Details on the Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition
During our briefing on the HD 5830 AMD was also willing to share some more details on the upcoming Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity Edition graphics card that we have been expecting and lusting after since the first article on the HD 5870 broke in September of 2009.  For those of you that don’t know, the Eyefinity Edition card was previewed along with the release of the standard HD 5870 card though this newer option will actually have connectivity for SIX displays!  All of them are DisplayPort which creates a little bit of a headache we will mention below, but the idea of having 6 outputs on a single card should get any PC gamer or multi-monitor user excited.

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Obviously one of the selling points for the use of multi-monitor configurations is Eyefinity gaming – the ability to span a single game across multiple screens as one seamless image.  We touched on this feature quite a bit on PC Perspective (check out all the Eyefinity coverage) and most recently talked about the upgrades to the technology offered by the latest Catalyst driver revisions.  AMD continues to push its work with software developers (like those shown above) and is hoping to get more native support for Eyefinity in upcoming titles. 

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Specifications on the upcoming Eyefinity Edition HD 5870 look very similar to the original HD 5870 with a couple of exceptions.  First, the new card will have 2GB of frame buffer instead of 1GB in order to better support the massive resolutions associated with using up to 6 displays.  Also, the maximum power draw has gone up from 188w to 228w – a difference associated with additional GDDR5 memory chips and because of the additional 3 monitor connections that must be taken into consideration. 

Performance of the GPU though looks to remain mostly unchanged from the HD 5870 though.  Keep in mind that now that CrossFire has been added to the general feature set of Eyefinity you can throw another HD 5870 (or two) at your system to improve performance on any multi-display setups.

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Here is something I love to see: help from AMD in the world of DisplayPort adapters!  Because so few people today are using monitors with DisplayPort inputs customers who have purchased the HD 5000-series of cards found themselves needing to find their own adapters and figuring out the intricacies of the conversion process if they wanted to use three monitors.  Since the Eyefinity Edition of the HD 5870 will have 6 mini-DisplayPort outputs only, AMD is attempting to ease the transition by including a total of 5 adapters in the box with the card. 

There will be two mini-DP to DP dongles so that you can connect any DisplayPort monitor using a standard DP cable.  There will also be a pair of mini-DP to DVI dongles that will support single link resolutions only – up to 1920×1200.  These are passive and thus don’t require any kind of external power but will not be capable of powering any 30″ panels or anything with a resolution higher than 19×12.  AMD will also be including a single mini-PD to HDMI adapter so you can still hook this beat up to your TV if you want!

Just to clarify – users will still only be able to connect TWO DVI connections to the graphics cards using passive adapters.  If you want to you use the more expensive active DisplayPort to DVI adapters you can connect 6 displays and even use the 2560×1600 resolutions. 

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This looks appealing, doesn’t it?

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And here is how you can justify it to your wife/significant other – while you game you can continue to work on important things like email, PowerPoint and Excel.

We don’t have any pricing or other information tidbits on this card yet but I can tell that the full details will be available pretty soon so stay connected to PC Perspective for when the details hit!

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