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AMD HD3D Technology – What You Should’ve Know from the Start..

October 31st, 2010 · 25 Comments · Other S3D Tech


After a few days of trying different things and with the help of other readers I was finally able to make everything work as it should with the new AMD HD3D Technology by displaying a stereoscopic 3D content from a PC equipped with ATI Radeon HD 5970 video card to a Panasonic 3D HDTV with both the iZ3D Driver and DDD’s TriDef software. There were quite a few issues and a lot of things unknown from the start, but after trying out a lot of different things finally everything seems to be working alright, so below I’ll just summarize some of the important findings we had to figure out by ourselves to make it much easier for others. The one thing that puzzles me however is why the hell AMD did not summarize these things right from the start to make the process as easy and as painless for the end users willing to take advantage of their new AMD HD3D Technology? Maybe their concept for openness means something different than what everyone else considers an open initiative, which should also mean open communication with your customers and not being so “full of holes” to call something open… ;)

So in brief what you need to know should you decide to connect your computer with an ATI/AMD video card inside to a 3D capable HDTV by taking advantage of the AMD HD3D Technology, although I suppose that the same may apply to when using a 120Hz LCD monitor too.
– You need to have an ATI Radeon HD 5000 series or AMD Radeon HD 6000 series of GPU, older video cars are not compatible with the AMD HD3D Technology.
– You will need to download and install the latest Catalyst graphics driver, which is currently Catalyst 10.10c Hotfix – Download here.
– If you have more than one video card or a dual-GPU solution such as 5970 you should disable Catalyst AI from the driver, Crossfire does not yet work, but if you have trouble with a single GPU try disabling the Catalyst AI… it might help as well.
– You can use both the iZ3D Driver (version 1.12, build 4016 or newer) and the DDD TriDef 3D Software (version 4.3.1 or newer) for enabling stereoscopic 3D output to your 3D HDTV, although the output methods may be a bit confusing and even misleading.
– If you are using iZ3D you need to select “120Hz 3D Devices” as an output method, although the name does not suggest that at all, and for TriDef it is much more clear – “AMD – AMD HD3D Technology (HDMI 1.4a)”, although here there is another misleading thing – that you can use it in any resolution, when the truth is that you are good to go only for 720p 50/60Hz and 1080p 24Hz modes!
– You should set your desktop resolution and refresh rate to 1920×1080, 24Hz in order to make it easier to run some games with the right settings from the start – otherwise if the game tries to run at 1080p with 60Hz you might just see a black screen. If the problem continues you might have to disable the S3D software, run the game normally, set the right resolution from its in-game menu, enable the S3D software and try running it again. Some games do not have option to set the refresh rate, just the resolution and these might still be problematic for the 1080p, 24Hz 3D mode, however the 720p 50/60Hz mode should be Ok.
– If you are using the iZ3D Driver you can test if everything is working with the built-in test in the iZ3D Control Center, under Help menu – use the “Static test” and not the dynamic one as only the static 3D image will switch to full screen and work in 3D.
– If you are using DDD TriDef 3D, after enabling the right mode you can test if it is working right by running the “TriDef 3D Experience” launcher, before going to try out some games, if this works in 3D then you are all set.
– If you want to play in the 1080p 24Hz stereo 3D mode, then make sure that you have V-sync for the game disabled in order to make it more comfortable to be played and not so choppy, especially for fast action oriented games as with 24 frames per eye and V-sync enabled you will probably not be very happy. But you will need to be able to get higher framerate in the game in order to feel more comfortable and to avoid a lot of visible tearing.
– iZ3D is currently running a promotion that allows you to get a license for their driver supporting the AMD HD3D Technology (if you have a compatible GPU) for just $19.99 USD which is half the regular price… For more information.
– DDD is also running a promotion with a half price license for their TriDef 3D software, meaning that if you have a 5000/6000 series of GPU you can get it for just $24.99 USD… For more information.
– Before actually going to buy or decide which of these products is Ok for you, you can first test your 3D setup for 14 days using the TriDef 3D software or for 30 days for the iZ3D driver, so you will have some time to evaluate which one from the two or even if you want to get both..
– The list of supported hardware available on AMD’s website regarding 3D-capable HDTVs is not complete, in theory every HDMI 1.4(a) capable 3D HDTV might work, although when trying it out you might have trouble because of lack of information and as a result you might think it is actually not working… List of supported hardware.

There will be probably more things to come and hopefully AMD will soon address some of the issues with updates, especially the multi-GPU support, because the graphics performance is very important when playing games in stereo 3D mode and the more you have – the better! Another good idea for AMD is to start a dedicated forum in their forums especially for the AMD HD3D Technology…

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