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Test System And Benchmarks

Build Your Own: Wall-Sized 3D Gaming, Just Like Theaters Do It
By

For the purposes of this article, we're using a Core 2 Duo E7200-based system. Yes, the CPU is an older processor, but it's a cool-running component and a good representation of a chip that someone might use in a home theater PC.

As for graphics cards, we're testing both a Radeon HD 4890 and GeForce GTX 260. These are powerful graphics cards, but are probably the minimum you'd want to use when it comes to 3D gaming because performance takes a big hit in stereoscopic 3D mode. Also remember that dual outputs are necessary because you need to use one for each projector.

We'd like to show you how these games look in 3D and we're offering a way to experience the 3D depth without spending any cash on a 3D monitor. It is called “cross viewing.” The image on the left is for your right eye and the image on the right is for your left eye. A good trick to use is to hold your finger about halfway to the screen in front of the images you are trying to cross view. Focus your eyes on your finger and move your finger towards or away from the screen until there appears to be three identically sized images behind it instead of two. Then, shift your focus to the center image and move your finger out of the way. If done properly you will see what appears to be three images: a clear 3D image in the center and blurry 2D images on each side. For some people it is easier to accomplish this by increasing the distance between your eyes and the monitor. Not everyone will have success with cross viewing, but it is a nice option for folks who can experience it.

This is a crossview 3D image. Follow the instructions above to view it in 3D, and click on it for a larger version.This is a crossview 3D image. Follow the instructions above to view it in 3D, and click on it for a larger version.

To get a better view, click on the cross view image for a pop-up window that features a larger version.

For viewers who can't wrap their eyes around cross viewing, these images can still be used to point out any anomalies between right- and left-perspective views.


3D Test System
CPU

Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 (Wolfdale), 2.53 GHz, 3MB Shared L2 Cache; Overclocked to 2.61 GHz @ 275 MHz Front Side Bus

Motherboard

Asus P5N7A-VM
nForce 730i, BIOS 512

Networking
Onboard Gigabit LAN controller
Memory

Kingston PC2-6400
  2 x 2,048MB, 330 MHz, CL 5-5-5-15-2T

Graphics

ATI Radeon HD 4890 Reference
850 MHz Core, 975 MHz Memory, 1GB GDDR5

Asus GeForce ENGTX260 Matrix
576 MHz Core, 1,242 MHz Shaders, 999 MHz Memory, 796MB GDDR3

Hard Drive

Western Digital Caviar WD50 00AAJS-00YFA
500GB, 7,200 RPM, 8MB cache, SATA 3.0 Gb/s

Power

Thermaltake Toughpower 1,200W
1,200 W, ATX 12V 2.2, EPS 12v 2.91

Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit, SP2
DirectX versionDirectX 10
Graphics Drivers

AMD Catalyst 10.2, Nvidia GeForce 196.21

Benchmark Configuration

3D Games

Crysis

Patch 1.2.1, DirectX 9, Medium Settings

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Version 1.0.0, Highest Settings, 4x AA
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box

Highest Details, 8xMSAA, SSAO off

Left 4 Dead

Version 1.0.1.5; Highest Settings, 4x AA

Dungeons and Dragons Online

Version 1.11.0.8125; Ultra-High Details, DirectX 9, 4xAA

Star Trek Online

Version 2010.03.22.11.32; Recommended Quality, 4x AA

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    MiamiU , March 30, 2010 6:32 AM
    seems like being a hardcore gamer just keeps getting more and more expensive...
  • 23 Hide
    Icehearted , March 30, 2010 6:56 AM
    As for poor folk like me, we'll just settle for those still images where we cross our eyes, and cry because $2,565 is far away from "comfortable".
  • 12 Hide
    salgado18 , March 30, 2010 1:11 PM
    I don't know if it would be possible, but it would sure be AWESOME to see some of those games on a short gif animation in "fake" 3D! Please! (a video review would be great too!) :D 

