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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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