Galaxy GeForce GTX560 Ti MDT X5 Video Card Review
With the new Galaxy GeForce GTX560Ti MDT X5 video card it is possible to output to 5 displays even though this is a single GPU video card. Enjoy NVIDIA multi-display spanned resolution gaming without the need for two cards! Can this GTX 560 Ti based video card stand up in the latest games when spanned across three displays? We are surprised.
Multi-display gaming has been gaining huge popularity for the last couple of years now, and there are certainly different ways to obtain this wonderful gaming experience. With AMD, the ability exists to run an AMD Eyefinity configuration on one video card, running a 3x1 gaming setup with just a single video card. AMD has had this ability for a couple of years now. NVIDIA however, has required that you have two video cards with SLI enabled in order to benefit from its NV Surround multi-display spanned gaming. AMD has had the advantage, of allowing multi-display gaming with a single-GPU video card, until now. Galaxy is introducing the Galaxy GeForce GTX560Ti MDT X5 video card, which finally allows multi-display gaming with an NVIDIA GPU.
Using specially developed multi-display technology, the MDT X5 allows gaming in 3x1 surround, 4x1 surround, and 2x2 stack modes on its four Mini-HDMI ports, with an additional DVI port for the desktop where you can view game guides, playlists, and more without leaving the game.
The Galaxy GeForce GTX560Ti MDT X5 is a custom built video card from Galaxy designed to offer up to 5 displays from one single-GPU video card. The video card supports a total of 4 displays in gaming mode, and the 5th can be used for Windows functions. Beyond a simple 3x1 or 4x1 gaming setup, this video card allows other configurations.
You can run in a 2x2 stack mode, whereby you have 2 displays on the bottom, and 2 displays on top of them, to form a square. In this mode, maximum resolution supported is 2560x1600, 1280x800 each display. 3x1 is also supported, which is what we will be testing performance in. In this mode, the native resolution supported is actually 3840x800 (or 3840x1024 with 1080p displays.) In order to achieve the posted 5040x1050 resolution you must create a custom resolution in NV Control panel, which we will show you later. You can also run in 4x1 mode with a maximum resolution of 5760x900.
In order to make these display options possible, Galaxy has outfitted this video card with 4x Mini-HDMI connectors, a DisplayPort and a DVI port. The four Mini-HDMI ports are connected via a special chipset that pulls these together into a hardwired spanned resolution that automatically sets itself up depending on how many displays you have connected, 2, 3, or 4. Windows will see this configuration as one large display. Since this does not use NV Surround, NV 3DVision is not supported.
So what powers this beast? The Galaxy GeForce GTX560Ti MDT X5 is based on a single NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU. The core clock, and memory clock run at reference NVIDIA GTX 560 Ti clock speeds, there is no factory overclock on this video card. Therefore, you can expect GTX 560 Ti level of performance, so immediately this makes us question if it has what it takes to push widescreen spanned resolutions. Our testing will show some interesting results about this. Of interest, Galaxy has given this video card Overvoltage ability, we are able to overvolt the GPU via Xtreme Tuner HD and overclock the GPU. We will overclock this video card later on and show you the performance advantages also.
So what will all of this cost you? Right now it isn't cheap, when compared to other GTX 560 Ti based video cards. Currently this video card will set you back $329.99. That is a lot of money for a GTX 560 Ti based video card, but this is also the only NVIDIA-GPU based video card capable of outputting to 5 displays simultaneously from one video card. Galaxy offers a 3 year extended warranty on this video card.
Galaxy GeForce GTX560Ti MDT X5
The Galaxy GeForce GTX560Ti MDT X5 comes in a box that easily gets across the nature of the video card. On top the box states 1 Card, 5 Displays. The box also clearly states it supports 2/3/4+1 monitor span mode and 2x2 stack mode, so you know if it supports what you want. The video card itself is light in weight, with an aluminum heatsink and shroud. There are dual copper heatpipes in use to aid in cooling by transferring heat to the outer fins. The video card does duct air out the back, but as you can see the shroud has open vents, which means some exhaust will escape into your case. The video card length is an extended 10.5 inches, which is typically longer than other GeForce GTX 560 Ti GPU based video cards. The back is relatively sparse, but take note, there is no SLI connector atop the video card. This video card does not support SLI.
Two 6-pin power connectors are required, and the power supply requirement is 500W. We do wish the bundle included four Mini-HDMI adapters or four Mini-HDMI cables. What's included in the box may not be enough for you to get setup with five displays. If you are like us, we had to go scrounging around our office to find more Mini-HDMI cables to make this setup work. This is surely something to keep in mind.
Finally we come to the business end of the video card. Here you will find the DVI connector, the DisplayPort connector and the four Mini-HDMI connectors. You can use the four Mini-HDMI ports + DVI, but you cannot also add in DisplayPort for six displays, sorry, that's not an option.
Setting Up Displays
Galaxy has made setting up spanning resolutions quite easy with this video card. You actually don't have to do anything except hook up the displays in the right order to the video card. The 4x Mini-HDMI ports operate off of a custom chipset that automatically combines these into one large display resolution. You will see this display referred to as GM-PENTAGON. When you see that, you are looking at any displays connected to the Mini-HDMI connectors on the video card. The size will scale automatically between 2, 3, or 4 displays.
To expand to five displays is quite easy. Just plug four HDMI displays into the four HDMI ports, then plug a fifth display into the DVI port. When we did this, and rebooted, the displays automatically spanned across all five screens. From left to right we could move the mouse across five displays. In order to play games on the displays connected to the HDMI connectors all you need to do is go into Windows display settings and set GM-PENTAGON as the primary display. Once it is primary, your Windows Start button will be on this set of displays, spanned across however many you have on these connectors. When you launch games, they will launch on those displays. If you'd rather the display connected to the DVI port be the primary display, and the one you game on, all you have to do is select it as the primary display.
NV Control Panel lists the displays running and what ports they are connected to, you can even have a display running a different refresh rate on the DVI port than the displays on the HDMI ports. There really isn't anything else to configure, it is all automatic, and we like that, you just plug in your displays and immediately you are ready to start gaming, or span that spreadsheet across five displays. Honestly, the hardest part of the whole process was finding enough physical space for five displays.