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AMD With New 6800 series GPUs and the AMD HD3D Technology

October 22nd, 2010 · 28 Comments · Other S3D Tech


AMD is talking stereo 3D again and their stereoscopic 3D support, based on the open stereoscopic 3D initiative they’ve announced a while ago, and now they have given it a name – it is called AMD HD3D Technology. The list of supported hardware includes all the Radeon HD 5000 and the two new announcements from the HD 6000 series, although apparently only the new Radeon HD 6850 and 6870 support GPU-accelerated Blu-ray 3D playback. Still, considering the fact that AMD is dependent on their partners like DDD and iZ3D for the actual software that creates the stereoscopic 3D output from games, you can use even older hardware with most of the supported 3D viewing solutions. However if you want to take advantage of the new active shutter glasses and a 120Hz LCD monitor, then you should have one of the newer video cards that also have built-in driver level support in order to ensure good synchronization with the shutter glasses.



On their website AMD is still not giving out a lot of information, but they do have a big list of supported 3D HDTVs, 3D DLP projectors, as well as a few of the first solutions that do utilize an AMD GPU, along with stereoscopic 3D support and shutter glasses. These we already know of, but just to mention them again: the new HP Envy 17 with 5850, the MSI Wind Top AE2420 AIO PC with 5730, and the new Viewsonic V3D241wm-LED monitor. Of course there are a few other solutions that do not use active shutter glasses already available that can be used with AMD GPUs and these are the iZ3D display, Zalman’s Trimon passively polarized monitors, some laptops with passive polarization from Acer and Lenovo and quite a few other commercial or custom built products that can be used to provide stereoscopic 3D support.



One important thing again related to the new Radeon HD 6850/6870 GPUs is the fact that they do come with DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a connectors that both do support stereoscopic 3D output. Of course we are yet to see some 120Hz LCD monitors that do use DisplayPort, however the availability of HDMI 1.4a ensures compatibility with all the 3D-capable consumer hardware such as 3D HDTVs already available and the upcoming 3D home cinema projectors with the same interface. So the new GPUs do have support for HDMI 1.4a and the frame packing specifications used for stereo 3D content distribution over the interface, however you still need to have something to provide the 3D content, so you still need the iZ3D Driver or TriDef’s Ignition software to convert games for example, or a software Blu-ray 3D player to output the movie.



One related announcement to the new AMD news is the fact that the new DeusEX: Human Revolution game, supporting DX11 will also have stereoscopic 3D support available. And AMD is claiming support for over 400 game titles in stereoscopic 3D mode through its two main software partners for the gaming in S3D part – iZ3D and DDD. With the company also promising more native stereoscopic 3D games to come out in 2011 (we already know of some like Crysis 2). On the Blu-ray 3D software players support AMD is working with the same major companies like Nvidia is doing with Cyberlink’s PowerDVD 10 Ultra 3D going to be the first to provide the support for hardware accelerated Blu-ray 3D playback of movies from your PC. This will happen on November 5th through a software update that is expected to be released by Cyberlink.



There are however still a lot of unanswered questions like for example will we be able to use lets say an older 120Hz LCD monitor that was introduced with 3D Vision support with AMD’s solution with a new pair of shutter glasses. Will there be only shutter glasses available and not as a bundle at all and who will be selling them or we are going to go for an “open” initiative with 120Hz LCD monitors that are only going to be usable with AMD’s stereo 3D solution and that need to be bought with the glasses bundled. AMD is currently talking about 3D gaming and 3D video, but what about 3D photography that is also gaining more interest… is there support for viewing 3D photos without having to resort to third party software that may or may not work? And what about Eyefinity with stereo 3D support? DX 10 and DX11 support are still quite a bit of a problem for both iZ3D, who have beta support that is kind of working, and DDD who still don’t have anything available to support DX10/11 games. And more and more and more… I’m hoping to soon be able to test the HP Envy 17 laptop to get some first hand impressions from the active shutter glasses support that AMD is starting to offer, because I’ve already had some experience with other stereo 3D products based on both iZ3D and DDD. And I’m eager to get more information from AMD about their stereo 3D support…

For a list of AMD supported GPUs and other hardware for stereo 3D support…


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28 responses so far ↓

  • 1 StarKnight // Oct 22, 2010 at 11:45

    AMD is coming too late with a 3D solution… moreover if it should not support existing 120Hz monitor I foresee a complete failure. Nvidia has come first (almost 2 years ago) and the 3D PC market is now their domain.

  • 2 Jack // Oct 22, 2010 at 14:38

    In the document of 6800, it says we can create a double-height buffer using the existing front & back buffer in DirectX, like the double-width buffer which NV uses to display 3d video. But I cannot even find this AMD’s quad buffer API on its developer’s website!

