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Clearing up things about ATI’s Stereoscopic 3D Support

October 27th, 2009 · 25 Comments · General 3D News


Do you remember my post regarding the supposedly “new” feature in the ATI’s Radeon HD 5000 series GPUs actually offering Stereoscopic 3D support of some kind about two weeks ago (Is ATI preparing an alternative to Nvidia’s GeForce 3D Vision?)? Back then I suggested that ATI is trying to push a third party feature, claiming it is something new in their new GPUs, like IZ3D’s driver support for instance and it turns out I was right on the spot. Today I’ve just got a confirmation from the local ATI PR guy that they indeed meant that and that there is actually nothing coming directly from ATI:

Our graphics cards can drive various 3D display devices as long as the user has the correct middleware. Two middleware companies we are working with are Dynamic Digital Depth, and iZ3D.

So DDD’s TriDef software and IZ3D’s drivers do support ATI, but they do not specifically require you to have ATI Radeon HD 5000 series GPU as they will also work on older cards based on ATI graphic processors and the thing is that these two companies actually produce GPU manufacturer independent stereoscopic 3D solutions. In plain words this means that both TriDef and Iz3D will work regarding the type of your GPU, so not only on ATI, but also on Nvidia hardware… so can this be considered as a new feature only on Radeon HD 5000 series? If you ask me it cannot as there is actually nothing new that requires you to have the latest ATI GPUs to use both of these solutions, not to mention that you don’t need to have an ATI graphic processor at all. The only thing that is good to have is at least a middle-end video card, preferably a high-end one, because when playing in S3D your GPU performance is a key factor, so getting the new ATI-based video cards are only good because of having a lot of raw power for processing. Still I might prefer getting Nvidia VGA and use it with 3D Vision as it has better game support (not only), more user friendly (although not completely problem free), oh wait… I do have a 3D Vision setup (among a few others) and an Nvidia GPU already … ;)

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25 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Capt'n Corrupt // Oct 27, 2009 at 21:18

    Does this mean that it should work with any monitor, or will it require a special monitor ala 3d vision?


  • 2 Bloody // Oct 27, 2009 at 22:55

    Both DDD’s TriDef and IZ3D are compatible with a wide array of S3D-capable hardware, and these include not only displays. But yes, besides the free anaglyph mode, others require some sort of special hardware…

  • 3 Capt'n Corrupt // Oct 28, 2009 at 00:12

    Ah, thanks for the update!

    IZ3D seems to have a very attractively priced monitor, and I really like the idea of polarized vs. shutter glasses.

    Perhaps when I company released an affordable polarized projector with some sort of 3D standard, I shall make the jump!


  • 4 Ahmed360 // Oct 28, 2009 at 01:57

    If only the performance hit was not that big!!

    But good news for ATI owners!!

  • 5 Manuel Herrera // Oct 28, 2009 at 07:24

    Pretty much as expected, i’d have no issue with this… if it wasn’t for the fact that Iz3d and DDD are forced to run in compatibility mode, which hurts performance quite a bit depending on the game.
    If they’re gonna let Iz3d and DDD do the 3d for them, they might as well open their drivers to them so they can also write performance profiles for every game.

  • 6 Bloody // Oct 28, 2009 at 10:37

    They said “they are working with” the two companies whatever that means… ;)

  • 7 Funkymunky // Feb 3, 2010 at 19:40

    From what I’ve googled, it sounds like the only thing NVidia has better is built-in driver support, whereas ATI is relegating the 3D stuff to 3rd party drivers (which also work with NVidia). It doesn’t sound like there are any hardware features in either brand’s gpu’s that make this work. So if you have the proper glasses and monitor (such as a 120Hz monitor + shutter glasses + driver support), you can get this to work regardless of the brand gpu.

  • 8 Bloody // Feb 3, 2010 at 21:08

    Well, you are not quite right… regarding the shutter glasses at least. ATI will have third party shutter glasses and third party software and the key word here is WILL, probably around summertime. Nvidia already has a working solution on the market for quite some time and having their own driver allows them better control and optimization to get the optimum performance from the supported GPUs… although that has its drawbacks too.

  • 9 Laokin // Feb 10, 2010 at 03:06

    A simple look at the iz3D website, and it’s clear to me why that’s a bullet point on the card.

    Keep in mind that most users who wish to take advantage of S3d currently have DLP Displays.

    Here is the quote taken straight off of the iz3D website.

    “Additionally, the 3D-DLP Driver is available free to customers using an ATI Radeon Graphics Cards.”

    Meaning, that using nVidia, will cost you a premium. I.E. It’s native to ATi.

  • 10 Laokin // Feb 10, 2010 at 03:16


    iz3D uses Polarized glasses like James Cameron’s avatar… or any other recent 3dmovie. nVidia 3d vision uses shutter glasses. The same technology that’s been around since I was a kid.

    Polarized is better.

  • 11 Bloody // Feb 10, 2010 at 11:26

    Yeah, but AMD is mentioning this only about its latest generation of cards and we all know that iZ3D actually supports ATI for quite some time and works the same way with old generation GPUs like the the latest ones.

