Setting Up Your ATI Eyefinity: A Tutorial on Display Group Configuration

Are you wanting to configure your Eyefinity monitors? What type of display arrangements can you create using Eyefinity? You can use the Duplicated (cloned) method to duplicate one desktop onto many screens. Notebook users do that all of the time for presentations. Alternatively, Extended mode lets one span one workspace across various screens, a grouping AMD calls a “single large surface.”

At its simplest, Eyefinity lets people do plain dual-screen setups, just as you would with a classic dual-output card. Screens could be set in 2×1 landscape, 2×1 portrait, or 1×2 landscape. Interestingly, AMD kept its eye on streamlining the customer experience without limiting reasonable options. For instance, you won’t find a 1×2 portrait group configuration because there’s no usual use scenario which supports such a tall, narrow display. Why muddle up the configuration UI with an choice for it? The equivalent three orientations apply for triple-screen viewing: 3×1 landscape, 3×1 portrait, and 1×3 landscape.

Upgrading to with 4 screens, there exists only two formations presented: 4×1 landscape and 2×2 landscape. When you see shots such as the 3×1 portrait Battle Forge example, you have to ask yourself, “OK, why not 4×1 or 5×1 portrait?” Apparently, AMD’s research led them to decide that the number of people who might employ such a form didn’t justify including the option in the driver. And curiously, there actually are no five-screen modes.

For six monitors, there is only the 3×2 landscape option.

Presently, what we’ve described here are the choices for “display groups.” Anyone can also make “Extended” groups. These are essentially distinct desktop spaces that can run alongside your initial display group. You can observe several examples active in the figure below. You might make use of a 3×1 portrait display group of 24″ displays on your desk but make use of a distinct 19″ extended display mounted to the wall for messaging apps and perhaps another 15″ extended screen (making three groups total) for showing system temps, fan speeds, overclocking tools, and so on.

Carrying on ATI tradition, AMD uses the Catalyst Control Center (CCC) rather than a distinct program for configuring and managing all Eyefinity operations. Let’s say that CCC auto-detects that you have 3 monitors attached. These will show up in a row along the bottom area of the UI as disabled displays until you enable them. When you right-click a disabled screen, you’ll have choices to use that display for a clone, make it the new active monitor other than another, or extend a desktop onto it. Alternatively, pulling up the properties for that desktop group lets you choose the whole desktop resolution, color bit depth, rotation, and the refresh rate. The possible resolutions shown as options are based on the resolution modes for your monitors as detected by the software.

One of your respective number one tasks will be to establish a screen group by going to the CCC’s menu bar, clicking Graphics, choosing Desktops & Displays, right-clicking on the principal monitor displayed and picking Display Group > Create Group. If you want a group in portrait orientation, you’ll need to begin by rotating your original monitor, then creating the group.

When you have three or additional displays in a group, employ the Select Layout option to choose a screen group configuration. AMD’s drivers are smart enough to only display configuration options that are doable for your number of connected screens. The CCC has a nifty shortcut in that when anyone choose a group configuration that matches the number of available displays, the drivers will automatically choose all of the screens and lump them into a group for your needs.

In AMD’s marketing, you’ll find that all of the monitors exposed in a screen group are the same type. In the real world, that isn’t prone to be the case. You’ll perhaps have a mix of fresh and old displays you would like to leash into a group and/or extended groups. You can use screens with diverse resolutions, but Eyefinity shall drive all monitors in a display group into the lowest general resolution and orientation. Extended groups could be different resolutions, but obviously the main display group is the chief concern. As you’re having to work with the lowest general denominator between the screens, this really is why it’s always best to have the main display group comprised of identical screens.

If you’ve ever established a multi-screen config in the past, you know what a headache it can be to figure out which screen plugs into which port that’s seen as a given screen number by the driver, all of which you have to trace so one can play musical monitors in the UI until the screens flow in the order you want. Eyefinity remedies that disarray with a different wizard that runs for each new display group. In the UI’s primary section, you’ll see a grid representing your monitor setup. The displays will black out, then the wizard will turn one blue. Just click on the grid section for your highlighted monitor. The wizard does the rest, and you have a very good fully configured group in mere seconds.

Author Don Fountain