  • 3 rahu // Oct 22, 2010 at 17:55

    i have AMD card R5870 3D ready monitor and active shutter glasses, what else i need ?

  • 4 Bloody // Oct 22, 2010 at 18:26

    AMD needs to quickly clear up a lot of things regarding the S3D support and hopefully they will soon…

    Rahu, you probably don’t have “the right” 3D monitor and shutter glasses, because if you did have the ViewSonic with “AMD’s” glasses bundles you probably would also have the iZ3D driver bundled.

  • 5 tritosine // Oct 22, 2010 at 18:34

    well quad buffer support is hot on amd ‘s behalf, also the new morpholotgic anti aliasintg is crazy dope

  • 6 CrystalCowboy // Oct 22, 2010 at 19:28

    “however the availability of HDMI 1.4a ensures compatibility…”

    Sure, if you are willing to settle for either 702p resolution or 1080p @ 24 Hz. HDMI 1.4 will not handle 1080p @ 120Hz. DisplayPort 1.2 should be superior in that respect, but there are no freaking products for it yet.

  • 7 Bloody // Oct 22, 2010 at 20:32

    According to AMD there will be 3D-capable monitors with DP 1.2 in 2011, but we are talking about monitors… HDMI 1.4a is mostly for 3D HDTVs and we are not likely to see TVs with DP support anytime soon (or even at all). So maybe the next gen of 3D HDTVs with HDMI 1.5 will support 50/60 Hz modes for 1080p, meanwhile we don’t have much choice for big-screen 3D solutions. At least not before 1080p 3D projectors also start coming out, oh! I forgot that these will also be with HDMI 1.4 :P

  • 8 Jeff // Oct 22, 2010 at 22:45

    I don’t think they’re “late”.. 3D is just taking off for the masses. The winner 5 years from now will be the company with the best solution, not the company that was first.
    Bloody, I’m with you.. I have a rep at HP that has promised me a phone call the SECOND the Envy 17 3d is available.
    I was very happy with the drivers and game play on the Lenovo 3D system I had for a time, I just couldn’t handle the resolution being cut in half. The HP solution gives full 1080p with a top notch video card with really nice drivers and game choice: a perfect solution, IMHO.

  • 9 steve // Oct 23, 2010 at 13:34

    What i really want to see is the release of a generic emitter/one that can be hacked to sync Nvidia glasses. Make that happen and suddenly ATI have an existing segment of the market that could switch to Caymans all round :)

    If not i know i will be stuck with Nvidia cards for a few years yet as i’ve already spent a pretty penny on those glasses and 2 3d-ready displays :(

  • 10 Philip // Oct 24, 2010 at 14:45

    So people with the “older” ATI cards (i.e. 5870) won’t get any 3D support if they want to use their 3DTV (i.e. Panasonic VT25/20) hooked via HDMI to the videocard, since only the new ATI 6xxx cards have HDMI 1.4a.
    Is this correctly understood?

  • 11 Bloody // Oct 24, 2010 at 15:46

    We know from Nvidia’s support and the PS3 3D capabilities that you can use just software to provide the stereoscopic 3D frame packaging from the HDMI 1.4(a) standard over 1.3 hardware. So in theory AMD could as well have done the same for their older cards, but if they did it or not is another thing…

  • 12 jacob pederson // Oct 24, 2010 at 20:18

    Wasn’t that long ago that a “6800” was an Nvidia card. You’d think someone in marketing would have remembered that . . .

  • 13 Zerofool // Oct 24, 2010 at 21:18

    Bloody, you are not entirely correct:
    “DDD still don’t have anything available to support DX10/11 games” – TriDef 3.0.1 that was released the same day as your post appears to support DX 10/11.
    As for 3D images – Stereosopic Player 1.6.5 now supports AMD HD3D, it was released on 2oth. I won’t be surprised if new versions of free players/viewer like sView will also support HD3D in the near future.

    Some users are still having troubles enabling the HD3D function (D3D Quad Buffer) on their HD5000 cards for either the iZ3D driver, or the Stereoscopic Player. That’s the info I have from other users, I haven’t personally tested any of this, because I have a HD4000 card, that’s not supported at all :D.

    Philip, HD5000 cards should work without any problems (for 3D gaming), but for 3D BluRay disks, it’s not yet know if they will support it in the future, they currently do not (check out http://www.amd.com/hd3d ).

    jacob pederson, the same thing goes for nvidia’s 9600 cards few years back ;).

  • 14 Bloody // Oct 24, 2010 at 21:34

    Yes, DDD has released an update later that day… I’ve mentioned that in the latest post today in the blog as iZ3D did too, but I needed some time to also test them ;)

    Regarding the Blu-ray 3D support, we have to be clear that AMD is talking about GPU acceleration on the newer cards, and that does not mean you will not be able to watch them… probably. At least this is the case with Nvidia, you just get the decoding done on the CPU and since we are going to have for example PowerDVD working with AMD I suppose it will be the same.

