Eyefinity: lowest common resolution/aspect 1680x1050 1600x1200 1920x1200

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
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Hello,

In Eyefinity, the lowest common resolution/aspect is chosen among multiple different monitors. But how do I know which "lowest" value will be used, for both resolution and aspect ratio?

Specifically, for 1920x1200, 1680x1050, and 1600x1200 native resolution monitors, what aspect ratio will eyefinity choose to run all of them at?

I can't tell if it will pick a 4:3 aspect ratio of the 1600x1200 monitor, or the 16:10 aspect of the 1680x1050 (and 1920x1200) monitor. Anyone try this?

Currently I'm running 1920x1200, 1600x1200, and 1280x1024 in eyefinity, and eyefinity chooses a 4:3 aspect ratio for all three monitors, distorting the image on my 1920x1200. I'd prefer to get eyefinity to choose any type of wide aspect (16:10 or 16:9) for all three monitors, and I think the only way to do this would be to get a 1680x1050 monitor to replace the 1280x1024 monitor. But even if I do that, I'm worried that eyefinity will still run all three of those monitors at 4:3 because I still have the 1600x1200 monitor. I can't tell if eyefinity will ignore the 1680x1050 aspect ratio, because it might look only at the vertical resolution of that monitor (that is larger than the 1600x1200) and determine the lowest common resolution/aspect ratio based on 4:3 options associated with the 1600x1200. In other words, the 1680x1050 has the lowest common product of horiz. x vert. pixels, but it does not have the absolute lowest horizontal number of pixels among the three resolutions 1920x1200, 1600x1200, and 1680x1050.

I'd prefer if eyefinity chose 1600x1000 as the lowest common resolution (16:10 aspect) for thest three monitors, but I'm worried that it will choose something dumb like 1280x1024 (4:3) even after I've replaced the 1280x1024 monitor, because eyefinity might get stuck on the 4:3 lowest common aspect ratio of the 1600x1200 monitor despite the 1680x1050 having a "lower" resolution (assuming that will be the "lowest", even though 1680 is *higher* than 1600, because the multiplied total resolution is lower for the 1680x1050 compared to the 1600x1200).

Is my reasoning valid for eyefinity? I can't find this level of detail for how eyefinity chooses resolutions vs. aspect ratios when you are mixing monitors having different resolutions *and* different apsect ratios. I'd prefer to keep my 1600x1200 monitor and only purchase one cheap 16:10 monitor instead of two.

I posted a related question regarding adjusting the EDID information to change aspect ratios, but that did not generate a difinitive answer on what effect it might have on eyefinity choosing an aspect ratio for all three mixed monitors, if any.

Thanks.
 

busydude

Diamond Member
Feb 5, 2010
8,793
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76
In Eyefinity, the lowest common resolution/aspect is chosen among multiple different monitors. But how do I know which "lowest" value will be used, for both resolution and aspect ratio?
Technically it's highest common non-native resolution. :p

In your case.. the highest common resolution, theoretically, is going to be 1600 X 1050... but three monitors should support a resolution of 1600 X 1050.. which IMO does not exist. The next highest resolution is 1600 x 900.. and I presume all your monitors to support that resolution.
 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
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Why don't you just run each monitor at its own resolution?
Is there a reason to have them all running at the same resolution/aspect ratio? It can't be for using them all as a single large surface since they are horrible mismatched so nothing would look proper on them anyway... so what exactly are you trying to achieve?
 

cusideabelincoln

Diamond Member
Aug 3, 2008
3,268
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81
You'll probably best off using the monitor's own aspect control settings to change the aspect when running a non-native resolution. (If, of course, your monitor allows such options).
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
3,034
1
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Why don't you just run each monitor at its own resolution?
Is there a reason to have them all running at the same resolution/aspect ratio? It can't be for using them all as a single large surface since they are horrible mismatched so nothing would look proper on them anyway... so what exactly are you trying to achieve?

I am currently running them each at their own resolution for Windows desktop and single-monitor games like Starcraft 2.

However, I want to use eyefinity for the immersive effect of having "peripheral vision" in some other FPS games. Unfortunately, eyefinity does not allow you to control what aspect ratio is used, when combining all monitors under eyefinity. You just pick one big wide resolution for the entire 3-monitor desktop, and don't have the individual control over the resolutions.

