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zaphod42 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

my dream for gaming would be a 3 monitor setup that shows that one large image ...!!!

works obviously on a PC but is a 3to1 monitor setup possible (Eyefinity Technology)

with a ATI Radeon HD 5870 card on a MacPro (Mac OS X and/or Boot Camp)?


thanks for your answers in advance!

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 24 years behind a Mac
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (51,690 points)

    When you install a second and third and subsequent monitor on a Mac Pro,  Mac OS X will extend the desktop along one edge of the first monitor and use the second monitor to show a portion of this Extended Desktop. Stretch a window across the two displays and each portion is updated correctly and will scroll as one window on two displays.


    This feature is built in and works for all well-behaved Mac Applications, unless the programmers have deliberatley precluded it. It has been present in Mac OS since at least system 4.1 in 1987.


    Once activated, you can arrange the Extended Desktop to maytch the arrangement of your physical monitors in space.


    It's in there. It works. There is nothing you need to add. It's Insanely great.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (51,690 points)

    There is no white list of supported Applications. ALL well-behaved Mac Applications.


    There is no white List of supported cards. ALL cards supported by Mac OS X, regardless of manufacturer, even multipole cards and even one or several AMD and one or several NVIDIA at the same time.


    The only thing you don't get is the menuBar and the window frame do not go away. A small price to pay.

  • l_elephant Level 2 Level 2 (375 points)

    i think that what zaphod wants is for the games he plays to span monitors.


    i do believe that depends on the game developers.


    i havent seen any recent PC games, but i still play UT2004 and it will only recognize one monitor at a time.



    what games do you play on mac, windows, and what are you looking to play on mac, and or windows?

  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6 (14,205 points)

    You should be aware that while the 5x70 cards support 3 monitors (and macs can treat all the monitors as one large screen as previously noted) you cannot just plug 3 monitors into these cards without adding some active adaptors as noted in the following two apple docs:

    Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac Pro (Mid 2010): Supported display configurations


    Mac Pro (Mid 2010), Mac Pro (Early 2009): Issues with three displays and multiple DVI, HDMI connections

  • zaphod42 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    l_elephant is right: what I am looking for is that all the 3 monitors become 1 and spawn across.

    combining the desktops to 1 with a resolution of 5760x1080 (optimum ; )

    ATI's Eyefinity Technology does it and most games are compatible with it.

    It seems you need at least a Radeon HD 5XXXX Card to connect all 3 monitors to that one single card.


    Doing a little research I found on Youtube some examples of existing setups by simply searching "Mac-Pro-eyefinity".

    Mostly showing-off then rather explaining how it works ... but it does!

    personally I am a SimRacer and I am looking for an immersive experience with this setup with iRacing, rFactor, Shift2 or soon F1-2011.


    at the moment I have the ATI Radeon HD 4870 card (2nd: ATI Radeon HD 2600) and there seems no way to achieve the Eyefinity-Effect ...?!

    I am hesitating to invest in the ATI Radeon HD 5870 card although I work as a motion graphics designer and can use any extra graphics-power.

    but rumors turning around that the 6970 will be soon released ...?!


    so before closing this thread I would like to find out

    - if the 3 monitor 5760x1080 setup could work in Mac OS X?

    - and if somebody could confirm the HD 6970 card rumor?


    BIG thanks for all the inputs!

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (51,690 points)

    If you already have cards that support multiple monitors, why not hook up a second monitor and see if Extended Desktop meets your needs as it already exists ??


    What is it about FREE, WORKS, and ALREADY IN MAC OS X that you ( or I ) do not understand ??

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,235 points)

    Willing to run Windows or a PC Radeon?

  • zaphod42 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    I guess the misunderstanding is to have one single desktop spread out to 3 monitors (like a panaoramic view) with an optimal resolution of 5760x1080 pixel, rather then to have 3 monitors with each 1920x1080 pixels next to each other.

    Some games and applications take advantage to have this "panoramic" settings and combine all 3 monitors into one to have this wide view.

    lets take the example of a racing game: the center-monitor is your view straight ahead and the other 2 are your side-windows. now slightly turn around the 2 side monitors and you sit in that car with that immersive experience driving down that track.

    there is no soultion to set up this scenario the classic way! just try to run a game in full screen mode: it will use a single monitor. try then to window it and stretch it over the 3 monitors ... can you "see" the distortion that will create?

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (51,690 points)

    N.B.: Full Screen mode is for iPhones and other tiny screens. If you have multiple monitors, you need to turn Full Screen Mode OFF and never use it.


    the center-monitor is your view straight ahead and the other 2 are your side-windows.

    If the game is actually giving you perspective-adjusted side-window views, then I agree, that is not the same as Mac OS X Extended Desktop.


    Without specific program support, Mac OS X Extended Desktop would give you a Really Big view out the front.


    But the demos I looked at on the ATI web site here:



    ... do not appear give perspective-adjusted side-window views. They appear to give a larger triple-front-window view. That is what Extended Desktop already does for free. What am I missing ??

  • zaphod42 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    to click on "EYEFINITY"     ; )

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (51,690 points)

    I clicked on eyefinity. I get a triple view out the front, with no perspective adjustment that I can detect. That is what Extended Desktop can already do for free.


    If you turn on Full Screen Mode (a feature brought along from iPhones and other tiny screens) readers report that Extended desktop no longer works -- the second screen goes blank.

  • zaphod42 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    well then I would be very thankfull if you could explain me, how to set up a resolution of 5760x1080px (OS X and/or ingame)!

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (51,690 points)

    on your setup with Multiple Monitors, use the Arrange button/panel in System Preference > Displays to check that Extended desktop is set. Check that the displays are arranged in Displays the same way they are on your Physical Desktop.


    Open a window. Any Window. A Finder window or Browser window will do.


    Move the Window's left edge to the left edge of the leftmost display.


    Drag the bottom right corner of the window to the right, across the first display and onto the next and all the way to the bottom right corner of the rightmost display. The Window now spans multiple monitors. but it scrolls and behaves as one window.




    BUT: If a game insists on bypassing Mac OS X System Routines and writing directly to the displays (which Apple Developer Tech Support discourages) and you only specify inside the game how big the display area is instead of using Mac OS X, then the game is not a Well-behaved Mac Application, and this solution will not work.

  • zaphod42 Level 1 Level 1 (20 points)

    Thank you Grant for your effort but I think that we're not talking about the same thing.

    and I appreciate very much your efforts, patience and explaining!!!

    I am well aware of the the Monitor System Settings and arranging Display's.

    but lets call it: "grouping to one" isn't possible I am afraid ...

    plus the second I boot up in windows for playing games ... it becomes a total different story ...


    THANKS again for everything so far!!!

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