3D Vision Blog

A normal user's look into the world of 3D Stereo Technologies

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Toshiba Qosmio X870 3D-capable Gaming Laptop Coming Soon

March 14th, 2012 · No Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Toshiba has announced an upcoming 17.3-inch gaming laptop in the form of Qosmio X870 that will be equipped with a 120Hz LCD panel and support Nvidia’s 3D Vision technology. What is interesting about this announcement is the fact that Toshiba does not yet announce what kind of GPU the laptop will have inside, they just say “Next generation NVIDIA GPUs”, neither they say what will be the CPU inside, just “Latest Intel processors”. This information, along with the fact that the Toshiba Qosmio X870 should be available from Q2 2012 means just one thing, this laptop should most likely be getting the much anticipated and rumored a lot mobile Kepler graphics along with Intel’s new Ivy Bridge mobile platform…

Toshiba Qosmio X870 details:

– Latest Intel processors
– Next generation NVIDIA GPUs
– 17.3″ (43.9cm) TruBrite Full HD screen with LED backlighting (1920x1080p, 16:9, 5ms response time)
– Up to 2TB hard drive or hybrid drive SSD option
– Optional Blu-ray ROM or DVD SuperMulti drives
– Resolution+ upscaling technology
– 4x USB 3.0 including 2x Sleep-and-Charge USB
– HDMI, RGB connectivity
– Gigabit Ethernet LAN
– Bluetooth 4.0
– Dedicated headphone port & microphone port with Sleep-and-Music
– Full HD web camera with Face Recognition
– Red backlit tiled keyboard
– Large clickpad with multi-touch control
– Harman Kardon stereo speakers with Slip Stream technology, SRS Premium Sound 3D

And apart from using a 120Hz Full HD LCD panel, bundles with 3D Vision active shutter glasses, the new mobile gaming solution from Toshiba should also come with HDMI 1.4 support for use with 3D HDTVs and 2D to 3D conversion functionality for DVD movies. It has not been yet revealed if the Toshiba Qosmio X870 laptop will feature a second generation of 3D Vision glasses and if the display will be supporting the 3D Lightboost technology. And considering the fact that Toshiba did not actually have a lot to say about the most important specs of the laptop you’d think that they should’ve at least used the opportunity to talk about these features. So we’ll have to wait for the official release of the laptop to get the full details and meanwhile I’m still wondering what did Toshiba tell us all with this announcement, aside from the fact that they plan to release a new 3D Vision-ready gaming laptop… not much actually.

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Review of the Asus G53SX 3D Gaming Laptop with Nvidia 3D Vision

November 13th, 2011 · 7 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Earlier this year I was able to do a quick test of the stereo 3D performance of the 17-inch Asus G73JW ROG 3D gaming laptop and recently I’ve had the chance to do a quick test of the smaller 15.6-inch Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop. The unit I’ve got for testing has tuned out to be with GeForce GTX 460M video card and the currently available on the market version of this laptop comes with the slightly faster and newer GTX 560M. Also have in mind that not all versions of Asus G53SX come with a 3D display and 3D Vision active shutter glasses, there are versions with 2D only Full HD displays, so be careful not to mistake them. Also have in mind the fact that the Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop comes bundled with 3D Vision and not the latest 3D Vision 2 active shutter glasses and that the 3D display built into this laptop does not support 3D Lightboost technology, so if you are looking for these features in a 3D gaming laptop you should wait a bit more. I was interested in this laptop mostly in order to be able to compare it to the bigger 17-inch model that I’ve tested earlier and to see if the combination of components that Asus have put in this model is more suitable for a 3D gaming solution. Of course measuring the performance in stereoscopic 3D mode as well as the levels of crosstalk/ghosting that the 120Hz display of the laptop produces in stereo 3D mode was another thing that I was very interested in. But let us do things step by step, first going through the basic specifications of the laptop, as I’ve already mentioned the model I’ve got was with a GTX 460M video card and I was expecting i to be with a GTX 560M. The difference is not that big with the newer video card just being slightly faster and all other components are pretty much the same, so you can just expect slightly faster performance with a GTX 560M. Have in mind that the Asus G53SX 3D laptop is not a new model from Asus, it has been available on the market for a while, but I was just able to get a test unit just now.

