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ATI Radeon HD 5870 Eyefinity 6 Edition: Are 6 monitors better than 1?

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Last week at PAX East, Nvidia showed off for the first time its GTX 480. Reviews were kind, but noted that the card runs at approximately 8 million degrees, and that the performance isn’t as crazy as you’d expect for the $500 you’re going to pay—an ATI Radeon 5870 is nearly as good, for $100 cheaper. So, make your own decisions! That’s part of the fun of PC gaming: spending weeks on Newegg worrying over motherboard combinations and the like. Anyhow, ATI has a new card on the block today, the Radeon HD 5870 Eyfinitiy 6 Edition.

You already know what Eyefinity is: it allows you to hook up your PC to several monitors using only one GPU. This edition of the card also adds 1GB of memory, bringing it up to a solid 2GB. I think that’s as much memory as my laptop has!

TomsHardware ran the card through its paces, and the general consensus is this: really good card, but Eyefinity isn’t so great for gaming right now. You’d need monitors with incredibly thin bezels, lest good parts of the action be cut off. Samsung has a new monitor en route that will, indeed, be super thinned bezel’d.

I don’t know, speaking as an average gamer, it seems like Nvidia and ATI are grasping at straws trying to come up with ways to make their cards unique. Nvidia has 3D Vision, which I personally don’t think is all that and a bag of chips. Maybe my eyes are broken, I don’t know, but the 3D never seems “real,” you know? And Eyefinity—I barely have enough room on my desk for the one 24-inch monitor I have on it now—six monitors is totally out of the question.

Again, as an average gamer, I’m more than happy to see Nvidia and ATI continue to fight over raw power rather than all these little side things.

As long as both companies are healthy, then I think PC gamers will be fine. The last thing we need is for one company to dominate in such a way that it makes the other guy nothing more than an also-ran.

And now I head back to Newegg, looking to upgrade a few components! The Intel Core i7 930 looks pretty great, but then I’d need a new motherboard! Woo!

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