Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

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Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:59 pm

Hello,

I'm currently running an Ubuntu box with two displays, driven by GeForce 8800GTS (g92 version). One display is a 24 inch, 1920x1200px connected (sadly) via VGA port. Second display is a 21.3, 1600x1200 display connected via DVI port (btw, both those displays have same height and vertical px so they align almost pixel-perfect).

As it turns out, I also own a third, 19 inch, 1280x1024 display sporting a VGA connector. The question is as follows - If I bought an ATI card, one supporting Eyefinity, what would be the way to connect those three displays together? So far, I researched the following info - correct me if I'm wrong:
-ATI cards supporting Eyefinity are those with DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort connectors only.
-There are no passive (and cheap, elegant) DP to VGA adapters.
-There are problems using Eyfinity with passive DP to DVI adapter.

How should I approach it? Maybe newer ATI cards support Eyefinity with different port configuration? (DVI/VGA/HDMI maybe?) Or should I look into Geforce 6xx (as they're supposed to support up to four displays at once)?

Thanks for any answers.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:44 pm

Saphire Flex offers more options for Eyefinity, but 2 VGAs may not be possible.
http://www.sapphiretech.com/Flex/FleX_Eng_apply.html
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:51 pm

CoolTrader wrote:Saphire Flex offers more options for Eyefinity, but 2 VGAs may not be possible.
http://www.sapphiretech.com/Flex/FleX_Eng_apply.html


Thanks for the reply. Someone on IRC also pointed me towards FLeX, but it seems to be a niche technology, with the cards being way overpriced. At least where I live.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:19 pm

IronHalik wrote:-There are problems using Eyfinity with passive DP to DVI adapter.
This is true, but active DP/DVI adapters have come down in price to where they are $20 or so. Back in the bad old days, active adapters were $120 or so and it was only a premium of $5 or so to just get a monitor with DP included. I'm currently running 2xDVI and one DP->DVI adapter -> DVI monitor setup.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:26 pm

Hmm, and wont active adapters cause problems with my Ubuntu box? Is it entirely transparent to the OS?
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:23 pm

Yes, it's transparent.

Connect your 1600x1200 analog monitor to the Radeon card's DVI-I dual-link port with a simple adapter. Many graphics card makers include one of these DVI to VGA adapters in the box.
Connect your 1600x1200 DVI-D monitor to the Radeon card's HDMI/DVI-D single-link port with a simple HDMI to DVI cable. Some graphics card makers include a simple HDMI to DVI adapter in the box.
Connect your 1280x1024 analog monitor to a mini-DisplayPort using an inexpensive mini-DisplayPort to VGA active adapter.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:59 pm

For what it's worth, I'm currently running a triple-head setup at work on Ubuntu 10.04, using this card. One head is native DVI; one is running through an active DP-to-DVI adapter (but passive should work too since this card has a DP++ port, I just happened to have an active adapter on hand); and one is VGA. 4800x1200 pixels of triple-head goodness. :wink:

This card is no speed demon, but I don't have much need for 3D acceleration at work so it gets the job done.

Though I haven't tried it, you ought to be able to run 2 analog + 1 DVI on this card by using a passive DVI-to-VGA adapter on the DVI port and a DP-to-DVI adapter on the DP port.

The only issue I've had is that the Catalyst 12.6 drivers don't seem to remember which monitor is which after a reboot. I've dealt with this by creating a script that is set to run on login:
Code: Select all
#!/bin/bash
xrandr --output DFP2 --auto --right-of DFP1 --output CRT2 --auto --right-of DFP2

Oh, and I wish there was a way to get GNOME to put the desktop icons on the middle one instead of the left one, but I can live with that...

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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:04 pm

To clarify something- what you want is not Eyefinity, but just multiple outputs. Eyefinitely is only really useful for gaming, and only works with monitors of the same resolution.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 6:32 am

Ok - so I know my card needs at least one display port, and an active adapter for it. I can't do any better without getting a display with DisplayPort.
I still am biased against active adapters but I'll give it a shot.

Thanks everybody.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:59 am

IronHalik wrote:Ok - so I know my card needs at least one display port, and an active adapter for it. I can't do any better without getting a display with DisplayPort.
I still am biased against active adapters but I'll give it a shot.

You should only need an active adapter if the card's DisplayPort connector isn't dual-mode. Dual-mode ports (which have a DP++ logo next to the connector) are capable of emitting DVI signals, and are supposed to be capable of driving a single-link DVI display with just a passive adapter.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:07 pm

Cards with DP++ can output three DVI signals? I've red that the main issue here is that cards have two dvi clocks, and DP doesn't need one, so it's used as third output.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:30 pm

IronHalik wrote:Cards with DP++ can output three DVI signals? I've red that the main issue here is that cards have two dvi clocks, and DP doesn't need one, so it's used as third output.


Nope- it just routes the TDMS (the 'DVI' signal) wherever it's needed, you still only get two. A DP++ port just supports streaming TDMS through for use with passive adapters.

You'll need at least one active adapter.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:00 pm

The Sapphire Flex cards just have an active DP to DVI adapter built into the card. In the U.S. it's basically the same price to buy a Flex card or buy a regular card with an active display port to DVI adapter.
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Re: Eyefinity with DVI, VGA, VGA

Postposted on Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:07 pm

There's a FLEX 6770 available, which comes with price premium roughly twice the cost of an adapter but the leaner config is worth it, I guess.

Thanks for the help.
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