The important monitor is the center monitor, so I don't want that to be distorted. However, my current mix of monitors causes eyefinity to *ONLY* choose various resolutions that locks the center monitor to 4:3, such that it stretches the image while displaying native 4:3 resolution on the side monitors. Because I don't really look at the side monitors, I don't care whether they are distorted (e.g., running a 16:9 aspect stretched to fit 4:3). Ideally, I'd run them in "letterbox" so they are also undistorted.

I find that the side monitors are not really important for careful studied examination during gameplay. Instead, they serve the purpose of filling your peripheral vision and immersing you in the 3D space. When something in the side monitor catches your peripheral vision eye, you rotate your view using the mouse to focus on it in the center monitor.

At least, this is how I've been using triple monitor gaming. I have used SoftTH and that will allow you to run each monitor at its own resolution for great effect, but eyefinity is more limited.

Think of it like driving a tank that had a big window in front and smaller, different sized windows on each side for peripheral. Sure it would be better to have a full wrap-around view, but having those smaller side windows will be much better than no side windows at all. The peripheral vision activates something in the monkey part of my primate brain that changes the experience dramatically, using that super-wide field of view. So I'm not really concerned whether all three monitors are the same size, I'm more focused on getting distortion-free view from the 1920x1200 center monitor, without having to stretch a 4:3 to fit it using distortion.

I'm just concerned about having my central monitor, where I focus on, use its full 16:10 (or even 16:9) screen. The side monitors will only be seen using my peripheral vision, and so they can be a different size and even stretched if necessary. Also, I arrange my monitors in a curved view, so I literally get a wrap-around viewpoint, in contrast to arranging all monitors along the same flat plane.
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
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You'll probably best off using the monitor's own aspect control settings to change the aspect when running a non-native resolution. (If, of course, your monitor allows such options).

My understanding is that this would cause something like letterboxing, except it the black strips would be vertical, arranged on the *SIDES* of the center monitor.

So while I like that it would be undistorted, I don't like having those huge bars on the left and right to create what is similar to a gigantic bezel.

Importantly, I'm trying to obtain information that would let me make the best decision now, rather than buying a monitor to experiment and possibly get an undesirable surprise. I just wish AMD would explain this type of information without people having to guess and experiment to discover it.

I honestly cannot predict what would happen if I used the following three monitors in eyefinity:
1920x1200, 1600x1200, and 1680x1050.

A poster above took a guess and said "three monitors should support a resolution of 1600 X 1050.. which IMO does not exist. The next highest resolution is 1600 x 900.. and I presume all your monitors to support that resolution."

I think that's a good guess, but I'll counter it by saying that I'd guess all three would run at 1600x1000, which seems to be reasonable since monitors would tend to support 16:10 in addition to 16:9 aspect ratios. But these are just guesses, who know, perhaps there is a limitation tied directly to aspect ratio and eyefinity will stick you with a 4:3 aspect for all three monitors if even just one of the three is a 4:3 monitor.

And I already tried changing the aspect ratio under CCC. The problem is those custom resolution settings are thrown out the window once you turn on eyefinity. Apparently, eyefinity will directly query the monitor's EDID info for supported aspect ratios/resolutions (I think), so you can't edit your way out of it I think, unless you can modify the bios of your monitor?
 

busydude

Diamond Member
Feb 5, 2010
8,793
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I think that's a good guess, but I'll counter it by saying that I'd guess all three would run at 1600x1000, which seems to be reasonable since monitors would tend to support 16:10 in addition to 16:9 aspect ratios. But these are just guesses, who know, perhaps there is a limitation tied directly to aspect ratio and eyefinity will stick you with a 4:3 aspect for all three monitors if even just one of the three is a 4:3 monitor. And I already tried changing the aspect ratio under CCC. The problem is those custom resolution settings are thrown out the window once you turn on eyefinity. Apparently, eyefinity will directly query the monitor's EDID info for supported aspect ratios/resolutions (I think), so you can't edit your way out of it I think, unless you can modify the bios of your monitor?

Why don't you try it and let us know. 1600 X 1000 is NOT a standard resolution and I am pretty sure.. unless you edit EDID's.. that is not possible.
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
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After thinking more on this, I believe I can find my answer by looking at what resolutions my 1600x1200 claims that it will support based on EDID info coming from that monitor.