Basic specifications of Asus G53SX 3D laptop:

– 15.6″ 16:9 HD 3D (1366×768 120Hz) LED Backlight
– Intel Core i7-2630QM Processor (6M Cache, 2.00 GHz, Quad core)
– 8GB (2x 4GB) DDR3 1333 MHz SDRAM Memory
– 500G + 500G 7200R SSH SATA HDD
– 4x Blu-Ray Optical Drive
– Windows 7 64-bit Operating System
– 8 cells, 5200 mAh Battery
– Others: Integrated 802.11 b/g/n, Built-in Bluetooth V2.1+EDR, 10/100/1000 Base T, 4-in-1 card reader ( SD/ MS/ MS Pro/ MS Duo/ MMC), 1x USB 3.0 port, 3x USB 2.0 ports, 1x HDMI
– Size (WxHxD): 39.1×29.7×3.0~6.0 kg
– Weigth: 3.92 kg

Note that this laptop does not rely on Nvidia’s Optimus technology and thus you should not have any possible issues in trying to use the HDMI port of the laptop to connect it to an external 3D monitor (supporting 3D over HDMI 1.4!) or especially 3D HDTV that uses HDMI 1.4 interface with the help of the 3DTV Play software. Also note that you have a Blu-ray optical drive, so you’d be able to directly play Blu-ray 3D movies on the laptop and the overall specifications of the laptop are quite good for a mobile gaming computer. I want to stress especially on the resolution of the LCD display, here it is 1366×768 pixels and not Full HD 1920×1080 and that is actually a good thing and you will see why when I go to the game performance testing later on.

A quick look at the color accuracy of the display of the Asus laptop, quite high brightness of 260 cd/m2, something that is to be expected form a good 3D-capable laptop as in 3D mode the brightness level gets reduced and “shared” in between both eyes of the user. And typical as with most high brightness displays the accuracy of the color reproduction is not that good with the factory settings, not that it matters that much, after all this is a gaming product and not something that you’d use for tasks where colors matter…

You can of course do a color calibration to improve the color accuracy, at the cost of some of the brightness, but since this does not affect the performance or brightness levels in stereo 3D mode it might be worth it. As in stereo 3D mode the brightness level gets maxed out by default and games are rarely designed with perfect color accuracy in mind anyway. The important thing is that calibration with a colorimeter can give you much better color reproduction out of this 3D display should you need it for something.

I’m moving on to the extreme crosstalk test photos with black and white to see how bad the things with ghosting in stereo 3D mode might look in the worst case scenarios, although you probably won’t see them using the laptop normally. As expected there is some crosstalk, not that much with the black, but more apparent with the white test image. And comparing the performance of the Asus G73JW Full HD 3D display to the one of the Asus G53SX the performance is a bit worse here, on the smaller screen. This however was not unexpected from the more affordable and smaller size Asus 3D gaming laptop and from a display used on a 3D-capable mobile computer for that matter, but lets us see how things look in some real world tests for crosstalk/ghosting.

The test with the sailboats 3D video shows that the situation with actual 3D content is actually quite Ok, you can see that there are just some faint shadows “leaking” to the other eye around the sails of the boats. Again slightly more crosstalk as compared to the performance of the 3D display of the Asus G73JW laptop, but much less than what you could see in the extreme crosstalk test photos.

Moving to the testing with the game Tomb Raider: Underworld, there is some crosstalk again… as expected. Again slightly more than shown by the Asus G73JW laptop, but still not bad and the level of crosstalk can easily be tolerated if you lower a bit the depth level as for the needs of the tests I have it set pretty high in order for the level of crosstalk to be easier to see. I can say that the level of the crosstalk/ghosting in stereo 3D mode on the Asus G53SX is pretty much as what I have expected, it did not surprise me either good or bad, but you it wouldn’t hurt if it was better.

The performance in stereo 3D mode of the display of the Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop is not yet at the level offered by my personal favorite in terms of S3D performance and what is still the best mobile 3D display that I’ve tested so far with the Sony VAIO F series 3D multimedia laptop. However Sony’s solution is intended for 3D multimedia use and is not that suitable for gaming and especially for gaming in stereoscopic 3D mode, so apparently you cannot have the best of everything in a single product yet. Not to mention that Sony’s laptop is bigger and more expensive as well, not to mention that the company is not present on the market for mobile computers for gamers at all. The Japanese company only offers mainstream, multimedia and business laptops and the gaming is apparently focused at the consoles and not on the PC market.

