SurroundView: Enabling More than Two Displays

Back when NVIDIA released the nForce chipset, we wondered if it would be possible to use the integrated graphics in conjunction with an add-in graphics card to enable multimonitor support. Unfortunately back then it was not possible, but now with the Radeon Xpress 200, ATI has granted our wish.

When used with an add-in graphics card, the Radeon Xpress's integrated graphics can be used to drive a second, third or even fourth display. The integrated graphics core of the Radeon Xpress 200 features two display outputs, and ATI's reference board itself had both a VGA and a DVI output on the board to take advantage of these two display outputs. With a PCI Express graphics card, you can use the display outputs on the graphics card in conjunction with those on the motherboard to drive up to four monitors. Right now ATI has only validated the Radeon Xpress 200 for operation in triple display mode but nothing should stop them from enabling four display outputs.

To enable triple display output you first must select the option in the BIOS to enable SurroundView. Your PCI Express graphics card will, by default, function as your primary display driver, but of course this is reconfigurable once in Windows.



When in Windows, simply select to extend your desktop across the multiple monitors much like you would in a 2-monitor scenario and you're done. We applaud ATI for the inclusion of this feature in the Radeon Xpress 200 chipset as it is truly a reason for even a high end user to purchase their integrated chipset. The VGA output on the reference board had no problems with sharpness or image quality at high resolutions, but we'll reserve final judgment for the retail boards that end up shipping.



Click to enlarge.


Integrated Graphics Performance: Conclusion Final Words
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  • flatblastard - Saturday, April 09, 2005 - link

    Hmmmm, still no real availability even now...Looks like MSI may be our only chance at this chipset....what as bummer :( Reply
  • philpoe - Sunday, February 20, 2005 - link

    Hmmm, after no real availability (in the US at least) as of Friday 2/18/05, there's suddenly a slew of shops selling the MSI board on pricewatch, including Newegg. Anyone know of a reason why the boards are so slow to trickle out? Reply
  • philpoe - Monday, February 07, 2005 - link

    Is it possible to purchase these reference boards? I seem to see them in retail-looking packages in reviews from Canada.
    If you can get your hands on one, are the BIOSes available to the public, or only to the select HW review sites?
    Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Thursday, November 11, 2004 - link

    PERFORMANCE WITH 4 DIMMS CORRECTED>

    We have added the following update to p.6:

    "UPDATE 11/11/2004: ATI has provided an updated BIOS which corrects the issues of 333 timings with 4 double-sided dimms. With the new BIOS we were able to run 4X512MB DS OCZ 3200 Platinum Rev.2 at 2-2-2-10 timings at DDR400 with a 2T Command Rate. This performance matches the best we have seen with 4 DS dimms on an Athlon 64 motherboard."
    Reply
  • Momental - Wednesday, November 10, 2004 - link

    #35: I'm right there with ya, bud. Just when I "think" I've made up my mind to do the complete overhaul, the next exit appears on the highway taking me that much closer to the "Best Soft Serve in Town"!!

    The ol' gut tells me to hold out until some time just after the ball drops in Times Square and we'll all be in Fat City, so to speak. ;)
    Reply
  • callius - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    Somewhat OT maybe:

    anyone seeing a reason that the next rev of A64 supporting SSE3 (in market Q1/05) coul not be plugged in a 939-mobo (nvid, ati or via) without problems (except any necessary BIOS update) ?

    Reply
  • callius - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    Only minus vs nforce4 is that the SB does not support SATA-II's NCQ (for Seagate's upcoming 7200.8 series). Maybe with next SB in Q1/05 though ??? Reply
  • mlittl3 - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    Completely off topic, but does anyone know why there are four chipsets (two actively cooled, one passively cooled and the other with no cooling) in the SLI Tyan motherboard that #33 gave a link for? Reply
  • xeper - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    i can't seem to find ANY mention whatsoever of shared memory allocation. can someone help me out here? Reply
  • nserra - Tuesday, November 09, 2004 - link

    Isn’t this very funny, I mean Ati was a very close partner to Intel, and they now bring to intel its one competition product but for the intel competitor.

    I see now no reason for Dell or other companies go for intel, because really intel had (has) the edge with integrated solutions.

    A "part" I thought that there weren’t AMD IGP chipsets because it wasn’t possible to use the integrated memory controller for graphics, at least until AMD64 rev E0 came out?

    If ati is going amd on pcie first, these shows that amd have the best processor and will continue for the time been. Even dothan can do much to turn it around again to intel side. And i bet that new p4 2mb is still with problems (performance, heat, …) and every one is running away from intel because already know this even intel, bringing dothan to the desktop market.
    Reply

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