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NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision review

Bringing 3D to Your Homes - NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision

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How Does It Work?

How Does It Work?

NVIDIA's GeForce 3D Vision works using the principle of stereoscopy by creating the illusion of depth by presenting two different images to the eye. But unlike the 3D experience of old, which uses primitive red-blue anaglyph glasses, this new GeForce 3D Vision does it with an ultra-high 120Hz LCD monitor and special glasses provided by NVIDIA that use active shutter technology to enable stereoscopic 3D experience. The retail kit itself comes only with the special wireless glasses, a USB IR emitter and the necessary cables.

Let's talk about the screen first, since it is the main vehicle used to present images to the eye. The important thing to note here is that the GeForce 3D Vision requires a screen with a minimum refresh rate of 120Hz to work. A refresh rate of 120Hz is crucial because working in tandem with the special glasses provided by NVIDIA, the lens of the special glasses rapidly 'open and close' at 60Hz, alternating between the left and right sides to present slightly different images to each eye. And it is because of this that we perceive the objects on the screen to be in 3D. Therefore anything lower than 120Hz would be too slow, causing the image to look as if it was flickering. Also take caution that you'll require a Dual-Link DVI cable to support 120Hz input. Fortunately, to help you pick the right display for the job, NVIDIA recommends buyers to look for the GeForce 3D Vision Ready logo when shopping for a compatible display.

Currently, only Samsung's SyncMaster 2233RZ and ViewSonic FuHzion VX2265wm LCD displays fit the criteria of supporting a 120Hz refresh rate at their native resolution. You can also go with analog CRTs as long as they can do 120Hz refresh rate. For higher-end consumers, Mitsubishi's range of 1080p DLP Home Theater TVs also fit the bill. However note that several other new HDTVs can support '120Hz mode', but this is not supported by the NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision kit. These LCD TV's actually only accept the standard 1080/60p or 1080/24p input but use their internal processor to add additional frames to recreate a 120Hz internal refresh rate. The GeForce 3D Vision kit requires LCDs that can accept a 120Hz refresh rate input over Dual-Link DVI.

As for graphics cards, GeForce 3D Vision is supported on any GeForce 8 series graphics card that is a 8800 GT and above; any GeForce 9 series graphics card that is a 9600 GT or higher; and all GTX 200 cards. And amazingly, GeForce 3D Vision will work on over 350 games right out of the box (with varying degrees of effectiveness, of course), without the need for any major patches or game updates.

Right now, 3D Vision support is only for games and stereoscopic videos. Support for 3D photos is said to be in the works and will be available in the near future via driver updates. Also, take note that compatibility between games can vary significantly. For example, Left 4 Dead and Far Cry 2 are rated "Excellent", whereas Crysis was rated only "Good". We'll elaborate more on this later.