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When and How You Can Use The 3D Vision Windowed 3D Mode

September 28th, 2011 · 5 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

The ability to run 3D applications in a window and have them displayed in stereoscopic 3D mode while the rest of the image on the screen, such as your Desktop, remains in 2D is something fairly new to 3D Vision. It is a nice feature to have at times, like when playing an online MMO game for example, but you should be aware of how and when you can use the windowed 3D mode as it still has some limitations and requirements. First let us start with how you can activate the windowed 3D mode with your 3D Vision. It is recommended to have at least a release 270 drivers for a notebook GPU installed although Nvidia has introduced this feature earlier with the 266.35 BETA and 266.58 WHQL desktop drivers, but having the latest WHQL driver installed is the best choice to ensure optimum effectiveness. Opening the Nvidia control panel you should navigate to the Stereoscopic 3D settings and you should see the “Select when the display is in 3D mode:” dropdown box where you actually select the active mode – windowed 3D or not. In the dropdown box you have three different options: “Always”, “Only while 3D programs run” and “Only while full-screen 3D programs run”. With the first two options you will have the Windowed 3D mode active, although you will need to have a 3D application running in order to have the IR emitter and the shutter glasses active and with the third option you will not have the Windowed 3D mode available. The difference between the Always On and the Only while 3D programs run modes is that with the first one the monitor is always in its 3D state (locked to maximum brightness) while at the second mode it switches to it only when you run a compatible 3D application in a window.

It is possible that in the control panel you can se that there is no such dropdown box as described above or that the dropdown menu is grayed out (not active), and there is a reason for that as there are some limitations to the Windowed 3D mode as I’ve already mentioned. The most likely reason is that you have SLI setup using two or more GPUs as the Windowed 3D mode does not yet support SLI for 3D games and applications, although you can watch 3DVisionLive.com and YouTube 3D content in a window even with SLI (driver version 285.27 or later is required for this to work). You can of course temporary disable the SLI from the driver control panel and when you finish using the Windowed 3D mode you can activate it back again, at least until Nvidia provides update to fully support SLI setups with Windowed 3D mode.

There are also a few more important things that you should be aware of regarding the current state of the Windowed 3D mode supported by 3D Vision. First of all is that currently you can have Windowed 3D mode available only for games and applications using DirectX 9, the ones using older or newer versions or OpenGL will not function in stereo 3D mode in a window. If you have a 3D Vision-capable 3D DLP HDTV you are also out of luck as these use the DLP Checkerboard pattern for transmitting the 3D content and there is yet no support available for Windowed 3D mode for these users. Owners of 3D Vision-ready 3D monitors, notebooks with 3D Vision-ready displays, compatible 3D Vision DLP projectors as well as 3DTV Play compatible 3D HDTVs and 3D Projectors using HDMI 1.4 are Ok. They are all able to play DirectX 9 games and use DX9 applications, use the 3D Vision Photo Viewer and 3D Vision Video Player (version 1.7.2 or later) and watch 3D content on the 3DVisionLive.com and YouTube 3D in a Windowed 3D mode if they use single GPU. For the moment Blu-ray 3D movie playback in stereo 3D is only available in full-screen mode.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nathan // Sep 29, 2011 at 00:07

    I’m having issues using the 3D for the BF3 beta. Any tips?

  • 2 Dallas // Sep 29, 2011 at 07:23

    Since the last version of drivers I have been able to play Final Fantasy XIV Online in windowed mode and it has been awesome, though it has not been posted in the driver notes.

  • 3 Sam aersixb9 Strelitz // Sep 29, 2011 at 07:47

    Hey bro i got the 3d vision too been playin bc2 with fuckin hackers, man you wanna do 3d vision 1v1 some time ? :) or swap game info or somethin, i did some left 4 dead 2 in 3d (game is antihack by zombies havin it always, plus there’s console commands to make 3d work good.)

    anyways you know of any 3d modelers in 3d vision, plus tips for makin it good, got the fov good at 85 in bad compnay like the geforce thing says, or google or somethin, but i have a hard time finding good game settins for working games, l4d2 was low sysreq, bc2 is supported but laggy at 1920, blurry at 1280, and it seems like long draws and low frames are waaaay more obvious in 3d

    also there’s a bucnha fuckin bugs, you got bugfixes? your site is all reputable, can you hire or get those pirates to hack in some 3d fixes, like how they hacked in a wallhack but instead hack out the 2d sprite shit in all those fast running games and hack out the xna / c# / d3d 60 fps limit too i wanna run the 2d games at 120 fps plz not 60 i am fast. was gonna get the 600fps screen at 44 inches and sit close, but the fov is fucked i wanna curved screen, or fiber opitic channels to the eyes and full 180 + 270 perifph fov :)

    also a big trackball or sphere to jog in and a gun-shaped controller.

    also gun shaped controllers. how about some kind of 3d vision gun shaped controller? movement could be a joystick or foot pusher thingie, or maybe joystick where hammer goes, fps style maybe, or otherwise some kind of gun for the pc. a light gun. with an air compressor, and those spring coil blowbacks with the double recoil, forward recoil is solid and matches a cailber based on size and is loud and natural, with a second catch recoil that’s softer over time and unnatural (unless you jam it) but hey its a video game. like time crisis 2, on the big screen, that one time i got the good score trick was shooting teh missiles in teh chopper when they lit and also not shooting the cheerleaders in the bank and knowin the calibers and also makin the ride operator at the santra cruz boardwalk (nobody played their light gun games and the blowback was made illegal :( they also lost the purely mechanical shooting gallery with no electrics except the rewinder and token slot, like combo locks , swingarms, weights, and modularity new to an old design from the forgotten train era of the 1800s

    are you tom green? i thought he was dead, but maybe that was that cloner knoxville….he did refine it and add physical stunts due to bein a gunner biker or somethin….

  • 4 Jack // Oct 1, 2011 at 20:05


    Anyway, I don’t see this option with 285.27. The only reason I can think of is that I have a second display plugged in the my 8800GT. Having said that, stereoscopic player works fine in a window.

  • 5 aerobless // Oct 1, 2011 at 22:31

    Good to know.. I’ll have to try whether it works if with WoW’s fake-full screen mode.

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