By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Technology doth make virtual jugglers of us all. I’m toggling between four in-progress word-processing files, watching online videos about today’s Check It Out, dealing with e-mail, reading a PDF, and running a demo. All on one screen. Ergo, I’m always flipping to the wrong window, which shifts my focus to it rather than what I sought. You likely do a similar skit with your CAD, CAE, office, and other tools of your trade.
Now, multiple displays — say, three — would let me impose some sense on all this. For example, I could have my most active work in front of me, flanked on either side by secondary jobs and needed data. This would let me focus on the vital work and pivot to other must-do jobs instantly with minimal chance of distracting myself with something I can let idle.
Still, while monitors are relatively cheap and pretty much every GPU (graphics processing unit) supports two monitors, three or more displays means another card. Further, the power needs, additional cooling, and the general fuss of many solutions to rig up more monitors seems such a bother. Those excuses are what AMD’s Eyefinity technology whacks aside. In a thimble, AMD Eyefinity technology lets you power up to six displays on a FirePro professional graphics card with a single GPU.
The ability of an enabled FirePro accelerator to run six independent displays with single GPU distinguishes Eyefinity. Think of it: one huge image or six different applications on screen simultaneously all off a single GPU. The potential productivity boost is obvious.
Still, the productivity concerns of my little office are just the start of where Eyefinity can shine: It scales without a lot of hassle. So, you can group FirePro professional graphics cards to create, say, a 16-screen wall of displays. This is especially important in fields like oil & gas, medicine, and collaborative design and analysis (even marketing) where walls with one huge image are a game changer. And, since Eyefinity-enabled FirePro cards are designed to expand, you can build out at your own budgetary pace.
Frankly, this was a difficult Check It Out to write since so much can be said about the potential of Eyefinity technology for both the workgroup and lone wolf. For workgroups, the ability to display and view multiple designs and applications simultaneously brings new meaning to efficiency and collaboration. For single users, suffice it to say that some swear by their multi-monitor set-up and others are just envious of it.
Hit the link to access a wealth of information on AMD’s Eyefinity multi-display technology. The videos in center screen are short and to the point. Some good reports and white papers can be found at the bottom of the page.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering