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Taking Advantage of the Lightboost Technology for 2D 120Hz Gaming

January 28th, 2013 · 10 Comments · Other S3D Tech

By now all of you should be aware of the fact that the newer 3D Vision ready monitors (including 3D displays in gaming laptops) supporting the Lightboost technology are a much better choice for stereoscopic 3D gaming than the older models, but it turns out that going for a Lightboost-enabled 3D monitor can benefit 2D gamers that want to take advantage of the supported 120Hz refresh rate. What the Lightboost technology does is to strobe the backlight instead of having it always on like on traditional monitors, and while this leads a lower overall brightness in 2D mode (actually making it look brighter in stereo 3D mode and with less crosstalk). The strobing of the backlight with Lightboost enabled makes the backlight turn on only when the pixels have reached their final stage in building the new image and the backlight stays off while the pixels transition from one stage to another. As a result all motion blur is being eliminated, making fast movements appear much smoother now. You can see how the image is being shown on the display without Lightboost enabled and with Lightboost on on the slow-motion video above made by Mark Rejhon who has experimented a bit with Lightboost and shared his interesting findings in our forum.

If you already have a 3D Vision ready setup and are using Acer HN274H B, ASUS VG728H or BENQ XL2420TX Lightboost-enabled 3D Vision ready monitor with integrated IR emitter, or have ASUS VG248QE, ASUS VG278HE, BENQ XL2420T or BENQ XL2411T along with an external 3D Vision IR emitter you can easily enable Lightboost in 2D mode as well. In fact some of you may have unintentionally seen this happen after exiting a game played in stereo 3D mode with the monitor remaining in 3D mode when back in the desktop (it seems darker than normal). All you have to do is set the Nvidia driver to always have the 3D monitor set in 3D mode from the Stereoscopic 3D panel int he Nvidia Control Center. The only disadvantage of having Lightboost enabled in 2D mode (have the monitor always run in stereo 3D mode) is that the brightness is lower than it is with Lightboost not being enabled, so you may need to increase the contrast more than you need it in stereo 3D mode. And while the lower brightness caused by the backlight not being constantly on due to the Lightboost being active can be considered as a disadvantage, these 3D monitors have way too high brightness in 2D mode anyway, so the reduction isn’t that bad, it actually brings the level of brightness closer to the level that won’t tire your eyes that much over a long periods of use… and you have no motion blur anymore.

And if you are not using 3D Vision and only have a 3D Vision-capable display, but no integrated IR emitter or an external one you would have to resort to using and EDID INF override driver to make the Nvidia drivers think that you actually have a compatible 3D monitor with full support for 3D Vision. This actually makes the ASUS VG248QE, ASUS VG278HE, BENQ XL2420T or BENQ XL2411T 120Hz capable monitors a lot more interesting for people that are willing to be able to play games in 120Hz 2D mode and don’t care much about stereoscopic 3D gaming. The reason you need to trick the video drivers you have 3D Vision is that the Lightboost technology has been developed for use in stereoscopic 3D gaming, and though it can also benefit people playing in 2D, probably nobody though about that at the time is has been developed. So without the drivers thinking you have support for 3D Vision (even if you don’t actually have IR emitter) you can still enable Lightboost in 2D mode.

You can take a look at Mark Rejhon’s blog for some more details on the topic…

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Chris K. // Jan 29, 2013 at 16:31

    Excellent analysis, makes LCD panel technology functional for 3D!

  • 2 blkmnky // Jan 30, 2013 at 04:14

    I’ve seen that after 3d gaming the desktop will stay in 3d mode but how is it possible to remain in 3d mode and play in 2d while gaming. Doesn’t the game just pop back into 3d mode?

  • 3 blkmnky // Jan 30, 2013 at 04:18

    I’m using nvidia 310.90 windows 8 and I don’t see the options anymore to force the monitor to stay in 3d. Anyone with Windows 7 can comment on what it’s like? Can i do this through NvidiaInspector?

  • 4 Bloody // Jan 30, 2013 at 13:46

    Just hit CTRL+T, the key combination used to toggle 3D Vision on and off in a game. The idea is that even though you turn off the 3D Vision to show stereoscopic 3D image, the monitor still remains with Lightboost enabled, so that if you hit CTRL+T again it can immediately restore the stereoscopic 3D image. This allows you to easily switch in stereo 3D mode without having to restart the game, though there is a slight performance hit when playing in 2D mode as 3D Vision is still loaded. If you want to get maximum performance you can disable the stereoscopic 3D option from the Control Panel after previously setting 3D mode to be always on, but this is more suitable for gamers that are mostly going to be playing in 2D mode and not in stereoscopic 3D mode as you will need to constantly enable/disable it from there when you want to play in stereo 3D and in 2D.

  • 5 Swolern // Jan 30, 2013 at 13:50

    Im using 2d Lightboost on my VG278H and im shocked on the clarity during motion. Such an advantage in multiplayer gameplay. I will not game in 2d without this enabled again.

    After you get 3d enabled, apply 3d to always on, then disabled 3d in nvidia control panel. Need more help, ask here: http://www.overclock.net/t/1339384/zero-motion-blur-lcd-nvidia-lightboost2-hack-looks-like-crt-looks-like-480hz

  • 6 blkmnky // Jan 30, 2013 at 14:57

    Swolern – The “apply 3d to always on” dropdown menu isn’t available in my NVCP (Windows 8, Nvidia 310.90). Turns out I can force “stereo – enable” through NVInspector though. That link is perfect, answers all my questions.

    Bloody – I read the forum post by mdrejhon more than a week ago. Didn’t bother to try it and I wouldn’t have. Thanks for not letting it go. Just launched Skyrim and the fire in the firepit is moving so fast it’s unreal.

  • 7 djnforce9 // Jan 30, 2013 at 23:30

    The only problem with using lightboost at least on the VG278H (which is what I have), the brightness is reduced as well as the monitor will be in “3D Mode”.

  • 8 bubba // Feb 27, 2013 at 02:14

    cant seem to tick on stereoscopic 3d without it going to the nvidia wizard setup once i tick the box. without glasses it fails. i am on win 7 32bit so maybe reg file isn’t good for that version?

    Asus VG248QE monitor and 570 nvidia card. thx for any help.

  • 9 Bloody // Feb 27, 2013 at 02:34

    “And if you are not using 3D Vision and only have a 3D Vision-capable display, but no integrated IR emitter or an external one you would have to resort to using and EDID INF override driver to make the Nvidia drivers think that you actually have a compatible 3D monitor with full support for 3D Vision.”

    Install the VG278H EDID Override driver from here:

  • 10 DrR1pper // May 29, 2013 at 18:41

    Hi guys,

    I have the VG278h display and i can run games in 2D with lighboost enabled, however i can’t seem to get the 2D lightboost to work in games after un-selecting “Enable stereoscopic 3D” and clicking apply. Immediately after un-clicking and applything the lightboost does stay enabled on the desktop until i load a game up and then it reverts back to non-lightboost mode. Strange thing is if i then quit the game and go back to the desktop, it’s in 2D lightboost mode.

    I tried this with the non VG278h approach of the registry tweak for the IR emitter and the VG278h override ini…no luck.

    Does anyone have a solution please?

    I really want to enabled the lightboost without having to go through the 3D drivers mode as it adds an fps loss (albeit a relatively small percentage fps loss but can be significant if you play on very high gfx settings).

    Thanks in advance.

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