3D Vision Blog

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

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Doom 3 BFG Edition is Out Now with Stereoscopic 3D Support

October 16th, 2012 · 54 Comments · Stereo 3D Games

Today the remastered version of the original Doom 3 game has been released in the form of Doom 3 BFG Edition or at least in North America with Europe launch following on October 19th. And aside from the slightly improved graphics, audio and the extra levels the BFG Edition also comes with native stereoscopic 3D support built in (it includes 3D support on consoles as well). The game supports Side by Side (Full and Half SbS) as well as Over/Under and Interlaced (Row-Interlaced/Interleaved) output modes for 3D HDTVs, both active and passive as well as Quad Buffer output mode that works fine with Nvidia’s 3D Vision (the game uses OpenGL-based engine), but you should count Doom 3 BFG as an exclusion and not expect that other OpenGL games will work as well from now on with 3D Vision.

In the case of 3D Vision, as already mentioned the game uses native stereoscopic 3D rendering and only the output goes through 3D Vision, so the normal hotkeys and controls will not work. You need to enable the Quad Buffer 3D mode from the game’s settings menu in order to activate the stereoscopic 3D rendering for 3D Vision (you should also have the latest 306.97 WHQL drivers installed), the level of depth is being controller also though the 3D Options menu in Settings by using the Viewing Offset slider. If you are having trouble activating the stereo 3D mode with 3D Vision make sure you are running the game at a resolution with 120Hz refresh rate and you have activated Vsync in the game settings.

The 3D Vision profile is rated as Excellent, but the game looks a bit too flat by default for my personal preferences and there is of course no convergence adjustment present in the menu. And while the game does look quite good in stereo 3D mode on 3D Vision, worth playing to refresh the memory of the original Doom 3, it is not that immersive, so I’m more interested to see how it will look when played in stereo 3D mode with the Oculus Rift, but will have to wait until the next month for that (hopefully).

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New GeForce 306.97, Windows 8 WHQL-Certified Drivers Released

October 10th, 2012 · 30 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Nvidia has just released a new video driver version – GeForce 306.97 and what is interesting about this release is that it is also Windows 8 WHQL-certified driver, it will of course also work for Windows 7 and Vista users. The new Windows 8 OS launches later this month on October 26th, so it is almost here and while waiting to see how will Windows 8 influence stereo 3D with its native stereoscopic 3D support we can take a look at what these new drivers bring for stereoscopic 3D gamers using 3D Vision. Aside from official support for the just launched GeForce GTX 650 Ti Kepler GPU and the WHQL status the new driver brings mostly updates for 3D Vision profiles.

Updated 3D Vision profiles for the following PC games:

– Check vs. Mate – Rated Excellent
– Counter-Strike: Global Offensive – Rated Good
– Doom 3: BFG Edition – Rated Excellent
– F1 2012 – Rated Good
– Iron Brigade – Rated Fair
– Jagged Alliance: Crossfire – Rated Good
– Orcs Must Die 2! – Rated Good
– Planetside 2 – Rated Not Recommended
– Prototype 2 – Rated Poor
– Sleeping Dogs – Rated Good
– Spec Ops: The Line – Rated Good
– Tiny Troopers – Rated Fair
– Torchlight 2 – Rated Good
– Transformers: Fall of Cybertron – Rated Fair

The most notable thing here is the Excellent rating that the upcoming Doom 3: BFG Edition has received, especially considering the fact that the game should be using an OpenGL-based game engine… and it would be playable on 3D Vision (guess how). There are a few more days until the official release of Doom 3: BFG Edition, it is expected on October 16th in North America and in Europe on October 19th.

Doom 3: BFG Edition is the first game announced to come with support for the Oculus Rift 3D VR headset, the first development kits of which are expected to start shipping some time in November/December. On a side note I just got a request to enter my shipping address for the early DIY Dev kits of the Rift scheduled to be sent to backers of the Kickstarter project sometime in November, so apparently things at Oculus are progressing well.