If I understand eyefinity correctly, if my 1600x1200 fails to report *ANY* widescreen supported resolutions, then eyefinity will force all monitors to run at 4:3 aspect no matter what other monitors I connect?

Eyefinity will simply choose the highest common resolution as reported by that 1600x1200 monitor, so I'm stuck with the limitations its EDID info reports, even though the monitor would be perfectly capable of running 1600x900 but it doesn't report that via EDID.

I ran into this issue with Starcraft 2 - I was using the 1600x1200 monitor all by itself (not in eyefinity), but Starcraft 2 did not present the option for 1600x900 resolution because my monitor did not realize it was capable of that and so didn't report it using EDID. I got around the problem by adding a custom resolution in CCC for 1600x900 and only afterwards did Starcraft 2 pick up on that option and provide the 1600x900 resolution, because apparently starcraft 2 will look at custom resolutions that you add in CCC.

I just wish that I could do that same CCC custom resolution adjustment to allow Eyefinity to realize that my 1600x1200 monitor is capable of running at 1600x900. To my knowledge, eyefinity will not do this and will ignore any custom settings and instead look directly at the EDID info coming off the monitor, right? I think that's why I'm screwed and will have to buy two new monitors instead of just one. I will see if I can play around with the EDID info from the monitor, but welcome any input others may have had using 4:3 monitors when the EDID info is not cooperative regarding widescreen aspect ratios.
 

aka1nas

Diamond Member
Aug 30, 2001
4,335
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After thinking more on this, I believe I can find my answer by looking at what resolutions my 1600x1200 claims that it will support based on EDID info coming from that monitor.

If I understand eyefinity correctly, if my 1600x1200 fails to report *ANY* widescreen supported resolutions, then eyefinity will force all monitors to run at 4:3 aspect no matter what other monitors I connect?

Eyefinity will simply choose the highest common resolution as reported by that 1600x1200 monitor, so I'm stuck with the limitations its EDID info reports, even though the monitor would be perfectly capable of running 1600x900 but it doesn't report that via EDID.

I ran into this issue with Starcraft 2 - I was using the 1600x1200 monitor all by itself (not in eyefinity), but Starcraft 2 did not present the option for 1600x900 resolution because my monitor did not realize it was capable of that and so didn't report it using EDID. I got around the problem by adding a custom resolution in CCC for 1600x900 and only afterwards did Starcraft 2 pick up on that option and provide the 1600x900 resolution, because apparently starcraft 2 will look at custom resolutions that you add in CCC.

I just wish that I could do that same CCC custom resolution adjustment to allow Eyefinity to realize that my 1600x1200 monitor is capable of running at 1600x900. To my knowledge, eyefinity will not do this and will ignore any custom settings and instead look directly at the EDID info coming off the monitor, right? I think that's why I'm screwed and will have to buy two new monitors instead of just one. I will see if I can play around with the EDID info from the monitor, but welcome any input others may have had using 4:3 monitors when the EDID info is not cooperative regarding widescreen aspect ratios.

It's going to look like shit on non-native resolutions anyway and pretty much run any immersiveness that would otherwise be gained, just bite the bullet and get matching displays. Even 24-inch panels are pretty cheap nowadays.

Edit: Go try SoftTH first as it you can get it working with non-matching monitors. At least then you can see if you can live with the results.
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
3,034
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It's going to look like shit on non-native resolutions anyway and pretty much run any immersiveness that would otherwise be gained, just bite the bullet and get matching displays. Even 24-inch panels are pretty cheap nowadays.

Edit: Go try SoftTH first as it you can get it working with non-matching monitors. At least then you can see if you can live with the results.

I agree that horizontal bars on the left/right of a monitor will look bad, but I think it looks fine to have a 1600x900 image displayed on a 1600x1200 monitor using letterboxing.

The monitor will be using native resolution, but will just be a cropped native resolution, by using a portion of the screen at natie resolution and displaying black bars on the top and bottom. It would look bad if it vertically stretched the 1600x900 image to fill the whole screen, but that's not how I would use it.

I'll report back when I determine whether I can get the EDID info of the monitor to include 1600x900, because currently that is not listed as a supported resolution (even though I've already run the monitor at that resolution with absolutely no problem).