My ComputerBought in December 2009, this computer was replacing my old first generation dual core Athlon, which was beginning to show its age.
The biggest difference in performance is without a doubt the solid-state disk. Windows boots up very quickly and is ready to use within seconds after the desktop appears. Everything in general is running much smoother since disk access latency is virtually eliminated.
The only downside is the price, which also made me stick with the 80 GB model. All games and rarely used applications are installed on a secondary regular harddisk.
|CPU:||Intel Core i7 860
Quad-core, HyperThreading, 2.8 GHz
|CPU-Cooler:||Scythe Zipang 2
|RAM:||8GB Corsair DDR3|
Intel P55 Express Chipset
|System disk:||80GB Intel X25-M SSD|
|Storage disk:||1TB Western Digital Caviar Black
32 MB Cache, 7200 RPM
|PSU:||700 Watt OCZ ModXStream Pro
|Graphics:||Asus Radeon 5870
DirectX 11, 1GB RAM, DisplayPort, HDMI
|Monitors:||3x Dell P2310H
23", 1920x1080, DisplayPort
|OS:||Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit|
EyeFinity is a feature of AMD's 5800 series graphics cards, which allows you to merge multiple physical monitors into a single monitor in Windows. I am currently running three 23" monitors in a horizontal setup as illustrated below.
To use 3 monitors you must utilize the DisplayPort connector on the graphics card. This can be done by either using a monitor with DisplayPort input, or by using an active DP-to-DVI converter. I decided to go for monitors with native DisplayPort and the choice fell on the Dell P2310H.
- Command & Conquer 3 does not support the large resolution without setting it using commandline parameters. Ingame videos are scaled to fill the screens, but the top and bottom are cropped severly in the proces.
- Modern Warfare 2 simply stretches the image to fit the screens, which looks silly. However, it can be remedied by using a small utility called Widescreen Fixer. It runs alongside the game and corrects the aspect making things look as one would expect.
- World of Warcraft handles it much better - only a few UI components appears very oversized.
- Dirt 2 works fine, but the 1GB of memory on the 5870 is not enough to run it with 4xAA
- Eve Online works like a charm.
- Battlefield: Bad Company 2 works perfect
So far, I am enjoying gaming on 3 monitors. In general, you still only focus on the middle monitor, but you gain a great peripheral vision from the side-monitors. In first person shooters, this helps you to spot movement over a larger area more easily. In car games it adds to the immersion and the experience of speed.
In a game like Eve Online, the extra screen real-estate comes in handy, as you can have more windows open without cluttering everything up. A downside though, is that it is a long way for the mouse to travel to the menu in the left side.
In Windows, EyeFinity is pretty much useless when running it as a single large desktop. It is cumbersome to resize windows to fit on a single monitor and the start button gets thrown out all the way to the left. So when not gaming, I switch to a standard setup with the desktop on the middle screen, extending to each side on the side-monitors.
Being used to a dual-monitor setup, a third monitor does not add anything particular to the experience except for the extra space for applications.
Here's are few screenshots from games with EyeFinity: