Nvidia 3D Vision – Afterthoughts

I was very skeptical when I started hearing about the 3D craze last year.   I didn’t even pay much attention to it because I figured it was just some lame fad like it used to be.  But with 3D getting a major push this year and a lot of hype, it garnered my interest and I really wanted to give it a try.  I’m a tech person, it’s my obligation to and personal OCD to try these things out 🙂  The only problem is 3D TV’s are still making their way to the market and the ones that are there, are a bit high priced.  So I went with Nvidia’s 3D vision setup for my PC.  It saved me a lot of money, plus it would give me a great idea on what to expect because honestly, I had no idea.  But after using this for a week, I am very impressed.

Let me get this out of the way, this isn’t something that you can just buy and expect to work out of the box.  This will require a 3D ready monitor (Nvidia has a list of monitors that will work) and you will also need an Nvidia graphics card that has the ability to perform this.  Nvidia lists Geforce models 8800 and up will work with 3D Vision.  Another thing to consider is how good of a system you have.  3D Vision performs by rendering two images, so if you’re already having frame rate problems, they will dip a lot more running in 3D.  Luckily, I have a powerful system already and the only thing I needed was the 3D Vision kit and a 3D monitor which was a much cheaper route than a 3D TV, currently.

Finding the kit and the monitor took a bit of looking around.  It seems the kit was unavailable at a lot of places, but thanks to eBay, I found both at good prices and free shipping (never forget about eBay!)  Even better was the fact that they both arrived the same day… and a glorious day it was.  The 3D Vision kit is kind of sexy if I do say so myself.  Everything has that cool Nvidia black and green style to it.  But it’s just the way the kit is put together that says, “You want to play with me!”  It could have been boring and uninspired like a lot of things are these days, but alas, it’s made to attract.  The kit includes a pair of glasses, a pouch for the glasses, changeable nose pieces for various comfortable levels, cleaning cloth, driver and demonstration CD’s, the normal manuals and registration stuff, some cables to connect to if needed and the IR transmitter.  A well put together kit with everything you need basically.

The monitor I bought is the Samsung SyncMaster 2233rz.  This is a step up from my previous monitor which I believe was only 17 inches.  The 2233rz is 22 inches with a top resolution of 1680×1050.  While not the 1080p resolution that we all love, to me it wasn’t that big of a deal.  I’m not overly picky about certain things.  It boasts a 20,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 120Hz, and 3 ms response time in 3D mode which helps eliminate ghosting effects.  This monitor came out when the 3D Vision kit came out so it is slightly dated and there are new and probably better options now.  But the price was perfect for this and I have no regrets with this monitor.  It has brilliant vibrancy that my other monitor just didn’t have.  Let’s not forget the important part – its 3D Vision ready 😉

As I mention in my review, installation is rather simple.  Charge the glasses up, put in the installation CD (I highly recommend just downloading the latest CD drivers off of their website so you’re up to date), and follow the directions.  It will easily guide you to setting up the monitor and everything else including when to plug in the IR transmitter.  It really is that simple.  When you are nearly ready to go, you will be presented with a 3D test to make sure everything is up and working and that your eyes are seeing 3D properly.  Pass that and you are treated with a lovely in-game screenshot slideshow which looks fantastic!

One of the first things I did was to go into the Nvidia control panel and look at the settings.  That is where I found that you can change the depth (you can also change this in-game via the back of the IR transmitter), but I also found a lovely little Nvidia 3D test.  This test really showed off the ability of 3D to me and I wish there were more content like this available.  It’s basically just some Nvidia graphics in a corridor that go to the back and forth in the screen.  Depending on what depth percentage you have it at, it can really come out at you!  I highly recommend checking this little test when you have it all up and running.  Again, I think it would be great if Nvidia had more content like this to show off because it can really get people excited about 3D.  Not to say that they don’t offer anything, they do offer some stuff on their website such as photo slides and videos, but I think more graphical content would be a wise choice on their part.

It was time to test this out on gaming.  I just went straight for it and put the depth up to around 80% to get a nicer feeling for it.  So here we go:

Just Cause 2 – I have tested out the demo on Xbox 360 and really enjoyed it.  I decided to buy it for the PC just for the sake of 3D and I’m glad I did.  This game was great to begin with, but with 3D, this game is phenomenal!  When walking through snow, it creates an effect of it kicking out towards you.  The world suddenly feels more alive and right in front of you.  It’s just difficult to explain how much more 3D Vision made this game so much more enjoyable.  I would highly recommend checking this one out if you get 3D Vision!

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – I wanted this game anyway, so when I ordered the kit, I picked it up as well.  I didn’t play the demo before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  This game comes out looking pretty good.  You do feel much more immersed in the action and the 3D effect comes off pretty well.  I think Just Cause 2 does it a bit better, but Bad Company 2 is another enjoyable experience.

Burnout Paradise – I have played this a lot on the Xbox 360 and even watched my niece play it a lot (she loves it.)  Having played it for only a short time with 3D Vision, I have to say it completely changes the complex of the game.  You completely feel like you are looking down these long highways and it’s just a much better way to play it.  But I didn’t spend too much time on it yet.  All I can say is that it’s another game that just completely changes when you view it through 3D Vision.

Left 4 Dead – I’ve played this game a good bit when it first came out, but now it was time to check it out in 3D.  Like the previous games, it really changes the game for you.  A lot of times I felt like I was right there in these rooms shooting hordes of zombies.  It gave me a more of a ‘oh shit’ sensation because I just felt that much more involved.  It’s just far more creepy in 3D.

If you can’t tell, playing games in 3D really changes it.  Also if you can’t tell, I’m not very good at explaining how it looks.  When it comes down to it, it’s just something that you have to see for yourself.  Nvidia has profiled over 350 games that will work with the 3D Vision.  There is a list on their site and each game is rated on how well it looks in 3D.  This is another reason it’s important to grab the latest drivers because Nvidia is always adding or changing things.  But this isn’t all that 3D Vision can be used for.  The installation process also installs a 3D photo viewer and a 3D movie player.  No, you won’t be able to play just any video or look at any picture and it automatically is 3D.  The content itself needs to be 3D.  Also, the 3D vision only works in full screen mode right now.  So those who are wanting to watch Youtube videos in 3D aren’t going to be able to do that unless you download them and view them through the player.  But there is a bright spot within all this.  Just recently, Cyberlink PowerDVD 10 was released and it has support for 3D Vision.  Even better is the fact that it can render any DVD on the fly into 3D!  It won’t be as good as made for 3D content, but it’s an excellent option to have.

I did run into some troubles here and there with the 3D Vision.  Sometimes I have issues loading up my favorite 3D test and sometimes I find my IR transmitter throwing a fit.  I even had games act a bit awkward here and there.  Nothing is perfect and I’m sure Nvidia is aware of any issues and will fix them through driver updates.  For the most part though, it has been a smooth experience.

I feel that Nvidia has really hit a homerun in the 3D department.  I’ve always liked their products anyway and this is no exception.  Am I sold on 3D?  Hell yea!  I want more of it now and it is rather annoying going back to playing games in their original form.  Although I do feel there is a lack of content currently, that will change soon enough with the big 3D push this year.  If you’re up in the air about 3D just as I was, the only thing I can say is I have seen the light.  This is an excellent product which has completely changed my mind on the idea of 3D.   Thank you Nvidia!

You can check out my review at Amazon.com

Also, here are the requirements straight from Nvidia.


One Response to “Nvidia 3D Vision – Afterthoughts”

  1. Guinavere Says:

    I love it i want it it is amazing !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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