    BTW both passive polarized and active shutter glasses are not new technologies, meaning developed like the last year, they have been around for quite some time now and Avatar has nothing to do with it. For example there are cinemas equipped with Xpand technology that do use active shutter glasses and also show Avatar in 3D, just that they are not so common like the other popular passive solutions.

    Regarding the free DLP mode, that is great, but you still have to have a 3D-ready DLP TV and glasses for it in order to be able to use it with ATI. So in the same way the 3D Vision software is also free for Nvidia customers, you just need to have the monitor and the glasses and it also does work with DLP TVs. The problem here however is that compatible 3D-ready DLP TVs are not widely available, they can be found only on some markets like in USA, but you cannot easily get them anywhere in Europe for example. And most of the people in the markets where these solutions are available and own the right TV, but don’t have glasses, and they may even be unaware that their TV can support stereoscopic 3D…

  • 12 DeadEnd // Mar 30, 2010 at 11:34

    I still have my shutter glasses that I bought back in 2002 and they still work. I’m using a CRT monitor. Right now, my glasses are collecting dust since nVidia doesn’t offer any support for my 8800, and I’m running Windows 7. Should I sell my glasses on eBay, or is there any chance ATi’s Radeon cards will support them?

  • 13 Bloody // Mar 30, 2010 at 12:28

    ATI’s solution (iZ3D/DDD) will most likely work only with the new glasses made by Bit Cauldron…

  • 14 DeadEnd // Apr 5, 2010 at 13:14

    Since my 3D glasses and video sync module still work, the only thing left to do was to get the software configured and running properly. I went to the website where I bought the glasses from in the first place (eDimensional.com) and downloaded a little program called “E-D Activator”. It’s only 284 kB in size. I saved it to a folder in my hard drive and double-clicked on it. At first, it appeared as if nothing happened. Then I saw that it went to the taskbar, so I right-clicked on the E-D Activator icon and chose “Interleaved”, “Stereo – Normal” and since I am using a CRT monitor, “LCD Mode – Off”.

    The next thing I did was download the iZ3D Driver setup. I went to the iZ3D website (iz3d.com) and clicked on the Downloads tab. I chose the “FULL Installation”. The first thing I saw was the DirectX section. Since I do not have iZ3D glasses, I chose “Enable Stereo by Hot-Key”, “Interlaced (trial)” and “Horizontal (Optimized)”. In the OpenGL tab, I disabled stereo and unchecked “Emulate Quad Buffer”.

    Both the E-D Activator and the iZ3D Control Center had to be activated and running for me to play any games in 3D. Now I don’t have to spend money on new hardware. The only thing I have to buy is a license from iZ3D to run the iZ3D Control Center after the 30-Day trial expires. I’m so glad I didn’t sell my wired 3D glasses on eBay. Everything works like it did with nVidia’s 61.77 3D stereo drivers.

  • 15 Thomasjn // May 7, 2010 at 17:01

    So a solution from ATI which is equal to nVidias isnt happening.

    iZ3D and TriDef are the only 2 options for 3d if you have a ATI Grapichs-card?
    Are they using Polarized glass’s or shutter?
    And how are the quality, compared to nVidia’s?

    By the way, i heard something about “Bit Cauldron”, are they only making the glass’s, or could they be making the software also needed for 3D vision?

  • 16 Mario // Jun 4, 2010 at 12:41

    I did exactly everything as Deadend -same hardware and same drivers- and I can confirm that this method works finely also with ATI HD3850! I suggest to install alsoTriDef stereoscopic drivers even if you are currently using iZ3D license -and paid for it-: I have been able to run games that were not properly rendered with iZ3d drivers only, but after TriDef installation (I paid only for iZ3D license and I’m using iZ3D hotkeys), so these iZ3D an TriDef drivers are probably similar and working together in some manner on some file systems sublevel or something like this…

  • 17 Alex // Jun 17, 2010 at 09:23


    To me the problems is not falling under technology offer but customer support. What I mean by that is that ATI is not approaching their customer base to at least provide clarity on what direction they are going about stereoscopic support. I have been an AMD panelist for a good time and every time that I asked anything about it they do not respond. You guys can take a look on this site to the email that I received form XpanD about the availability and compatibility of their glasses with ATI cards, so you look for it in this blog. I also received a prompt answer from iz3d about product restrictions, however as you can see in my next email that I am posting, ATI does not respond in the same way that these companies. The only reason why I think ATI is not oriented to customer support is because they only see in us (panelists and every body else) a source of marketing information and their only customer they may care is manufacturers. Another reason why companies do not approach final consumers is either because they see it as an expense or because they are really struggling as a business and they do not have available resources to do that. The implication of this type of situation is therefore that this company is in survival mode trying to keep it up with its presence on the market. My self, I have been considering to move from ATI to Nvidia, after years convincing people that ATI was a better option now I convinced that there is only the cheapest option, but when it comes to features, driver support and Customer support, well as I said there were companies responding in a much higher level than my experience with ATI and like I told in the forum panel almost two years ago. 3D is the future and looks like ATI is not going to be in that future, and I also said, AMD trying to sell and compete with SurroundView is like the war between VHS and Beta or Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. We all know how that thing ended up.

