naming pattern, as the A10-7800K will feature 384 GCN cores. The model we have here today is branded Powercolor but its pretty much as close to a reference design as you’re going to get and will be one of the cheapest HD 7730s on the market. The HD 7730 will be priced in between the HD 6670 and the HD 7750. In the longer term it will phase out the ageing HD 6670. This card is totally powered by the motherboard and has a rated TDP of just 45W.

The front of the box points out the key features – GCN, Direct X 11.1, PCIe 3.0 and 1GB of GDDR5.

The back goes into a bit more detail and we can see the card uses a 128 bit memory interface.

Included with the card is a very basic package, a quick install guide, a driver disc and a DVI to VGA adapter. While many may say DVI to VGA adapters are useless, I disagree at this price-point they are essential as a lot of people may still be using old VGA monitors and this card has no VGA outputs.

XFX FX7850 Double Dissipation HD 7850 2GB Graphics Card Review

Introduction


When it comes to AMD graphics cards XFX are one of the biggest vendors by far and are known for their loyalty to AMD. XFX have been a big player with AMD graphics cards since I can remember – which is probably around the early days of the HD 4000 series, though I am relatively young so some of you may remember their earlier cooperation with AMD. In terms of the HD 7000 series as of late the XFX style of graphics card is becoming more popular as XFX’s competitive pricing and excellent warranty service is giving them the cutting edge over some other AMD AIB partners.

Today we have with us a relatively unique card because at the time of writing there is no XFX website listing or any retailers currently selling the specific card we have. We have with us an XFX FX7850 Double Dissipation 2GB card that uses a special dual 10cm fan cooling solution. The part number of this unit is “FX-785A-CEF V2.V” or “FX-785A-CE” for shortened reference. We are pretty sure that this card is an extension of XFX’s budget “Ghost” series of HD 7850 coolers, as this information is on the products serial sticker, but the dual 10cm fans give it a more premium design that make it a bit more high end than the current XFX Ghost branded HD 7850s. While the card runs at stock clocks it does have a rather special feel to it that oozes from both the card and the bundle it comes with.

The box the product comes in is “unique” to put it politely, I myself think it looks a bit tacky. It points out the shining feature of this product which is a pair of 100mm/10cm fans to cool. This means it is using XFX’s “Double Dissipation” style cooler. I have yet to see a HD 7850 with such a beefy cooling solution as it is normally reserved for more high-end cards, aka the HD 7870 and upwards.

The back is filled with all of the marketing stuff that you’d expect to find on a graphics card box. These marketing selling points include solid core chokes, solid capacitors, a dust free fan bearing and up to 7 degrees cooler than the reference design – all good stuff.

The XFX HD 7850 DD comes with quite a lavish accessory pack. Included is a Far Cry 3 coupon code for a free digital download, an XFX keyring and an XFX T-Shirt which for your reference is in size XL (but from my observations that appears to be “Chinese” XL which is like UK Large).

Additionally there is documentation and a driver CD.

Extreme Windows Blog Shows Off Triple 4K Gaming System

With 4K monitors now popping up sparingly across the market it was only a matter of time before someone went to town and made an Eyefinity 4K display set up. Someone over on the Extreme Windows Blog and has done exactly that. The system is monstrously expensive at $17,000  thanks to three Sharp PN-K321 4K Monitors, three Radeon HD 7970s…and the rest of the system.

Combined the system produced a mammoth 11520 by 2160 Eyefinity display with the help of an array of display adapters to get the correct configuration. With 1.5 billion pixels its no wonder that at least CrossFire HD 7970s are required to play most games at 60FPS with medium settings.

It is almost certain that AMD and Microsoft collaborated strongly with this venture-cum-publicity-stunt as it required some special custom drivers. Without these custom drivers the games were limited to 8FPS.

There is no doubt that this is a totally ridiculous set up that no one will use for many years to come but its nice to see that a single current generation graphics cards is capable of powering three 4K monitors even if it can only deliver 30 FPS at medium settings.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OEZ9qBxYiw[/youtube]

Images courtesy of the Extreme Windows Blog

Computex: Sapphire Exhibit PowerCastX Digital Signage Software

Digital signage isn’t exactly the most exciting subject area to be covering at Computex but Sapphire have spiced it up a bit with their PowerCastX exhibit showing a huge number of screens being run off some AMD FirePro graphics cards using Sapphire’s digital signage software.

The displays can all work indepedently of each other and you can stretch joint images across as many or as few screens as you want, it really does look like some great innovative software from Sapphire.

While this isn’t really for the average user it is still pretty fun to just marvel over how many displays you can power off these AMD FirePro cards using Sapphires new PowerCastX software, the back of this system is an absolute spaghetti junction of display cables – thank god for the genius who labelled them all.

The AMD FirePro card of choice to power all these displays is the FirePro W9000, AMD’s flagship model.

Stay tuned to eTeknix for more Computex coverage in our Computex section.

Image(s) courtesy of eTeknix at Computex