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My First Impressions After a 3D Vision Surround Demonstration

April 26th, 2010 · 12 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

The video above is from a 3D Vision Surround Demonstration at the Fermi Launch event in Bucharest, Romania. 3D Vision Surround Demo running on PC with dual GeForce GTX 480s in SLI, EVGA Classified Motherboard, Core i7 965 CPU, 6GB DDR3 Memory, 1200W PSU and 3x Acer GD245HQ displays. Demonstrated on the 3 monitors in stereo 3D were the games Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Just Cause 2 and Need For Speed: SHIFT, and they really looked much more immersive than when played on a single display.

The two additional displays besides the central one in a 3D Vision Surround setup are mostly covering your peripheral vision that does not get as much detail in terms of color and shape recognition and even the 3D effect is seen with less accuracy as with the central vision. But still our peripheral vision should not be neglected as it helps you detect moving objects for example and turning your attention to them if needed by turning your head towards them and getting the “full picture”. And with the 3D Vision Surround you can at any time move your central vision towards the left or right display to see the picture being displayed there if something caught your attention in the peripheral vision, like a moving object that can be an enemy or a friend unit for example. The coverage of the central vision of a normal person with no any eye issues should be somewhere around 75-95 degrees (giving you the best clear and detailed image perception) and that is enough to cover not only the central screen, but also a part of the two additional screens on the left and right in a 3D Vision Surround setup. Then the peripheral vision is extending up to almost 180 degrees and can be divided in lets say three different levels: para-central (near-peripheral), mid-peripheral and far peripheral with each of them providing different level of detail in general towards the far end of the peripheral vision. Anyway, enough with the more scientific explanation why and how our vision works, the thing is that when having three displays to cover the peripheral vision (even in stereo 3D) too the end results is much better in terms of general perception and also in terms of better immersion into the virtual game world.

And so the 3D Vision Surround was running on non-final drivers, we are waiting for the official ones to be available any time now, but the performance was Ok and there were almost no issues considering these were still beta drivers. Of course two GeForce GTX 480 Fermi cards were used to provide optimal performance and you’ll really need that in order to play the latest games on 3 displays and in stereo 3D mode. You can of course go for the bit slower GTX 470 or even high-end models from the previous generation, but you might have to consider lowering some details or the resolution in order to achieve optimal performance in the most demanding games. The setup steps and usage of the Surround looked easy to use and the bezel correction worked just fine with about 100 pixels correction needed for the left and the right side, but that also depends on the monitors being used. I also saw a demo using ViewSonic VX2268WM monitors instead of the Acer GD245HQ/GD235HZ displays and the experience did not differ much between the two.

If I have to rate the games in terms of immersion with the 3D Vision Surround setup than I’ll start with Need For Speed: SHIFT that looked simply great with the camera from inside the cockpit of the car (less impressive with an outside car view camera). Then it was the Battlefield: Bad Company 2 that also looked great and actually might give you a bit of a competitive advantage while playing with the additional two displays (at least in single played mode). And although I was least impressive with Just Cause 2 in general, it also had some scenes that were really impressive in 3D Surround and in general was more immersive than when playing in stereo 3D mode on a single display. I just hope that the 3D Vision Surround will be able to provide the same level of immersion in all other games, already available and new, and not just in the ones that were demonstrated.

Besides the stereo 3D Surround the new feature also supports the usage of 3 displays in 2D mode for work and for gaming in lets say “plain 3D” mode on all the displays, there is no need to go for 3D-ready displays if you don’t intend to play games. You can also use even 30-inch non 3D-ready monitors with resolution of up to 2560×1600 into a 3 display setup to achieve 7680×1600 or 4800×2560 resolutions (if you rotate them in 90 degrees), but most impressive is of course the availability of the stereo 3D mode with three 120Hz displays.

I hope to soon have a 3D Vision Surround system prepared for more testing and with the final 3D Vision drivers and a newer GPU drivers that would be able to squeeze even more performance from the new Fermi architecture. So stay tuned for more information about the 3D Vision Surround soon…

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12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 mr. hu // Apr 27, 2010 at 19:00

    Now this is really gimmicky… What is that reduced resolution on the sides? Just to remind you, you can align 2x 720p dlp link projectors with edge blending to be totally seamless and ppl project even onto curved surface. This is less pixels than 1 fullHD. Also you sohuld be able to drive this setup with 2x GTS450. Wondering about SLI scaling with 3x GTS…

  • 2 Bloody // Apr 27, 2010 at 21:09

    Yes, with projectors you can totally get rid of the bezel problem. But after playing for a minute on the 3 display setups the bezel actually does not feel like an issue, it is just like when looking through a window… you can quickly forget about the frame if you don’t focus your attention at it. Two 720p 3D-ready projectors sound nice, but I’m not sure of you can use the surround on 2 displays only (for monitors it is a bit pointless), but for projectors it should be quite nice… even with 3 projectors. And because of the much less pixels to calculate the performance should be better even with not so powerful GPUs like 460/450. But we still need to wait a little bit for the new middle-range Fermi-based video cards to come out and see how will they perform and we are still waiting for the 3D Vision Surround capable official driver.

  • 3 Amiral Benson // Apr 27, 2010 at 22:14

    I think what’s missing in your demonstration is the use of a TackIR. I think 3D Vision Surround really needs the use of a TrackIR for a much better natural immersive experience with this particular wide field of view.
    NFS doesn’t work with TrackIR, but for Racing most of the best titles are compatible (Race Driver GRID, GTR 2, Dirt 2 , etc.), and ArmA 2 is the only FPS that use the TrackIR very well.