Now let me turn your attention back on the GPU and the screen size and resolution that the Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop comes with as this is very important. I’ve already said that the model I’ve received for testing is equipped with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 460M video card with 1.5GB GDDR5 video memory and that the currently available on the market version of the laptop is the same, but with the newer GTX 560M video controller. The GTX 560M is an updated version of the GTX 460M with the same number of stream processors (192), but higher operating frequency of the GPU and more video memory, so you can expect to get something up to about 20% higher performance (in the best case) with 560M as compared to GT 460M. And while the extra performance is always nice to have you can see from the benchmarks below that even the version with 460M is doing quite well in terms of average framerate achieved even in stereo 3D mode, let alone in non-stereoscopic 3D mode. This however is thanks to the 1366×768 resolution display as if the laptop was equipped with a Full HD 3D monitor you’d have to sacrifice extra details and effects in games in order to get good performance in a lot of more demanding and newer games. But let us see some average framerates from a few more recent and demanding games, so that you know what you can expect:

Battlefield 3
– High settings, not the max Ultra
2D: 45 fps
3D: – no 3D support yet, expected with upcoming patch

Call of Duty – Black Ops
– Max details, no AA
2D: 49 fps
3D: 26 fps

Crysis 2
– Gamer system specs
2D: 53 fps
3D: 44 fps

Dirt 3
– High details (not ultra where available), no AA
2D: 73 fps
3D: 37 fps

Duke Nukem Forever
– Мax details, no АА
2D: 55 fps
3D: 31 fps

The Asus G53SX 3D gaming laptop is an interesting and nice solution for gamers looking for more affordable stereo 3D-capable mobile product that offers a good combination of features, performs well and is a more affordable choice. The combination between the lower resolution and the GTX 460M/560M video card is apparently great for a 3D gaming laptop with a display size of 15.6-inch, so Asus have done a great job with this model. So have this in mind the next time when choosing a laptop for gaming in stereo 3D, and don’t go for a Full HD display if it is not backed up with a more powerful and higher-end graphics card. That is of course if you want to have a good experience while playing games in stereo 3D mode, but if it is only for gaming in stereo 3D mode and the mobility is not of high priority then you might as well consider getting a more powerful desktop PC for stereoscopic 3D gaming. The level of crosstalk in stereo 3D mode could’ve been less for a better 3D experience, but is still acceptable and will probably not bother most people that much, apart from the most capricious ones.

You can check the current prices of the Asus G53SX 15.6-inch 3D Gaming Laptop here…

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3D Performance Test of the Acer Aspire 5745DG 3D Vision Laptop

February 15th, 2011 · 2 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

I know that I’m already a bit late with reviewing this 3D-capable laptop from Acer that uses a 120Hz LCD panel and comes bundled with 3D Vision active shutter glasses from Nvidia, but still if you are interested in buying a middle-end 3D-capable mobile computer for multimedia use, then you should take a look. I’m saying 3D multimedia use as this is clearly not a solution that I’d recommend for anyone that wants to be able to play games in stereoscopic 3D mode on it, something, that you will know for yourself after seeing the table with the benchmark results below. The Acer Aspire 5745DG 3D-capable laptop relies on a Nvidia GeForce 425M graphics solution which is a very decent GPU for multimedia use and for not very demanding games in 2D mode (or plain 3D mode), but simply not powerful enough to provide you with a pleasant experience playing newer and more demanding games in stereo 3D mode. But lets take a look at the specifications of the laptop that I’ve tested:

Acer Aspire 5745DG Specifications:

– Display: 15.6″ WXGA (1366×768) HD Ready LED, 120Hz
– CPU: Intel Core i5-460M (2.5GHz, dual-core)
– RAM: 4GB (2x 2048MB) DDR3 1066MHz
– GPU: Nvidia GeForce GT425M 1GB DDR3
– HDD: 750GB SATA 5400rpm
– ODD: Blu-ray combo optical drive
– OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
– Battery: Extended 9-cell battery
– Others: Gigabit LAN and Wireless 802.11b/g/n, 4x USB 2.0, 1.3 Megapixel webcamera, HDMI, VGA, flash card reader, 3D Vision glasses bundled

