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Configuring Multiple Monitors - AMD Eyefinity (Single GPU)

Having multiple monitors is one of the many benefits of falling monitor prices, as they're becoming more affordable more and more people are opting for multi-monitor gaming.

When AMD launched the 5000 series GPUs they also announced AMD Eyefinity (formerly ATi Eyefinity) a technology that allowed the use of 3 to 6 monitors on a single graphics card. However we do get some questions with regards to configuring AMD’s Eyefinity and hopefully this guide will help users get setup and working in no time.

The different configurations available with AMD’s Eyefinity can become confusing at time, without knowing when you need an active or passive adapter, knowing what you can convert to what etc.

I couldn’t find a definitive guide on what you can and cannot do with Eyefinity so I’ll try and include as information as I can without digressing too much or overcomplicating the whole process.

Unlike NVIDIA’s Surround you can mix and match digital and analogue monitors with Eyefinity, the only requirement is that one of the Display Ports is used. The reason for this is that if a graphics card has 2 DVI connectors, 1 HDMI connector and 2 mini display ports – only two of the non-display port outputs can be used at any given time due to the limitations of the graphics card. To summarise; out of the 2 DVI ports and the HDMI port you only actually have 2 usable interfaces at any given time.

Now as I mentioned earlier you can use any mix of monitors with AMD’s Eyefinity providing one display port is used. This doesn’t however, require you to have a monitor with display port input but does require you to have the correct adaptor for your monitor;

• If you’re using a VGA connection you will need a Display Port to VGA adaptor
• If you’re using a DVI monitor you will need an Active Display Port to DVI adaptor
• If you’re using a HDMI monitor you can either use an Active Display Port to DVI adapter and then use a DVI to HDMI cable or use a Display Port to HDMI adapter

Obviously with the above list if your graphics card has Mini Display Ports then substitute Display Port for Mini Display Port as the adaptor requirements are the same.

For my configuration I’m going to be using 3 x BenQ XL2420T monitors with an XFX AMD Radeon 7850 connecting to the monitors using 2 x DVI Dual Link cables and 1 x Active Mini Display Port to DVI adaptor as shown above.

Once we boot into Windows with the monitors connected Windows identified all three and activated two of the three for standard usage. If you simply wanted to use 3 screens for multiple Windows desktops you would simply enable the third monitor (2) and expand the desktop, but we’re looking for one single large span resolution as oppose to 3 individual 1920 x 1080 resolutions.

To configure the monitors for AMD’s Eyefinity right click on a blank part of the desktop and launch the Catalyst Control Center. 

Within the Catalyst Control Center you should have an option to Create Eyefinity Display Group. Select this option to start configuring the monitors.

You should now see a list of available monitors, however when you click on any of them to configure AMD’s Eyefinity it will alert you that they have to be disabled prior to being part of an Eyefinity Display Group, however luckily it will do all of this for us we simply need to click continue.

Once you’ve clicked on Continue it will as default disable two monitors, as shown above.

Once two of the three displays are disabled it will enable you to choose your monitor layout, portrait (1 x 3) or landscape (3 x 1) etc, as I’m running three screens in landscape mode I chose 3 x 1.

Once it has configured all three screens to be a part of the Eyefinity Display Group you will need to Arrange the screens to ensure their position on your desk is the same position the computer is using. To do this simply click Arrange:

Once you’ve clicked Arrange, it will display a blue square on one of the monitors. You then need to click the relevant square on the Arrange Eyefinity Display Group page.

However as you can see the arrangement on the desk is slightly different, so I simply click the far left monitor on the configuration wizard to inform the system that the monitor it believes to be in the middle is actually on the far left.

It will then ask you to identify one more and will then use the process of elimination to correctly arrange all three monitors.

Once your monitors are arranged you may need to adjust the bezel compensation using the link underlined above.

To configure the bezel compensation simply use the up, down, left and right arrows on screen to line up the right angle triangle to look right on both screens. Once you have lined up the triangle simply click the tick icon to the right above the directional arrows to save the configuration.

The default bezel compensation was perfectly setup on this system so I didn’t actually have to make any modifications to the settings.

Once you’ve configured that you’re done and ready to jump into a beautiful and immersive gaming experience.