With the release of the dual-GPU AMD Radeon HD 6990, closely followed by the competing Nvidia GeForce GTX 590, we have seen graphics card performance reach new heights. With a bandwidth throughput of more than 300 GB / s, these cards can use more power than entire computer systems. Additionally, the two GPUs onboard both products are so complex that they add up to 11,000 million transistors.
In general, this type of graphics card is designed for the most demanding PC gamers as it enables ultra-high resolutions without thinking of compromising visual quality. The only problem for gamers lately is that we haven't seen many computer games that really make the difference, like the original Crysis game, for example.
Many had expected that Crysis 2 would be the game that would bring even the most performance-hungry gaming systems to their knees. Unfortunately, the reality was far from it as Crysis 2 in its current state is nothing more than a well-polished DirectX 9 motor connector.
What we are describing is widespread in the industry as most new PC game releases are console ports to one degree or another – overwhelmingly at worst. Given the limited performance of today's console, which is now up to 5 years old, games designed specifically for it don't put a strain on modern PC hardware.
AMD and Nvidia saw this coming and decided to get a little creative. AMD was the first company to aggressively advance multi-monitor support with its Eyefinity technology. Eyefinity was announced in the Radeon HD 5000 series and allows 3 or 6 monitors to be connected to a single graphics card. With the support of SLS (Single Large Surface), the technology can group multiple monitors together, which the operating system recognizes as a single screen with ultra-high resolution.
Nvidia responded with Vision Surround when they launched the GeForce GTX 400 series. Vision Surround was adopted by the GeForce GTX 590 and is a driving force behind this graphics card offering.
Using three monitors can make games roughly three times as challenging as it requires the graphics card to render an overwhelmingly higher number of pixels. While we usually test graphics cards with single monitor resolutions of 1680 x 1050 (22 inches), 1920 x 1200 (24 inches) and 2560 x 1600 (30 inches), we take these today and add two more LCD monitors for effective resolutions of 5040 x 1050 , 5760 x 1200 and 7680 x 1600.
We'll show you the performance you can expect when playing nearly a dozen popular games with triple 22-, 24-, or 30-inch monitor configurations.