Will 5870 Allow Triple Monitor Gaming?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by simplymuzik3, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. simplymuzik3 macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2009
    #1
    So I've been looking around, and it seems like the 5870 is more than enough for the casual gamer. I wouldn't mind playing some games every now and then. I think the 5870 does eyefinity in windows, but any chance of playing triple monitor games natively in OSX? Otherwise, could I just bootcamp into windows and play them through there? I would only use all 3 monitors off 1 graphics card. I don't mind booting into windows, but I just want to be sure that it will work properly.

    Thanks,
     
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #2
    I have 2 5870's in my Windows machine. A few things you might want to know (I didn't).

    1 - The 5870's usually have 2xDVI, 1xHDMI, 1xDisplayport. However the card only has 2 timing chips (I think that's what they are called, let's pretend they are). The only output that does not use a timing chip is the Displayport. This means you can only use 2 of the 2xDVI, 1xHDMI. So either 2xDVI or 1xDVI and 1xHDMI.

    2 - The displayport does not need a timing chip if used natively. So if you're plugging this into a displayport monitor you're fine. However if you're plugging this into a DVI monitor using an adapter (Displayport to DVI) you will need what is called an Active Displayport adapter. This provides a timing chip for this "new" DVI port. These run about $100 (they have a USB dongle that plugs into your PC). The most common one is sold from Dell. That being said they are known to be hit or miss for working. You may end up returning them for a new one until you get one that works. You'll know it doesn't work when your displayport -> DVI monitor just starts flickering off at random.

    3 - Eyefinity is not supported across 2 cards. So you can't run 2xDVI off one card and 1xDVI off another card. Yet. There are rumblings that they might support it in the future.

    As for it working under OS X, it currently does not. It should work under Windows but my cards are in an actual Windows box. Some games are not that great under Eyefinity to be honest. For instance Dragon Ago looks cool but you can't move the UI so all your casting bars and character portraits are on the far left monitor and the tooltips for the spells are on the far right monitor. I'd highly recommend you look into what games you want to play before you go this route. I've almost given up and play most of my games on one monitor these days. If you have a question about a specific game I might be able to answer... I'm a Steam addict... :p
     
  3. simplymuzik3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the reply!

    Would it be different for the Mac version of the card. It has 2 mini-display ports and 1 dual-link DVI. All of my monitors are dvi, so I was planning on purchasing 2 MDP to DVI adapters from monoprice. You're saying that this wouldn't work properly? I currently use the same adapter for my MBP, and it seems to work perfectly. I just want to be 100% sure that I need to get an active adapter. Thanks again for your reply! It taught me a lot! :)

    My monitors also have displayport connections, so would a mini-displayport to regular displayport eliminate the need for the active converter?
     
  4. Vylen macrumors 65816

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    Sydney, Australia
    #4
    Mac Pro specs says you need an active converter for 3 DVI connections.

    [EDIT]
    Well, actually. It only says "There is a maximum of two DVI-based displays per graphics card."
    But presumably that's cause you need an active converter for the 3rd connection :p
     
  5. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #5
    To be honest, I don't think people will know for sure until Apple's cards are released. I would guess Apple's dual link display port adapter has one of those timing chips that are needed though so you may need one of those and a standard mdp to dvi adapter.

    One thing to remember though is that all three monitors have to have the same resolution. Annoyingly, ATI don't currently support portrait-landscape-portrait mode (PLP) with Eyefinity so those who want to run a 20" 4:3 in portrait, 30" 16:10 in landscape and a 20" 4:3 in portrait mode for 4960x1600 total resolution are left out in the cold. At least for the time being.
     
  6. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

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    #6
    I would go this route. I don't think you'd need an active adapter in this case. I'd see if you can actually find a mini -> displayport adapter that's active. If nobody sells one, you probably don't need it! :)

    One thing you might want to know in case you just want to test it... on the card I mentioned above (2xdvi, 1xhdmi, and 1xdisplayport) is that I can just use a boring displayport -> DVI cable (not active) if I am only using 1 of the other ports. 1 timing chip is used for the DVI or HDMI and the 2nd is used for the displayport -> HDMI. So if your version of the 5870 has 2 timing chips and you just try the DVI and 1 minidisplayport -> displayport it may work fine. When adding then 2nd minidisplayport -> displayport if it doesn't work, that might be why since it's out of timing chips.

    But... I'm pretty sure there isn't an active converter for mini -> displayport anyway.
     
  7. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #7
    Mini display port to display port adapters will be best. You shouldn't have any problems running two of your monitors in that fashion and the other with DVI.
     
  8. simplymuzik3 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2009
    #8
    Thanks, i'm glad I bought monitors with DP, I remember thinking "these ports are going to be so useless to me" :rolleyes:

    Also, all 3 are the same monitors (23" 1920x1080). Thanks for all the help everyone! :)
     
  9. chrisS macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #9
    I'm going to update my MacPro1,1 to one of the new 2010 models. I have three monitors. One running 2560 x 1600 and two running at 1920 x 1200. Currently I need two cards to do that.

    With the 2010 models, will I be able to connect all three to a 5870 ?

    Connect the 2560x1600 to the built-in DVI and the two 1920x1200 to the two mini ports using Apple's Mini DisplayPort to DVI Adapters ($29 each) ?

    I'm not looking to span a game across three monitors, just use three monitors with one card.
     
  10. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #10
    You'll need one active mdp to dvi adapter as mentioned above so you'll need to buy something like the Apple Dual Link adapter.
     
  11. sboerup macrumors 6502

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    #11
  12. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #12
    No that cable won't drive them. Well, it will probably result in one of them being mirrored. It will drive them if you only have one other DVI port connected. You'll need to get an active adapter such as one of these:

    http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=bsd&cs=04&sku=330-5521

    http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB571Z/A?mco=MTY3ODQ5OTY

    You'll probably want the Apple one since it has a mini display port connecter rather than a display port connector.
     
  13. chrisS macrumors member

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    Sep 21, 2007
    #13
    New MacPro arrived, been trying to connect 3 DVI monitors without any luck using 1 Dual-Link and 1 regular adapter. Then I came across this.... http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4279

    Seems I need 2 Dual-Link adapters instead.

    Anyone with a 5770/5870 know different ?
     
  14. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    #14
    atleast 1 of the mdp's need to be active (duallink)
     
  15. sboerup macrumors 6502

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    Mar 8, 2009
    #15
    I think you only need the dual-link if you want to drive a 30" LCD (or the new 27"). Like my setup above, I would just need one additional active-link cable to run all three.

    Here's another question for those that know more about this than I do: if 3 DVI require an additional active link connection, what about 2 DVI and 1 VGA? The far right monitor is superfluous and I don't need a perfect signal from it, would rather run all the displays from one card and not keep my extra 2600xt (since it's worth $150 on eBay), and not have to buy the dumb $100 mdp adapter from apple.
     
  16. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #16
    Would be cool if we could flash a Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity (with six mini-DisplayPort connectors).
     
  17. Cindori macrumors 68040

    Cindori

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    Sweden
    #17
    ATI 5000 series cards can only run three displays if one of them is run by a active DP (or dual link dvi--DP) you'll see lots of complaints on gaming forums about having to buy a 100$ adapter for running their third 1600x1200 dvi display

    the other 2 should run off anything.
     

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