    If you check the info page for the ViewSonic 3D monitor on the iZ3D website you will see that it is supposed to also work with Radeon HD 4000 series as well as Nvidia cards… and that is exactly what I mean that AMD is kind of keeping everything “secret” from us and they should have much more open approach here… ;)

  • 15 Zerofool // Oct 24, 2010 at 23:47

    Regarding the ViewSonic 3D monitor, there is something everyone should know – iZ3D has actually two types of 120Hz output (depending on your hardware, it’s automatically set).

    The first one uses the advertised HD3D tech (or in other words – taking advantage of AMD’s Direct3D Quad Buffer), it works only on series 5 and 6 cards. It works as it should. Its internal name is (at least was until 1.11RC2, don’t know about 1.12) “ATI Presenter”.

    The second type of 120Hz output is universal and works on any hardware (nvidia, all the old ati cards), It doesn’t use Quad Buffer, it’s some sort of software pageflipping mode and that’s why it’s slower, and the sync is occasionally lost, causing left-right eye swapping. But the guys at iZ3D promise it will be improved and fixed in the near future. This is the mode that is being used since the 120Hz Projectors output was introduced in the iZ3D driver. It’s labeled as “UM Presenter”, probably UM stands for Universal Mode.
    Basically, it’s unusable in its current form.

    I think the guys from ViewSonic are relying on this second iZ3D type of 120Hz output for the monitor to “work” with nvidia and HD4000 cards (and in theory, with older Radeons).

  • 16 Bloody // Oct 25, 2010 at 00:36

    Well, in the latest driver 1.12 it is all combined under one mode – the 120Hz 3D Device and the new driver does not work with HMD’s supporting 3D mode as the older ones did using the generic mode you talk about and this is not a good sign for me…

  • 17 Zerofool // Oct 25, 2010 at 03:43

    Nope, I’m talking about the previously know as “120Hz 3D Projectors” output (there were separate “Shutter Output” and “VR920 Output” and others, but I’m not talking about them, they worked even worse (faster, but worse sync)), but the same thing goes for the new “120Hz 3D Devices”. You can see what “presenter” is used by doing the following:
    In iZ3D Control Center go to Profiles ->go to “Game” tab for the Default profile and turn on “Show FPS” and “Show on-screen messages” and during gameplay you’ll see the Presenter used somewhere in the top-left corner of the screen (as well as some other stats).

  • 18 Dave L. // Oct 26, 2010 at 06:14

    “Regarding the Blu-ray 3D support, we have to be clear that AMD is talking about GPU acceleration on the newer cards, and that does not mean you will not be able to watch them… probably.”

    The moderators on the AMD forums seem to be pretty adamant that the HDMI 1.3 spec is entirely incapable of outputting the framepacked Blu-Ray 3D format, and are immediately locking any threads that point out that both the Ps3 and nVidia can do so. I wouldn’t hold my breath for them to do a video processing on the CPU workaround.

    And I can’t seem to find any option in iz3D 1.12 to enable quad-buffering 3D. I still just get the AMD DLP Checkerboard output.

  • 19 Bloody // Oct 26, 2010 at 07:12

    It is weird, because for the frame packing you don’t need any different hardware than what you already have with HDMI 1.3. Maybe the idea is to boos sales of the new 6000 series of GPUs, but what about all the people that just bought a high-end 5000 series video cards a few months ago…

    I only saw HDMI 1.4a support in the DDD TriDef, the iZ3D Driver only has the 120 Hz 3D Devices mode and that should be the one for monitors.

  • 20 Dave L. // Oct 26, 2010 at 10:44

    Actually, does anyone know if the TriDef HDMI 1.4a output option is available on the 5xxx series? There doesn’t seem to be any sort of trial version and I’m not about to pay $25 just to check that.

    If it does that instantly puts a lie to the AMD mods statements about it not working in the1.3a spec (I assume the 1.4a output setting is actually forcing the game to output framepacked, as everything I’ve been able to find says that you’ll either get 1080p24 or 720p60 with HD3D, and I’m pretty sure none of the compatible 3DTVs on AMD’s supported list will accept 120hz pageflip as an input signal, and if all it does is 60hz pageflip, then that’s just silly).

    If they can get the image format to output, but nerfed it specifically for Blu-Ray 3D in order to sell their new cards they need to be called on that.

