If you’re itching to experience the new wave of 3D, then the computer you’re using may be the best place to start because you can begin immediately if you have the right kit. nVidia, the graphic card guys, have released their nVidia 3D Vision gaming system.
Basically, the “3D vision” kit from nVidia is a box containing special 3D glasses which work on the LCD active shutter technology, a dual-link DVI cable, a USB charger for the 3D glasses and an infrared transmitter. The NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision Glasses box retails for about £100 from Amazon.co.uk.
But, before you get that box of tricks, you may want to consider that you’ll need a powerful monitor capable of refreshing the screen at 120 Hz, so that each eye gets its own image at 60Hz. At the moment, there are only two monitors in the UK that can do the job (Viewsonic VX2265wm and the Samsung SM2233RZ 22″), so it’s a fair bet that you’ll need one.
If you click this link you can get the nVidia 3D vision box AND the Samsung display as a bundle, just click the “Add Both To Basket” button on the page after it loads. Both together costs £353.25.
If you have an old computer, you’ll need to check whether or not it can handle the processing power required for 3D. You’ll need at least a 9600GT or equivalent with a dual-link DVI output.
When you’re happy that you have a 3D-compatible monitor, a graphics card with enough grunt, and the fancy 3D specs and transmitter from nVidia, it’s just a case of charging up the glasses using the supplied USB charger and running through the installation of the driver and configuration process. It’s not tricky, but the effect of the glasses does dim the display somewhat, so reach for the monitor’s brightness settings and boost them if you deem it necessary.
When you have everything set up, the effect is stunning. It’s not like, “woah, the bullet will come out of the screen and hit me”, like the cinematic effects, but more like looking into a 3D world within your monitor. On the immersion scale, it’s up there with “freaking cool”!
Nvidia themselves keep an up-to-date list of games which work with 3D, along with a rating system, which is useful. Most games, as far as I know, are coded to use the Z axis as well as X and Y, so the information is already there for the 3D processing to work with. The list of “excellent” and “good” 3D compatible games, at close to 400 titles, should be enough to satisfy most avid gamers. The only problem, is that some of the menu’s can float about awkwardly in 3D mode, but that’s a small concern relative to the immersion you get from the 3D experience.
A video review of the nVidia 3D Vision kit with a demonstration. Check out the woman’s reaction at 6 minutes, 10 seconds. That’s the closest anyone can get to describing the 3D effect to someone else!
A second review of Nvidia’s 3D vision system…