    I received my Acer GD245HQ, and I must say that I was disappointed, yes of course it is faster than the Samsung 2233 (less ghosting in 3D Vision), but its color temperature is really too hot, even with its “cool” preset, there is always an orange cast in the grays, I can’t get rid of it, even with the nVIDIA color desk sliders, I don’t know what to do, I’m going crazy.
    And its backlight leaks too much on the edges, its black are worse than the Samsung, of course it’s still a TN LCD, but I’m tired of waiting FED, SED or OLED for real CRT-like black again.

    The two GTX 480 of the demo wasn’t too hot ? I am a little worried about that, I have not received my GTX 480 yet (nVIDIA France said it is the fault of the the Icelandic volcano and the shutdown of the air traffic over Europe airspace…), I have a big case with a lot of fans, but I’m still afraid, did you see any automatic underclocking caused by a too hot temperature with the SLI of the demo ?

  • 4 Bloody // Apr 27, 2010 at 22:25

    I was also thinking that some sort of head-tracking solution would be nice, it might add more to the immersion level, but I’d prefer some sort of gyro/accelerometer-based solution… especially if it can be integrated with the 3D Vision glasses ;)

    As for the GTX 480 in SLI – they were neither getting too hot, nor too noisy and as you can see the case was opened so the airflow was not optimal. I suppose that with a good case and the right airflow inside you should not worry at all about overheating issues or that the fans should get too noisy.

  • 5 Amiral Benson // Apr 28, 2010 at 02:28

    Thanks Bloody for this clarification.
    Head trackers like TrackIR Pro 4 or 5 are really simple, just 3 reflectors that you can hang on a cap, or headphones, or glasses, and in front of that, like a webcam, a tiny infrared cam, and you get all the 6 degrees of freedom, and the 3D Vision IR Emitter does not disturb the TrackIR :)
    3D Vision + TrackIR + HOTAS + FlightSim like Wings of Prey are my favorite immersive combo. (^_-)

  • 6 Steve Laity // Apr 28, 2010 at 05:17

    Hi Bloody,

    So they were only using 2 GTX 480’s? This does not bode well for a tri and Quad SLI patch for 3D vision. Did they mention anything about Tri / Quad SLI and 3D vision?

  • 7 Bloody // Apr 28, 2010 at 09:33

    Amiral Benson, haven’t tried myself Naturalpoint’s TrackIR solution, but I’ve read about it… it is good to know that it works just fine with 3D Vision and does not interfere with the IR sync in any way. Do you think it is possible to place the reflectors on the 3D Vision glasses?

    Steve Laity, no word about 3 and 4 Fermis in SLI, but I suppose that these can also scale quite well with 3D Vision Surround. We’ll have to see that when the official Surround-capable drivers come out…

  • 8 Amiral Benson // Apr 28, 2010 at 18:06

    Bloody, yes you can place the reflectors on glasses, I haven’t tried that myself because I only use the official TrackClip on a cap (it is very handy and fits on any cap).

    But Natural Point sells dots reflectors stickers, the things to know are that you need 3 points, and if you don’t want to adjust curves in the driver, you have to place them symmetrically in relation to your head (I guess one on each sides of the glasses, and one in the middle on the bridge of the glasses).
    Or maybe you can tie to a side of the glasses the special version of TrackClip that was made for headset. The best is to ask them on their forum, they have a great support team.

    I prefer Infra-Red camera tracking rather than gyro/accelerometer because with camera tracking you have a complete and real 6 degrees of freedom. This is the solution that Sony will use with their PS3 Motion Controller, but with a glowing ball and a classic camera.

    I you put someone in front of a 3D screen with 3D vision, their first reflex is to move the head to see sides of objects, and they are always disappointed to realize that doesn’t work. Then you add a TrackIR system and suddenly it works. But of course it only works with real time 3D like games, it is something really important that 3D movies will always miss.

  • 9 Frobozz // Apr 29, 2010 at 03:41

    Hey guys, good discussion. Playing with motion tracking is definitely on my to-do list, and in-air hand gestures, etc. would be nice too.

    Bloody, did you happen to find out if the 3D Vision Surround will play nice (eventually) with 3DTV Play on multiple consumer 3DTV screens?

  • 10 Bloody // Apr 29, 2010 at 10:09

    No word yet if the 3DTV Play will also support Surround, but I doubt it… maybe if there is demand for such feature they will add it in the future.

  • 11 Zijn // May 23, 2010 at 21:26


    I was actually thinking of getting this exact set up, with some minor differences.

    i7 980x
    SLi 480
    12gb DDR3
    3x Acer GD245HQ
    3d Glasses

    Want it as a future proof system. I want to spend the extra cash and have a really good system because i have more pressing commitments coming up. As of yet the 3d vision surround driver isnt up and running yet so i dont mind keeping the extra monitors boxed up for now.

    What sort of frames were you getting per game??

  • 12 Bloody // May 23, 2010 at 21:57

    The framerate was enough to provide comfortable play, but it was around 30-40 fps average. I suppose that the final driver will be much more optimized and have better performance…

    Meanwhile you can try the leaked beta driver 256.76 – http://3dvision-blog.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=221

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