  • 21 Bloody // Oct 26, 2010 at 16:09

    Dave, there is a 14 day trial for the TriDef software, I downloaded it a few days ago to try it, although I still yet have to test the HDMI output. You can download and try the software from this link: http://tridef.com/download/TriDef-3D-4.3.1.html

    DDD’s website says that: “AMD HD3D technology is currently supported on AMD Radeon HD 5000 series and 6000 series graphics hardware only.” so it should work, but we need somebody to actually confirm this regarding the HDMI 1.4a support, because it might only be available with the new 6000 cards that do have the hardware… and that would be kind of a disappointment since the competition can offer compatibility through older hardware as well as through DVI to HDMI adapters. The HDMI 1.4a support for stereo 3D relates to pretty much just defining the formats and the frame packing method for stereoscopic 3D content, so regarding that you don’t actually need the new hardware for sending the right signal, just on the receiving side.

    I do hope to finally be able to try that myself to confirm how it is working, maybe later tonight or tomorrow… ;)

  • 22 Philip // Oct 26, 2010 at 18:12

    I can confirm that (right now at least) TriDef HDMI 1.4a output from Radeon HD 5xxx to a Panasonic 3DTV doesn’t work at all, neither at 720p60 or 1080p24. I have tried it myself. On the TriDef discussion forum there are also users stating the same.

    Just a heads up for people with similar hardware/display.

  • 23 Dave L. // Oct 27, 2010 at 04:52

    That’s weird. I can confirm that it DOES work with a Radeon HD 5870 and a Samsung UN40C7000. Enabled TriDef with HDMI 1.4a AMD HD3D output, fullscreened Company of Heroes and the TV automatically switched to 1920×1080@24 with 3D on, which it will only do with framepacked output. Something is DEFINITELY fishy with AMD saying they can’t do Blu-Ray 3D on the 5000 series.

  • 24 Petri Teittinen // Oct 27, 2010 at 13:33

    It’s all one gigantic mess, if you ask me. I’ve been trying to write a magazine article about using the PC as a source of 3D for pre and post-HDMI 1.4 3D displays, and it’s driving me nuts. Deadline is looming and nothing works properly.

    At one point last night a GTX460 running 3DTV Play decided on its own that it’s A-OK to use the same frame for both left and right eye. So, the Samsung 3D plasma was convinced it was getting proper frame-packed 3D and the glasses activated fine, but my eyes told me I’m seeing flat 2D. Man, it took me a while to figure that one out…

    Not to mention the fact that I wasted several hours trying to get 3D images up on screen when the culprit had been the buggy 3D implementation of a Denon 1911 AVR all along. Happy days, my friends, happy days.

  • 25 Juan V. // Oct 29, 2010 at 04:00

    Does anyone have a clue when the actual shutter glasses will be released to the market. Right now I have a HD5850 and Acer’s GD235hz bid Monitor, and although AMD says my card model will do 3D gaming, they are saying is out of the question for 3D-BR playback. Now, I know that my monitor might not be compatible at all with AMD’s solution because it suppose to be proprietary to Nvidia’s 3D vision. But that aside it bugs me entirely that they are leaving the 5XXX series out of 3D playback, some folks bought their 5970’s for a pricey penny and am sure they would be quite mad too. So am anxious to get my hands on the shutter glasses, try them on my card an monitor, see the results, and if they work fine try the 3DBD, if am unsuccessful I will either get rid of my AMD card and get Nvidia’s with their 3D hardware.

  • 26 Vizbiz // Nov 30, 2010 at 20:25

    The key here is that the ATI 5xxx uses HDMI 1.3 (no true 3D support) and the ATI 6xxx uses HDMI 1.4 (built-in 3D support). For whatever reason, the TriDef player WILL switch my Samsung 3D LED screen into 3D mode with the 5x series but will NOT play 3D BR. However, the 6x series willswitch my screen into 3D AND play 3D BR because it has HDMI 1.4. So, if you want to play 3D BR movies, get the ATI 6x series. If you just want to view download videos, pics or play some games, the 5x will work (at least on the Samsung 3D LED’s).

  • 27 whyme466 // Mar 17, 2011 at 20:53

    I am pleased with the performance of my recently assembled system including a Panasonic VT25, AMD’s newer 6970 graphics card with Open Stereo HD3D capability, and TriDef’s Ignition gaming software. With an HDMI 1.4 connection, I appear to be achieving full 1080P (60 3D fps), while the 6970 provides excellent rendering performance for TriDef’s Ignition with games like Crysis. See http://www.mtbs3d.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?f=106&t=12939.

  • 28 gun // Jan 30, 2012 at 23:57

    For me it dont work with my 5000 card.(tried everything and beyond)
    AMD probaly means you can play in 3d but they dont say; only side by side(or other crapy 3d) for hdmi 1.3 or displayport 1.1 connections….and no real HD3D(framesequential)

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