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ATI confusion over Eyefinity requirements

ATI's Eyefinity technology on 5000-series graphics cards is touted as an easy way to connect multiple monitors to your PC, with support for up to three displays from a single graphics card. Unfortunately, the confusing terminology means it's hard to work out which graphics Eyefinity will work with. We set out to find the truth.

ATI originally told us in a statement that "all ATI Radeon HD 5000 series parts support ATI Eyefinity". This statement is a little confusing, as 'support' and 'works with all graphics cards' are a fair distance apart. As far as we understood it, only graphics cards with at least one DisplayPort output would work, not those with three other outputs, such as HDMI, DVI and VGA.

Although ATI originally told us that Eyefinity was supported by any 5000-series graphics card "as long as it has 3 outputs", the company was quick to update its statement to tell us that "one of the outputs has to be DisplayPort in order to create an Eyefinity group of displays".

So, in short: to use three displays with Eyefinity from a single graphics card, that card must have at least one DisplayPort output. In addition, one of the three outputs used must be a DisplayPort output. This means that some cards with DVI, HDMI and VGA outputs cannot be used in Eyefinity, such as the Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 HDMI.

Finally, when a DisplayPort output is used in EyeFinity it can only be converted to a different video output, such as DVI for a suitable monitor, using an active converter. Passive converters will not work.

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