This model of course has some variations in terms of the configuration, there is an Acer 5745DG with similar, but not exactly the same specifications currently listed for about $999 USD on Amazon, so the system is not as expensive as some higher-end gaming-oriented alternatives that feature 3D support. Notice as well that we do not have a Full HD display, but an HD-ready one and here this is not a drawback, considering the fact that the GPU is not powerful enough for gaming in stereo 3D mode even at the lower resolution, although for playing Blu-ray 3D movies on the screen a 1080p native resolution would’ve been nicer. But still Full HD on a 15.6-inch laptop is also a bit overkill anyway, especially if you consider using the laptop for other things besides for playing back some 3D content. The specifications are decent for a mid-range solution that also features 3D capabilities and the price is just about right for such…

Now let us see how the laptop performs when used for playing games in 2D mode (plain 3D) and in stereoscopic 3D mode. In the table above I have summarized the results from testing the laptop in 8 different recent and popular games that do perform well when played in stereoscopic 3D mode. The first column shows the average framerate achieved in the games when the stereo 3D mode is not active and the second one shows the average framerate when playing the same games in stereo 3D mode. In both cases the games were running in 1366×768 resolution, with the same level of detail (set to medium, not high!), no AA/AF filtering applied and with some additional special effects disabled as well as extras such as PhysX (where supported) disabled. I’ve used three basic colors to make things even more clear when looking at the table, with red meaning uncomfortable to be played, yellow for so-so and green for an framerate that ensures comfortable play. As you can see in 2D mode (plain 2D) all of the games are playable with medium level of details with just a few more demanding where you might need to lower some of the things a bit more than medium, so you can enjoy gaming without the 3D to a decent level on that particular laptop. The situation with the performance in stereoscopic 3D mode is not that good with most games unplayable or on the edge with fewer not so demanding titles still playable. And going to the low detail level in games just in order to be able to play in stereo 3D mode is not something that you should be doing as you will most likely be disappointed by the graphics even though it is in stereo 3D. This is precisely why I say this laptop is not for gamers, but it is still Ok for multimedia 3D use such as movies, photos etc. and if you want to play games then you should do it in 2D mode.

And not for some of the traditional tests I’m doing here in order to see what level of corsstalk/ghosting you can expect from the 3D-capable displays. Starting with the tradition black and white extremes crosstalk test, the results for the black are quite Ok, but for the white the things are not that good. Notice my reflection on the black test photo due to the glossy screen that the laptop users. But pretty much every 3D-capable laptop comes with a glossy display, so you don’t have a choice for that like with the 3D-capable LCD monitors where most are still with matted screens.

The level of ghosting on the sailboats test video is also not that little as I’ve seen on the latest desktop 3D LCD monitors, this situation kind of reminds me of the earlier models from last year. But still a decent result for a laptop that is already a few months old model.

Moving to Tomb Raider Underworld and looking at the top crosstalk the situation is also no a moderate level, something that you can easily enough tolerate if you are using stereoscopic 3D for a while.

The situation at the lower end of the screen is a bit worse than I expected, notice how even the figure of Lara is having slight ghosting. Not that much of color ghosting, but still significant ghosting can be seen at the bottom of the screen when the depth level is pushed to a high level int he game. Of course staying at lower depth levels means that the problem is less apparent, as usual the tests here are kind of pushing things in order to judge the situation in a worst case scenario type of situation. So if in the “bad conditions” the things look good, than they should be even better in a more normal way of use.

The display is quite bright by default for a laptop, with a measured maximum brightness level of 241 cd/m2, but the screen can use some calibration to get better color reproduction as the default one is quite a bit off. The level of the black color is a bit higher at about 0.6 cd/m2 and thus the contrast level of 400:1 is not that high either, but you should not forget that we are talking about a laptop here. And for a laptop with a LED backlight the situation is not that bad, but probably Acer wanted to push the brightness level a bit higher and as a result the black got higher brightness as well and the contrast level also suffered from that. The higher level of ghosting can also be related to that.

So in conclusion, the Acer Aspire 5745DG 3D Vision laptop is a more affordable 3D-capable laptop good for 3D multimedia use, not powerful enough for gaming in stereo 3D, but pretty Ok for not so demanding gaming in 2D mode. The level of crosstalk/ghosting is not that much so that it is intolerable, although it is not as good as you might expect it to be as well. But for the average price of the laptop, not pushing for too high specifications, what you are getting is not such a bad deal if you need to be able to use 3D on the go. And if you are looking for a gaming laptop that can provide you with stereoscopic 3D capabilities and allow you to play games in stereo 3D mode without worrying about the performance, than you probably should consider a powerful 3D-capable desktop solution instead or have a significantly higher budget planned than about $1000 USD.

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