back to article AMD Eyefinity promises 'six panel, one GPU' gaming

AMD's marketing team is obsessed with optics, it seems. No, not the devices used in British bars to accurately dispense measures of spirits, but the transmission and detection of light. Yesterday, we had AMD Vision, the chip maker's new brand that PC makers can use to indicate 'good', 'better' and 'best' laptops, and today we …

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jai
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perfect

just what i need for multiboxing Eve Online - i want one!!!

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Google it? No way!

"Does no one in AMD's marketing department use Google?"

Nope. They Binged it.

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FAIL

Do Reg reporters not use google either?

"DX11 itself won't arrive until Windows 7 does, on 22 October"

So there aren't already millions of people using Windows 7? Funny I thought I'd legally installed the final release code on three of my machines, and my company is currently rolling it out.

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Boffin

do not need to worry about eyefinity

I'm sure AMD's lawyers checked this out for the marketing people. Eyefinity is a mundane combination of two words, and thus is not original or unique. Further is seems to be a great misunderstanding in general that a "trademark" only protects your "mark" for that particular "trade".

It was never intended (like it is used now) for companies to claim ownership of a symbol or groups of letters or words. Further than not "owning" any references or similarities to your mark, your mark is only there to DISTINGUISH your goods from other brands and producers. This is why we have apple records and apple computers (though that is a whole other ball of bees wax) there are infinity cars and infinity real estate, lots of companies run under the brand orange, and other basic terms. The key is a customer being able to not confuse producers products. I will admit that a software company using the mark would warrant careful review before using, but these are COMPLETELY different markets and would not be reasonably confused with each other. The former sells to doctors in a medical field, where AMD plans to market this to gamers and computer users in the discrete graphics / PC video card market. They should be fine, (but I do hope they checked up on this though) either way if they make a stink its not too late to re-brand before it hits the shelves.

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Multiple monitors

That's all well and good but does it support video and 3D gaming at a decent frame rate over 6 monitors?

Maybe someone will bring out 6 monitors glued together without the bezels in the way.

Rob

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Anonymous Coward

umm....

But does it play Crysis?...

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@Rob Beard

"That's all well and good but does it support video and 3D gaming at a decent frame rate over 6 monitors?"

Google about a bit and you'll find the answer is (apparently) yes. The card makes those six monitors appear to software as a single screen and it can apparently deliver fair frame rates on various games.

This shouldn't be too surprising. Nearly all graphics work is embarrassingly parallel, so GPUs like this are limited in performance only by the fabrication technology of the day. (Contrast with CPUs that actually have to run on "proper" workloads, where using the transistors efficiently is actually difficult.)

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Boffin

matrox

Matrox disappeared fairly soon after their 3 panel VGA card came out. I hope this won't be a trend.

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Trademarks

@Rob Dodds - it is so exciting, there is another trademark-obsessed Register reader out there.

Or should that be there is another trademark-obsessed The Register(R) reader out there?

The Register is a registered trademark or trademark of Situation Publishing Ltd in the European Community and other territories.

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Go

Avoid Borders....

... Just buy 6 projectors.

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Boffin

been able to do this for ages

although admittedly each 'set' of 3 screens is only 1280*1024. (and I can only run widescreen gaming on one 'set' at a time) or run two games simultaniously- - but this does hit the framerate a bit)

My two matrox th2go boxes plug into my dual port GPU and then on to 6 monitors.

The main problem is mounting the little buggers :)

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@Rob Beard

They already exist - I remember using an 84" Plasma display four years ago that was actually four panels in a single mounting.

There are also a lot of commercial display panels that have extremely thin bezels, down to 1 or 2mm. The BBC use these in quite a few news programs, although oddly they never seem to properly trim the colour match between panels.

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But howsit work?

Given a game doesn't generally have infinitely large textures we'll expect some sort of scaling, so it's reasonable to assume the video card doesn't need an equivalent performance improvement that it has historically moving from 800x600 to 1280x1024 and so on, but how much better is the visual quality going to be simply making something with a finite amount of detail ever-larger?

Hopefully it at least dithers but that only works for a certain magnification zoom beyond which everything starts looking disturbingly blurry. Will this mean game developers start scaling games to these huge pixel counts and ultimately that we all need Blu-Ray drives just to read a disc of sufficient capacity to store all this data?

Otherwise, I don't see all that much of an improvement in gaming unless you like to sit on the couch and have the screen several feet away. Today you can just scoot the monitor closer to you if you want a more immersive field of vision even though the aspect ratio is wrong in the corners but so it would be with several monitors on any traditional game not set up for tilted angle screens.

At least it's progress for the multi-window power users, and like anything else you have to have the feature for it to be reasonable for game developers to put work into supporting such a thing and since websites these days seem intent on taking up only the middle 10% of our wide screen monitors we can just stack monitors one on top of the other and see the whole webpage using binoculars.

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Dead Vulture

One small problem

Such a vast display will be of no benefit when reading El Reg, which will appear as a thin stripe down the middle two screens, with acres of unused space to the left and right.

*Now* do you see why it is such a bad idea to fix the width of a web-site?

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@JC2 - wider viewpoint is the key

If you want to check out a similar technology now, go google for 'softth' - triplehead in software on two adaptors.

The advantage is basically an enhanced viewpoint, which may or may not be a good idea depending on the game.

In an RPG like Oblivion, you can see more to the sides of yourself when creeping through caves. In flight sims the sides of the plane are visible.

In the case of softth the visually quality is actually worse, because it may be necessary to run at a lower resolution to render on all three monitors at a reasonable frame rate, but the increased immersion may be worth it.

Whether an enhanced viewpoint is cheating or not is a discussion to be held elsewhere.

I'm really looking forward to this. Assuming the card isn't horribly hot and noisy, I can upgrade from two cards to one faster card.

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Link Simulation

has been doing this for a while. They have an interesting product. The original used Pentagonal LCD panels (somebody had to manufacture them.) and they now have an hd system that uses 18 projectors. This is a company that does military and commercial flight simulation systems. If they can purchase pentagonal displays, so can we.

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