KFA²’s product line is awash with pre-overclocked graphics cards, custom coolers and some very swanky-looking custom PCBs. While the company's ability to innovate results in pre-overclocked monsters such as the KFA² GTX 560 Ti LTD OC, the GeForce GTX 460 WHDI wireless graphics card didn’t work particularly well. The company's latest experiment is the KFA² MDT X5 GTX 560 Ti 1GB, which offers something unique among Nvidia graphics cards – support for up to five simultaneous displays.
Its GPU is a standard GTX 560 Ti 1GB sporting an 822MHz core and 1GB of GDDR5 1,002MHz (4,008MHz effective) memory. However, you'll find a mass of outputs at the rear of the graphics card, including four mini-HDMI ports, a single DVI port and a DisplayPort output. The four mini-HDMI ports come courtesy of an IDT ViewXpand VMM1400 multi-monitor chip, located on an additional PCB at the rear of the graphics card.
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All of these outputs enable you to span a resolution across four monitors, which is traditionally only possible using AMD’s Eyefinity or Nvidia’s dual-GPU Surround technologies. You’re also able to use a 2 x 2 stack mode, whereby four monitors can be stacked, two on each side, although the resolution is limited to 1,280 x 800 on each, providing a total resolution of 2,560 x 1,600. In the side-by-side spanning configuration, using two monitors, the maximum resolution of each is 1,920 x 1,200, resulting in a maximum combined resolution of 3,840 x 1,200.
There are two options when using three monitors. You can drop the resolution to 1,366 x 768, which results in a single resolution of 4,098 x 768, or you can bump up the resolution to 1,680 x 1,050 on each screen, giving you 5,040 x 1,050 in total. This is a good feature, as TFT monitors often look shoddy outside of their native resolution. However, we achieved this by heading into the Nvidia Control Panel and creating a custom resolution, before delving into the custom settings and changing the timing option to ‘CVT reduced blank’. Needless to say, this is nowhere near as elegant a system as Eyefinity, which also supports higher resolutions.
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Mercifully, the card also includes two mini-HDMI to HDMI adaptors and one DVI to HDMI adaptor in the box. However, even if you happen to have three 1,680 x 1,050 monitors lying around, it’s unlikely that they’ll have HDMI ports, so you’ll probably need to invest in additional HDMI to DVI adaptors. You’re also unable to reconfigure the order of the displays, as they appear in the operating system as one big monitor. On the plus side, though, the mini-HDMI ports are numbered one to four, so setting up your desktop in the correct order is fairly easy.
Testing the multi-monitor setup, we fired up Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and found the option to use 5,040 x 1,050 in the graphics options. Sadly, the situation didn’t pan out as well in our other three test games, though, with the resolution failing to appear in their menus, even when we tinkered with their config files to force them to run at 5,040 x 1,050. However, video editing and music-mixing apps worked well.