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Thread: Questions about Eyefinity + 3 monitors

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rohcQaH View Post
    Uhm, I kinda like drooling over multi-monitor setups. Would you mind posting a photo?
    No pics for mine yet, just wanted to add to this thread that I've been using eyefinity comfortably with fglrx and 3+ monitors for a while now in ubuntu 10.04/10.10.

    I'm still having issues getting multiseat to work, though.

  2. #12
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    For proper multiseat with a single GPU, you need KMS. It won't work with fglrx or nvidia, no matter what you do.

    You could resort to Xnest / Xephyr hacks, but those suck.

  3. #13
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    I've been using multiple GPUs to get around that, but the motherboard isn't reporting all card's VBIOS info.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    This is a cross post from the windows-centric forums.amd.com. I figured I might have better luck asking here.

    I have some general questions about the performance and configuration of a setup with a 3 monitor eyefinity setup under linux.

    I was wondering if anyone has configured such a setup, and what their experience has been like. I CANNOT WAIT to jump ship from nvidia to AMD provided everything will work the way I suspect that it will, but I have several questions before I can. If anyone can answer any/some/all of these, or even provide some insight, I would much appreciate it.
    I jumped from nVidia to AMD as I wanted to use three monitors and had been told by some people here that most of the reports of problems with the ATI closed driver were mostly due to end user error or some such.

    Unfortunately that wasn't to be the case and up to and including the 10.9 release I would regard the nVidia option as a much better beast if you only need two screens. Some say that the 10.10beta is a thing of beauty but I wont know myself until later today.

    I should say that I'm running Ubuntu on a Q6600 CPU and an ATI 5870.
    The ATI hardware is beutiful, fast, quiet and efficient and nicely priced but now onto the software aspects.

    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    • First of all, I am wondering how 2d performance is under X. I'm running xinerama now with some 1 generation old nvidia cards, and the performance is awful under xinerama, running it with 1 monitor or 2 monitors with twinview is quite snappy. Can anyone make a comparison between 3 monitor xinerama performance and 3 monitor eyefinity performance?
    2D performance I find quite good with some exceptions.
    Window resizing becomes terribly slow, as in two seconds between redraws once you go beyond a certain window size and sometimes this becomes more evident depending on how much video RAM is consumed via other windows.

    I don't miss Xinerama at all and when ATI's drivers mature the best way to avoid it for a triple head setup will be via an ATI card.

    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    • is compiz supported with a 3 monitor eyefinity setup? [edit: i come to understand that it is] Is gaming supported while compiz is tured on, or will I need to start a separate X server to run games?
    Up until the 10.8 release I was playing games and had no issues while Compiz was enabled. Compiz works mostly well with Eyefinity. At lease no worse than with only two monitors. At the moment I'm not playing games but I still use the Blender 3D modelling app and when it is it's working it's very fast. Depending what other apps are open sometimes Blender wont be rendered correctly unfortunately. I can fix that by shutting down other apps and then restarting Blender. I have Compiz resize the Blender window across two monitors leaving the third open for other tasks such as email, browser, video playback, etc. I could achieve this via two nVidia cards without Xinerama and would only mean I wouldn't be able to drag windows from the double monitor desktop to the single one which isn't a problem on the ATI card, but there are rendering issues though with ATI.

    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    • Does eyefinity make the window manager aware of screen borders, or will I have to use a package like fakexinerama to make it maximize normal windows to only one screen?
    The closed driver makes Compiz aware of the screens and there's no need for the "fake xinerama" hacks with ATI. Window positioning isn't one of the problems fglrx has. It deals with that completely automagically.

    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    • all 3 of my monitors have a different rotation than the next, the center one has no rotation, and the two sides are rotated 90 degrees clockwise and counterclockwise, respectively. can eyefinity support this?
    I currently don't have my monitors layed out this way so haven't tested that myself. I just have three 24" Acers, each at 1920x1200 in normal landscape orientation for a single desktop of 5760x1200.

    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    • my two side monitors have a different resolution than the center monitor, further, their vertical resolutions are not equal to the center. (i.e. center is 1920x1200, left and right are 1024x1280) is this a problem?
    As above, I haven't tested this.

    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    • and last, I was not able to find any information about how to configure the driver in xorg.conf. I assume this means that there is a configuration utility for it? is this correct? could someone point me in the direction of some documentation about configuring a multihead setup in linux via eyefinity?
    I didn't find manual editing of xorg.conf necessary at any stage with ATI's fglrx. I simply used the command "sudo aticonfig --initial -f" to initialise xorg.conf after installing the driver and all other configuration including the enablement of the monitor layout and Eyefinity was done via ATI's graphics config utility.

    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    ok... sorry for posting a laundry list of questions, but I have been waiting for a good solution to the more-than-2-monitors-under-linux problem for quite some time, and just want to make sure this is it before I go spend my money.

