In an attempt to address the labyrinth of pitfalls involved with setting up EyeFinity, ATI partner Sapphire has created a graphics card that can hook up to three standard DVI monitors out of the box.
EyeFinity is AMD's multi-monitor display technology, enabling you to play surround gaming over up to six monitors. It usually requires your monitors to feature DisplayPort connectors, or to attach costly active adaptors to the DVI ports.
However, Sapphire's HD 5770 Flex Edition enables you to hook up two standard monitors directly to the card's DVI ports, while a passive DVI adaptor is provided in the box for you to connect a third DVI monitor via the card's HDMI or DisplayPort sockets.
In addition to the three DVI monitors, Sapphire says you can also create a four-monitor EyeFinity setup, although the fourth monitor will have to be hooked up directly to the card's DisplayPort connector.
This is all good stuff, although we're a bit mystified about the choice of GPU. As its name suggests, the card features a Radeon HD 5770 chip, which is clocked at 850MHz and sports 800 stream processors.
It's not a bad chip, but it's going to struggle to play demanding games across three monitors at 5,760 x 1,200. For example, benchmarks of the Radeon HD 5770 in EyeFinity mode show that Crysis Warhead is unplayable even at Minimum settings. That said, it can handle less demanding games such as Need for Speed: Shift across all three monitors.
Along with the Radeon HD 5770 CPU, the card is also equipped with 1GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 1.2GHz (4.8GHz effective). Meanwhile, Sapphire says its custom dual-heatpipe cooler with a single fan will "keep the card cool yet running quietly even under load."
There's no word on pricing or availability yet, but a vanilla Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 currently goes for £135.10, so you can expect to pay a few extra quid on top of that for the EyeFinity features.