4 monitors on AMD FirePro W5100 - can only get 3 to work.

So I have a new HP workstation with an AMD FirePro W5100 card (specs and other details below). Replaced an older system where 4 monitors were working fine.

The FirePro W5100 has 4 DisplayPort outputs, but I can only seem to get any combination of 3 monitors to work (the 4th always just gives a "no signal" message and goes black). I was under the impression that I could run 4 monitors off of this, but I'm wondering if there's something wrong with my combination of adapters.  The monitors only have DVI and VGA ports, no native DisplayPort connections, so I'm using active displayport -> DVI adapters.

The AMD FirePro software shows a 4th monitor as disabled. If I try to extend to it, FirePro software gives me a message that I have to disable one other monitor before I can enable that one. I get the same thing if I try to enable the 4th monitor in Windows 7 display settings (just gives me an "Unable to save display settings" error).

I know the monitors themselves are fine because I can get any combination of 3 monitors in any combination of 3 ports to work. The adapters I'm using are all identical. So basically, I can only have 3 monitors running at a time. Windows 7 and the FirePro software both acknowledge that 4 monitors are connected, but I can't enable the 4th one.

Am I missing something here? Should I be able to run 4 monitors on this card the way I'm trying to do it?

Some other system specs:

HP Z840
16GB RAM
Windows 7 Pro SP1
Intel Xeon E5-2650 2.30GHz
AMD FirePro W5100
LG Flatron L2000CP monitors (all 4 monitors are the same model)
jhighwindAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> The monitors only have DVI and VGA ports, no native DisplayPort connections, so I'm using active displayport -> DVI adapters.

If you're using four active adapters, that could be the problem. From the Eyefinity FAQs:
This DisplayPort signal can also be synchronized with DVI and HDMI signals, but only two of these signals may be utilized on an AMD Radeon™ GPU. This is why AMD Eyefinity technology requires a native DisplayPort signal for the third (or higher) monitor.
And from footnote #1 of the FirePro W5100 datasheet:
A maximum of two active adapters is recommended for consumer systems.
So I would try two active and two passive adapters rather than four active ones. Regards, Joe
1
jhighwindAuthor Commented:
Will give that a shot and let you know. It's going to be a day or two before I get back over there (the user is going to be out of town for a couple of days).

In the worst case, I'm thinking I'll just install a second video card or something. But getting all four monitors to work from the one card would obviously be my ideal fix here.
0
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
It's clear from the specs that it should work. In the Key Features list of the datasheet it says, "Four standard DisplayPort outputs" and in the headline it says, "4K quad-display capabilities", but the latter statement is where it has an important footnote:
Requires 4K displays and content; performance dependent on file size. AMD Eyefinity technology supports up to six DisplayPort™ monitors on an enabled graphics card. Supported display quantity, type and resolution vary by model and board design; confirm specifications with manufacturer before purchase. To enable more than two displays, or multiple displays from a single output, additional hardware such as DisplayPort-ready monitors or DisplayPort 1.2 MST-enabled hubs may be required. A maximum of two active adapters is recommended for consumer systems. See www.amd.com/eyefinityfaq for full details.
I'd be very disappointed if it couldn't handle four DP-to-DVI connections with two active and two passive adapters. Looking forward to hearing the results of your tests. Regards, Joe
1
Introducing the "443 Security Simplified" Podcast

This new podcast puts you inside the minds of leading white-hat hackers and security researchers. Hosts Marc Laliberte and Corey Nachreiner turn complex security concepts into easily understood and actionable insights on the latest cyber security headlines and trends.

jhighwindAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the late response on this. Anyway, I wasn't able to make it work with two active + two passive adapters. Same thing happened. Any combination of 3 monitors would work, but the 4th one would just give a "no signal" message, and any attempt to enable the 4th one from either the FirePro Control Center of Windows display settings would result in an error message.

I am fairly certain that I had two active + two passive adapters (although it's possible that I'm mistaken, or the cheap adapters I used weren't great).

In this case, the user opted to get his money back on the W5100 and instead go with a W7100, as he wanted the extra performance anyway. So I uninstalled the W5100 drivers, removed the card, installed W7100, installed drivers + software for it, and it worked in that same configuration. The FirePro Control Center still showed the 4th monitor as disabled, but this time, it allowed me to enable that monitor. I have all four monitors working now on the W7100 (with four active adapters).
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
Thanks for the update — interesting stuff! I'm glad to hear that the W7100 did the trick, but disappointed to hear that the W5100 didn't — very good to know for making future recommendations. Thanks again for taking the time to post your results. Regards, Joe
0
Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVEDeveloperCommented:
> I might have been mistaken on the types of adapters I had.

That would be my guess. I have found the AMD Eyefinity technology documentation about various FirePro adapters to be accurate and reliable. I have little doubt that the W5100 can support four monitors with the proper adapters correctly configured.

> Regardless, the W7100 did the trick with no other changes needed.

Glad to hear it. I was happy to try to help you with this issue. Regards, Joe
0
jhighwindAuthor Commented:
I might have been mistaken on the types of adapters I had. Regardless, the W7100 did the trick with no other changes needed.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Displays / Monitors

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.