A triple-screen computer (eyefinity system) is one of the best recent technologies by AMD. It's been a few years since I read this article "TEST: AMD Eyefinity - vše, co jste chtěli vědět aneb, nepoužíváte tři monitory? O hodně se okrádáte!", but ever since the moment I read it, I knew that I just gotta have that, too. And now I do, my dream has come true :)
A simple question. Just ask yourself, who can say that they have peripheral vision in computer games, who doesn't have to minimize windows at all, whose screen is not limiting anyone at work? And finally, whose screenshots look like this? :)
The whole process
I'm a person who really love computers and I also understand everything important I need, I wanted to built the eyefinity PC on my own and choose the components on my own including every little screw. So I did.
Final HW configuration
|Displays||3x AOC LCD i2757Fh 27" IPS|
|Motherboard||Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 rev1.1|
|Processor||Intel Core i5 4670K @4,5GHz|
|CPU cooler||Scythe Mugen 4|
|Thermal paste||Artic MX-2|
|Graphic card||AMD Sapphire R9 290 4GB, 512bit, 1GHz core clock|
|Primary drive||SSD Samsung 840 Evo 250GB|
|Secondary drive||HDD Western Digital Caviar Green 3TB|
|RAM||Crucial Ballistix Tactical LowProfile 8GB, CL8, 1600MHz|
|Case||Corsair Carbide 300R Windowed (2x fan (140mm intake, 120mm exhaust))|
|Third fan||140mm Enermax UCTB14P (intake)|
|Power supply||Seasonic M12II-620 620W, modular|
|Mouse||A4Tech X-747H 3600DPI laser|
|Mouse pad||Connect IT Battle|
|Adapters||2x adapter HDMI->DVI|
I bought all this stuff in a local shop called EO Shop in Nový Bydžov and brought it home. It was so many boxes that even a trunk of Škoda Octavia II wasn't spacious enought and I had tu put some hardware onto the seats :)
Of course I had to take a photo of myself with this hardware. And my sister wanted one as well.
Maybe it doesn't look so, but it was so many of hardware parts. Very nice ones, a great look and even greater performance :)
Case Carbide 300R is perforated with a transparent window, and there are 7 positions for coolers inside. I have mounted only three, though, two intakes in the front and one exhaust in the back. This way, I'm clear that no dust will fall inside by the top part of the case.
And of course, default 3,8GHz processor's cores clock is not enough for an i5-4670K, I went for 4,5GHz clock. Therefore, almost a kilogram of copper (Scythe Mugen 4) had to replace the stock cooler (I'd bye it even without overclocking anyway). It's interesting to see the tiny box cooler in comparison with Mugen 4. By the way, I've used thermal paste Artic MX-2.
The most beautiful piece of hardware is the giant graphic card AMD Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X. 512 bit bus tells pretty much everything you need to know - this is real high end. 4 GB of graphic's memories is hardly ever used, but I don't really mind having that much. Core's clock is 1GHz and memories are at 5200MHz effectively. Overclocking to 1,1GHz a 6GHz is not a big deal. One more thing, I can't help it but the rear part of the card reminds me of Lamborghini... :)
Let's build it
Entertaining hand work during which you can destroy pretty much the whole computer if you're really ignorant. But you're not, of course, and neither is me. So I put the processor into the socket 1150, the low profile RAM, the CPU cooler with a backplate (of course I did not forget about the high quality thermal compound) and finally got the motherboard inside the case. I also attached a few cables and the most of the work was done.
When all this was done including cleaning up the cable mess behind the MB, the moment D came. Time to put there the graphic card. It's a 30,5cm monster with a hell heavy heatsink. Three 90cm fans have their reason to be there. The whole card takes two slots, but that's fine - the cooling is really powerful and silent. :)
I also mounted the drives (both SSD and HDD) so the PC was finally built. I just forgot to hide the graphic card power cables (8+6 pins) before taking a photo, but it doesn't matter in the end, it's just a detail. They are well hidden now.
Hide if you can
Who would I be if I let the cables hang in there just like that. They would stand in the way of airflow which I need. So I hid all the cables to the back part of the case. They are not taped yet in the photos, but whatever.
Last few details
The get the mouse ready, that's a detail. But to get ready these 3 beautiful 27" displays with IPS matrix - AOC i2757fh, that's pretty much everything but a detail.
My table's for ready for three 24-inch displays, it is just 1.5 meter wide, so I was a little bit afraid about the space for 27-inch ones. Each of those is about 62,5cm wide, that sounds like a problem... but it was not. The side screens are a bit rotated so they don't take up that much of space and they fit perfectly. Just if you are curious, these monitors provide workspace of 179.3 x 33.6cm, which makes 182.4cm in diagonal. Isn't it great? And it looks great, too.
The case stands right next to my table. Due to its perforation and inside led lights of Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 motherboard, it looks great day and night. You can't see that well enough in the photos, but the motherboard has two vertical lines of green led light in the rear part of the board, on both sides.
Let's turn it on :)
The whole building part took about 3 hours, but it was more about taking photos and chatting with my friend than a hard work. When everything was done and ready, we had to try to turn it on, of course. I could have forgotten about some detail, but I didn't and the PC booted into BIOS. I set all I needed (XMP memory profiles...) and installed Windows 7 from a flashdisk in 5 minutes. I just installed a few drivers (Killer network card, AMD graphic drivers...), set bezel correction for eyefinity and the computer was ready to go.
This computer looks so awesome even without the screens, but what's going on on the screens, that's absolutely perfect. Even my brother liked Counter-Strike: Source despite the fact that I still had the ingame bezel correction off. A graphic card like Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X has doesn't really worry about 5882x1080p resolution, even the latest games run fluently with ultra settings (just occasionally I have to be satisfied with high). Most games already support eyefinity, in some (older) games, you have use a third party software just to set the HUD to be on the middle screen, but that's not a big deal.
Way too many people ask me, how much did it cost. It was still less then the most expensive Apple MacBook Pro :) if you really care about the price, you can just count it. I just wanna say that it was worth it, at least for me as I spend more than just an hour sitting at the computer every day.
Gaming experience got 4th dimension, it's really amazing. Some less experienced users ask me, why don't I just buy one big TV. It doesn't give you any peripheral vision, on such screen, you won't see more then you see on one small display, it's just bigger - but you definitely can't see more.
Power consumption is of course a bit higher than a calculator has, but that's fine, it's not any extra high. It doesn't even reach 400W in the peaks and each of the displays uses 10-30W (according to the brightness set). In idle state, it takes much less than 100W, it's really nice.
What more should I say... it's a pure awesomeness that deserves likes :)
What do you think?
For perfect gaming experience, you also need perfect sound. So I bought Sennheiser HD 215 headphones and Asus Xonar DX soundcard. Result? Great :)
The only trouble is that Sapphire R9 290 Tri-X is almost more than a two-slot graphic card and in my motherboard, PCI-e 1x are directly above and below PCI-e 16x where my graphic card is installed. The PCI-e 1x below is totally unaccessible, so I had to put the sound card in the PCI-e above the graphic card. But there's not much space either, CPU cooler's passive is way too big. In the end, it all went well and the card is inside. :)