    Thanks all!

    Sam

    I should add that the more windows and open the greater the chance of odd behaviour rearing its ugly head from fglrx.

    Over time performance degrades the longer my uptime. I get the feeling there might be some quirks in the drivers memory management perhaps. But after a couple of days up a reboot brings back the spritelyness.

    I drive my third monitor via an active DisplayPort to DVI adapter. When staring video playback via some software (it'll be because the the playback mode the software's using), the DisplayPort gets re-initialised in some way causing that monitor to become black momentary. Annoying but not a real problem in itself.

    Over time I've seen some improvements here and there in the driver so bottom line is ATI/AMD are making progress.

    Lets hope the 10.10 release fixes the dodgy behaviour issues and then Linux can provide a great triple head experience via ATI.

    Remember that these are the kinds of things you can expect with the current release driver on a 5000 series card under Ubuntu. Some are saying the beta release of 10.10 is great for them so there's definite hope on the horizon. I'll know myself later in the day.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    Thanks for the information!

    I'm running Ubuntu 10.04 LTS 2.6.31-21-generic. I assume it runs well enough on Ubuntu, is that true?
    Does it matter about the bittedness of my kernel? Does x64 or x86 get better, worse, or the same performance?
    I should say I'm running the stock current 64bit kernel. I've not needed to touch this in anyway. The only thing that updates it is the normal update utility.

  6. #16
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    edit..........

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    Awesome! Great information. I think that answers all of my questions, and have ordered a Sapphire 5770 card with a G9857C219-013T-H eyefinity certified displayport to dvi adapter.

    I'm looking forward to getting it all setup.
    And that'll teach me for not reading further down the thread before replying.

    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    Well, got it all setup, and it is sweet!

    Fixed all of my problems and complaints about using xinerama and 2 video cards except that I still can't fullscreen a flash video to the center monitor (it kinda halfway shows up bigger on the left monitor) ... any ideas?
    Good to hear the cards working well.

    Roll on 10.10

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by voltaicsca View Post
    Well, got it all setup, and it is sweet!

    Fixed all of my problems and complaints about using xinerama and 2 video cards except that I still can't fullscreen a flash video to the center monitor (it kinda halfway shows up bigger on the left monitor) ... any ideas?
    If you use KDE it'll open up the full screen flash on the current monitor, so if your browser's on the middle screen and you full screen the video it should full screen to the middle one.

    Or at least it did for me, but I'm currently using Ubuntu now.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mugginz View Post
    2D performance I find quite good with some exceptions.
    Window resizing becomes terribly slow, as in two seconds between redraws once you go beyond a certain window size and sometimes this becomes more evident depending on how much video RAM is consumed via other windows.
    I haven't noticed any of this on my 5870. Then again I'm not using compiz.

    Quote Originally Posted by mugginz View Post
    I don't miss Xinerama at all and when ATI's drivers mature the best way to avoid it for a triple head setup will be via an ATI card.
    For sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by mugginz View Post
    I could achieve this via two nVidia cards without Xinerama and would only mean I wouldn't be able to drag windows from the double monitor desktop to the single one which isn't a problem on the ATI card, but there are rendering issues though with ATI.
    I have to use multiple nvidia GPUs at work and having to run the separate X screens without xinerama is a pain, let me tell you. I would almost be ok with living with the software accelerated xinerama just to get around it, but not quite.

    Quote Originally Posted by mugginz View Post
    Over time performance degrades the longer my uptime. I get the feeling there might be some quirks in the drivers memory management perhaps. But after a couple of days up a reboot brings back the spritelyness.
    Again, I've not seen any of this behavior.

    Quote Originally Posted by mugginz View Post
    I drive my third monitor via an active DisplayPort to DVI adapter. When staring video playback via some software (it'll be because the the playback mode the software's using), the DisplayPort gets re-initialised in some way causing that monitor to become black momentary. Annoying but not a real problem in itself.
    The same thing happens to all of my monitors (one native display port, one HDMI, and one DVI): they all go blank for about a second if I turn on one of the three monitors. So I don't think it's a problem only with the DisplayPort/adapter.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by noobish View Post
    The same thing happens to all of my monitors (one native display port, one HDMI, and one DVI): they all go blank for about a second if I turn on one of the three monitors. So I don't think it's a problem only with the DisplayPort/adapter.
    Myself and some others over on the ubuntu forums, are starting to make progress with this little over 2year bug.

    We now have managed to compile and have a none screen flashing situation, before video playback with mplayer. I believe it has to do with how some media players, call to x11. As we've disabled x11 with mplayer, and it's working. Also how this only seems to happen with certain players, VLC/mplayer, and how it doesn't happen with players like Totem, and Dragon Player (kde default)

    I did have a thread on this forum about the same problem, but as I was getting more support from the ubuntu forums, I've stuck with that one.


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