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The Joy Of Six: Multi-Monitor Crazy-Gaming

please don't hurt me Alan

I don’t need this. But by God I want it. ATI’s upcoming Eyefinity (ouch) tech allows rich, mad men to run six monitors from one graphics card, all of which combine to display one game. Six monitors! Where in Dolly Parton’s name do I get that many? Still, exciting stuff: ULTRO-SCREEN LIVES. It requires, inevitably, a brand new graphics card – the titular Eyefinity range, ATI’s next generation of 3D chips – but that the one card can share a real-time 3D image across up to six screens is incredimagic. It’s refreshing to have a card upgrade that isn’t simply about nebulous performance boosts, too.
Total resolutions go as high as an improbable 7680×3200 if you have six 30″ panels, but if you’re not a millionaire, you can use less or, word is, mix and match different resolution monitors, or even arrange strange T-shapes and suchlike. Many games will support it out of the box, as essentially all that’s needed is to allow insane resolutions (as a great many games do), but if it works as promised no doubt there’ll be tweaks and patches for stuff that doesn’t play so nice with it. Games such as Crysis and Left 4 Dead have already been demonstrated on it to a few lucky journos. Techradar has eyewitness thoughts, more tech details and – woo! – piccies.

The appeal is not so much the resolution but the immersion factor – being surround by a wall of image rather than the small window that is one monitor. In theory, just three screens (just. Ha!) would be super-splendid, as it gives a windscreen-like ultra-widescreen, but six is going to quite the thing. The problem, I guess, is to what degree the plastic sidings of each monitor foul up the sense of awe and wonder. I’m keen to try it out and see regardless, massive nerd that I am.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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