To download the latest Nvidia GeForce 306.97 WHQL-certified video drivers…

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The Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 Ti GPU is Out Now, Great for 720p S3D

October 9th, 2012 · 5 Comments · GeForce 3D Vision

Nvidia continues to introduce new graphics chips from its Kepler lineup and after the top models are all already on the market it is time to also fill up the middle and lower range of products, and here comes the GeForce GTX 650 Ti. Not too long ago the company has introduced the 660 Ti and it instantly became my minimum must have GPU for gaming in stereo 3D mode at Full HD resolution, so the big question now is where the 650 Ti should be situated. Nvidia positions the GTX 650 Ti as a card for gamers with more limited budget that want to be able to play at 1920×1080 or 1920×1200 resolution with medium to high graphics details, but without pushing for the maximum ultra details and going for high AA settings. And if that is true for 2D gaming, then you should not expect the card to be able to perform great at Full HD resolution in stereoscopic 3D mode, sure you should still be able to play in that resolution, but you’ll have to go for lower detail levels. So instead of trying to push the GTX 650 Ti to the limits at 1080p resolution in stereo 3D mode I’ve decided to test how good the card will perform in 720p resolution in stereo 3D mode. I have the feeling this graphic processor would be a great choice for stereoscopic 3D gamers that are using 3D projectors or 3D HDTVs to play games in 3D mode and there 720p is the typical resolution. Of course the goal would be 720p resolution with some AA and the maximum detail levels, so that the player would not be bothered by the lower resolution being used. But before doing some tests let us see what are the specifications of the GeForce GTX 650 Ti…

Specifications of GeForce GTX 650 Ti:

CUDA Cores – 768 +576
Graphics Clock – 925 MHz +25
Texture Fill Rate – 59.2 GigaTexels/sec +30.4
Standard Memory Configuration – 1024 MB GDDR5
Memory Interface Width – 128-bit -64
Memory Clock – 2700 MHz (5400 MHz effective) +650 (1300)
Memory Bandwidth – 86.4 GB/sec -12
Texture Units (TMU) – 64 +32
Raster Operator Units (ROP) – 16 -8
Power connectors – 1x 6-pin PEG
Power consumption – 110W TDP -6
GPU Thermal Threshold – 98 degrees Celsius -2

* The numbers in red and green represent the upgrade or downgrade of the specific parameter in the GTX 650 Ti as compared to the GTX 550 1GB!

So the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is in overall a good successor for the GTX 550 Ti in terms of specifications and it should be offering a good performance increase as well, though according to Nvidia the people that should upgrade their GPU to the 650 Ti are probably the ones that are still using cards such as GeForce 9600 GT. And when talking about the competition, the GTX 650 Ti should be fighting with AMD’s Radeon HD 7770, but this goes as far as playing games in 2D, so what about stereoscopic 3D gaming?

The benchmark results above were achieved on a mid-range computer – MSI P55 motherboard, Intel Core i5 750 processor, 4GB RAM and Windows 7 64-bit, together with a reference GTX 650 Ti graphics card all of which were not overclocked. They games were ran at 1280×720 resolution in stereoscopic 3D mode with no AA, but the good thing about using AA filtering at 720p resolution is that it is really not as taxing as on 1080p resolution in terms of performance. So activating 4xAA in most games like the ones listed in the table only brings down the average FPS with something like 3-5 frames, and using 2xAA or 4xAA can really help in improving the visual quality at that resolution. So as expected, the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is a great card for more budget oriented stereoscopic 3D gamers that want to be able to play in stereo 3D mode on their 3D HDTV or 3D-capable projector at 720p resolution. If you want to be able to enjoy games in stereoscopic 3D mode on a 3D monitor at 1080p resolution you should consider going at least for GeForce GTX 660 Ti in order to get a good experience. On the other hand the GeForce GTX 650 Ti does perform quite well in Full HD resolution in most games if you don’t want to play them in stereoscopic 3D mode, and you can do that as well on a 3D HDTV, though with a 3D projector not all models that support 720p 3D mode do support 1080p in 2D as well.

So in the end the GeForce GTX 650 Ti is a nice card that you can get for $159 USD and be able to get good experience playing in 1080p in 2D mode or 720p in stereoscopic 3D mode. The card is small, does not consume a lot of energy, the cooling is silent and at the same time you get good performance out of it – a perfect combination for the not so demanding gamers or the ones with a more limited budget that cannot afford or just don’t need to buy the top models. Well done Nvidia.

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