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Old Apr 24, 2010, 02:36 PM   #1
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jgif
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Monitor 1GB 5870 Won't Configure 3rd Monitor

I recently purchased a Dell XPS 9000 computer with a ATI Radeon 1GB HD 5870 installed. I wanted this card because it can support 3 monitors.

I have 3 LCD monitors with DVI output. I read on the ATI site that I could use the 2 DVI connectors (1 and 2) plus the DP connector (3) for 3 monitor display.

I purchased the ATI recommended Accell DVI to DP adaptor and connected 3 monitors. When I started the system monitor 3 and 1 came on, so I went into display software and configured 1 and 2. When I try to add 3 it tells me I will have to disconnect 1 or 2. But whenever I restart the computer monitor 1 and 3 come on until Windows starts and then 3 goes dark and 1 and 2 are active.

I'm not sure where to go from here. Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 04:10 AM   #2
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You may be misreading the instructions. You do NOT disconnect the display, but, rather, you DISABLE it. Right click on the specific display icon and you'll see an option to DISABLE.

Good luck!
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 11:44 AM   #3
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You're right, I wasn't clear, I'm not being asked to disconnect, I'm being asked to disable one of the 2 monitors, which works. I can have any 2 of the 3 monitors working, but when I try to add a 3rd the Catalyst software tells me I have to disable one of the working 2. All 3 monitors will work in pairs of 2, but not 3.
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Old Apr 25, 2010, 06:37 PM   #4
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i think you have to use eyefinity mode, where windows/apps will see 1 giant resolution, not the old style that has existed for years (primary/secondary)
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 03:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kn00tcn View Post
i think you have to use eyefinity mode, where windows/apps will see 1 giant resolution, not the old style that has existed for years (primary/secondary)
Yes, it's not clear from the questions whether [s/he's] attempting to setup an Eyefinity configuration or just a 3-monitor setup. Without doing Eyefinity, I don't believe any more than 2 monitors can be active at one time.

I'm eager to be proven wrong, though.

It would be nice to be able to use all that visual real estate to its maximum ability.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 07:38 AM   #6
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I'm away from my computer for a few days, but this sounds like where I was going wrong. I will try using the eyefinity isntead of the traditional method as soon as I return. Thanks for helping me figure this out.
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Old Apr 26, 2010, 10:53 AM   #7
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You should be able to have 3 displays active without Eyefinity.

Recheck the DisplayPort to DVI adapter connections. Also which driver are you using? I recommend 10.3b preview and the April Application Profile update.

I would do this - boot the machine with one DVI panel and the DP-DVI panel connected and powered on. After you get to the desktop power on the third monitor.

What OS are you running?
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 07:38 AM   #8
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The connections are good, when I start the computer monitors 1 and 3 come on. When Windows starts 3 goes off and 1 and 2 come on. I'm away from the pc until Friday, so I can't check the driver. All 3 monitors have been on during start up, so I'll try powering one off. I'm using Windows 7. The Catalyst software shows 3 monitors in the lower panel, so it recognizes them, it just won't let me display more than 2 at a time.
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Old Apr 27, 2010, 12:30 PM   #9
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Since I haven't yet been able to venture into this due to not being able to locate the needed adapter, I really can't be of any help.

However, in reading through this, I have to wonder if you adapter is an ACTIVE adapter that gets power from plugging into a USB port on the PC or if it's a PASSIVE adapter? From everything I've read so far, you won't be able to have all three monitors on unless the DP Adapter is ACTIVE. I, too, have read through the AMD approved list but the notes do point out the need for an ACTIVE adapter in order to have all three displays working.

Here's one AMD document I just came across that 'might' be of some help:

http://www.amd.com/us/Documents/Disp...nnectivity.pdf
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 07:28 AM   #10
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The adaptor is PASSIVE, but the as long as I go for only 2 displays, the monitor works, so it seems like the adaptor works.
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Old Apr 28, 2010, 11:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgif View Post
The adaptor is PASSIVE, but the as long as I go for only 2 displays, the monitor works, so it seems like the adaptor works.
Check out my own thread on my attempts at Eyefinity.

http://www.rage3d.com/board/showthread.php?t=33962527

Per the comments there, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get THREE displays unless the DisplayPort Monitor has built-in "active" response OR the adapter you're/I'm using is ACTIVE. It's not going to happen with a PASSIVE adapter.

Like you, I can get any combination of TWO monitors working but not THREE.
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Old Apr 29, 2010, 11:01 AM   #12
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From Shane Parfitt, AMD Product Manager for ATI Eyefinity, on why you can't use a passive adapter for the third display:

Quote:
The reason for this is that there are two internal clocks on the ASIC that can drive legacy displays (even through DP connections) and the third external clock is used for DP only.
What this means:

DVI and HDMI signals require timing signals generated by internal clocks on the card. DVI and HDMI displays need timing signals to display the picture. DisplayPort capable displays do not need timing signals. To save space, cost and complexitiy there are two internal timing signal generators in the ASIC of the AMD ATI Radeon HD 5000 series. This limits the number of outputs with timing signals to two. To enable the third display, you must use the card's DisplayPort connector. If you use an adapter to convert DisplayPort into DVI or HDMI, you must add the timing signals to the output, too. This is done by using an active DisplayPort adapter.
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Old Apr 30, 2010, 07:32 AM   #13
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Got it. This makes everything crystal clear.
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Old Apr 30, 2010, 02:41 PM   #14
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Thumbs up Thank you for the concise explanation!

Thank you caveman-jim. I finally get the 2 timing signal limitation. I wish I could have found it spelled out so plainly in the ATI documentation... Now I feel better about plunking down the $ for a DisplayPort capable monitor.
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Old Apr 30, 2010, 04:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stick3D View Post
Thank you caveman-jim. I finally get the 2 timing signal limitation. I wish I could have found it spelled out so plainly in the ATI documentation... Now I feel better about plunking down the $ for a DisplayPort capable monitor.
Which is what I mentioned in another thread. It just isn't that "clear" to someone who is totally new to the technology. Of course, the technology, itself, is fairly new, too.

Appreciate the FAQ, caveman-jim!
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Old May 2, 2010, 03:25 PM   #16
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hey all I stumbled on this thread searching for solution to the same problem.... so to be clear basically, cannot hook up a third monitor that is a vga/DVI converter into the 2nd slot? Does this mean I need to hook up another HD monitor that plugs into the open HDMI slot? I already have my normal monitor and my HD television plugged in and they work great, but the two normal monitors wont run simultaneously they are vga/dvi coverters into the back of the card. Do I need an entire new monitor , and what would I be looking for from a monitor, or is there a special converter adapter i can buy to solve the problem?
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