    Very soon you will see more of these critics from a regular user/consumer trying to push companies to serve us better in pcgamingrules.com. The site is not even in construction I just got the name but those who wanted to put pressure on companies that supply for pc users will be more than welcome to write.

    Here is the email originated out of the last survey that filled out as an AMD panelist, also I hope you can find in this site the one that I got from XpanD so you can compare:

    RE: Have questions for AMD?‏
    From: Alex
    Sent: Tue 6/15/10 10:58 PM
    To: panel.support@insight.amd.com
    This is really frustrating. Why would you ask us to send questions? If, you are going to have a program replying back instead of a person.

    From: panel.support@insight.amd.com
    To: Alex
    Subject: RE: Have questions for AMD?
    Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 15:57:16 +0800

    Hello there,

    Thank you for your comments. Your feedback is very much appreciated and will be taken into consideration. Please don’t hesitate to write again if you have any other questions or concerns.

    From: Alex
    Sent: 2010年6月10日 12:01
    To: panel.support@insight.amd.com
    Subject: Have questions for AMD?

    When, when are we going to see AMD talking, responding letting us know about AMD’s position to stereoscopic support? Guys, I work for a multi-millionaire company in a very high level position. I understand that some times you can not share information about future trends or business opportunities, some times even because the business is not even clear on what direction to take, however you can not go wrong in sharing not only with panelists but with the world how you are approaching this new wave and time lines. I also understand that AMD is preaching surround view and this could be in conflict with developing something new, but believe we are slaves of AMD by waiting with hope something from you, at least if we know AMD is not going that way for a while we can set up our self with alternatives technologies that fully support 3D. Please brake our chains so we can be free to take decisions on where to go. I think that by not telling us where is AMD going on this matter the community is being abused in a certain way out of our loyalty to the brand.


  • 18 Alex // Jun 17, 2010 at 09:47

    Here is the one that I mentioned from XpanD but I have many more from different companies


  • 19 k3nn // Jul 22, 2010 at 06:22

    to DeadEnd and Mario (also anyone else who had it working on their “old” 3D glasses). my 3D glasses came from nvidia (asus V7700 c. 2000) which has a stereo jack (looks like ordinary audio 3.5mm pin), as i don’t see anywhere in pictures where I can hook this up in an ATI 5xxxx card. can u guys tell me how your 3D glasses was able to connect?like the image above, i don’t see any stereo connector at the back panel, i only see 2 DVI, HDMI and something else there.
    Thanks. will be getting an ATI (IF i can connect this glasses of mine, heh)

  • 20 TechJunkie3281 // Jul 24, 2010 at 05:17

    I have some bad news for anyone who regards polarized 3d as the way to go for in home use, modern polarized 3d vision requires a special projector that creates both right circular and left circular polarized light simultaneously, to top this off…merely having a television with this type of projection isnt nearly enough, the 3d image will certainly be degraded when viewed on any mature or standardized technologies such as LCD,LED,Plasma, or DLP due to the fact that the actual screen it’s diminishes the polarization of the light being projected through it, this means in order to have a fully immersive 3d experience using polarized 3d not only would you need a dual light polarizational projector such as the ones used by IMAX, you would also need a specialized format to project it on known as a silver screen, silver screens are woven of a material that effectively reflects polarized light without distorting it…both of these items are EXTREMELY expensive. As it stands purchasing a display with a high refresh rate and a decent pair of synching shutter glasses is the best possible way to achieve 3d at home. Some makers are currently offering 3d televisions with up to 480mhz refresh rate, which eliminates the occasional 3d ghost imaging that occurs with shuttered 3d by projecting two seperate images at 240mhz a piece interlaced. Check out this post to learn more about Shuttered and Polarized 3D http://www.best-3dtvs.com/guides/3d-glasses-active-vs-passive/

  • 21 Anubhav Agrawal // Aug 9, 2010 at 21:45

    Hello, I have got a laptop which has ati radeon 5470 with 1 gb dedicated memory. So I wanted to know that will nvidia 3d vision work with my laptop when I connect a 3d display output with my laptop?

  • 22 Bloody // Aug 9, 2010 at 21:53

    No, you need an Nvidia-based GPU for 3D Vision t work…

  • 23 my3DTV // Oct 3, 2010 at 01:33

    Thanks for the info – I was wondering the same thing but it looks like i need to get an Nvidia GPU

  • 24 +Extreme Gamer+ // Jan 1, 2011 at 19:11

    Frikken Ell,

    Will somebody out there cut the crap and
    give me 3d. Im sitting with 3d glasses in front of the monitor
    what do I do huh as a quick fix.

    We are already 10 years in the next millenium man.

  • 25 Vagisimo // Jan 30, 2012 at 22:09

    The way ATI is doing it makes old hardware obsolete. The third party companies make sure that their drivers only work with their products. I have shutter glasses made by X3D. X3D has gone out of business, so I have no option other than using NV cards to use them. there is no support from these 3rd party companies for my wired shutter glasses. Monopoly money (i.e. 3rd party drivers)

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