    PLEASE people, vote me up! If you do they'll try it!
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    MiamiU , March 30, 2010 6:32 AM
    seems like being a hardcore gamer just keeps getting more and more expensive...
  • 23 Hide
    Icehearted , March 30, 2010 6:56 AM
    As for poor folk like me, we'll just settle for those still images where we cross our eyes, and cry because $2,565 is far away from "comfortable".
  • -3 Hide
    winner4455 , March 30, 2010 7:29 AM
    I can see this becoming main stream and the next few years... In 3d too.
  • 6 Hide
    tigerwraith , March 30, 2010 7:59 AM
    2.6k now but you know things like this keep getting cheaper and cheaper. Maybe by this time next year, the 1080p 2600 lumens will drop to 500, and the drivers will better support dual projector setups.
  • -4 Hide
    tigerwraith , March 30, 2010 8:09 AM
    But I do have a question would of mattered if you used LCD projectors?
  • 0 Hide
    gti88 , March 30, 2010 9:40 AM
    Great article! Thanx a lot.
    But as I can see, 3D stereo is not there yet.
    Almost no movies are available at 3DS, and game developers don't focus on stereo optimisation. Thus, we have some glitches and inconveniences.
  • 1 Hide
    pojih , March 30, 2010 9:59 AM
    ahh, something else to cost an arm and a leg...

    not saying that many people here don't want the fastest and most expensive....

    but it was clearly shown that many people looking at this site want something that performs for what it costs, as seen by the fermi release and the comments .....
  • 2 Hide
    skora , March 30, 2010 10:24 AM
    Whats the next price bracket up for a projector with higher res?

    I like the idea of dual projectors better than the alt-image standard, but they didn't ask me.

    Here's a wild thought, soon, everyone will have their own glasses that not only do the shutter for 3D, but will also be able to be personal monitors. Connect to any computer/phone/TV with your glasses. Displays might even become unnecessary. That will be the next wireless mainstream device. The iShades. Phone, mobile pc and display, earbud is right there. Have pants that have built in keyboard. We'll all just be sitting there with our shades on and never see the person next to us as we get lost in the cloud. And it all starts with 3D glasses. :p 
  • -1 Hide
    djab , March 30, 2010 10:31 AM
    IceheartedAs for poor folk like me, we'll just settle for those still images where we cross our eyes, and cry because $2,565 is far away from "comfortable".


    No, you can at least use red/cyan paper glasses with iz3d drivers and a normal display.
    That is not that bad!
  • 0 Hide
    manitoublack , March 30, 2010 11:05 AM
    Great article, and no doubt people ask you: "why have you got 2 projectors?" The only trouble with polarized setups is that you cant view 3D laying down, eg: Lounge Lizard style, which you can do with shutter glasses (however uncomfortable that may be.)

    Still though, for $2,500USD you've built a pretty mad setup. To those winging about price, deal with it, if you want the best you've got to be prepared to buy the best. I'd suspect that a WUXGA setup would be in the $5-6,000 range using the projectors you'd want. Well worth the buy-in price. I hope for your sake (if you payed for it, not Tomshardware) that it is compatible with yet-to-be-released BR3D.

  • 0 Hide
    mjello , March 30, 2010 11:17 AM
    manitoublackGreat article, and no doubt people ask you: "why have you got 2 projectors?" The only trouble with polarized setups is that you cant view 3D laying down, eg: Lounge Lizard style, which you can do with shutter glasses (however uncomfortable that may be.)Still though, for $2,500USD you've built a pretty mad setup. To those winging about price, deal with it, if you want the best you've got to be prepared to buy the best. I'd suspect that a WUXGA setup would be in the $5-6,000 range using the projectors you'd want. Well worth the buy-in price. I hope for your sake (if you payed for it, not Tomshardware) that it is compatible with yet-to-be-released BR3D.


    Samsung display dont work lying down
  • -4 Hide
    idisarmu , March 30, 2010 11:27 AM
    What's wrong with the old school red-green glasses? It seems like a much cheaper and convenient solution. I would hate having to recharge glasses, let alone wear them if they're going to be heavier than normal.
  • -4 Hide
    d70guy , March 30, 2010 11:27 AM
    There are a lot of issues with this. The lack of resolution, difference in brightness of the images over time (no two bulbs are identical), the less than ideal projection surface, the fact that all bluray titles will be 1080p for each eye, etc.. I mean, this *is* a fun toy, but not for a serious gamer, and not for an even semi-serious home theater person. It is strictly for someone with the money to blow on a toy.
  • 0 Hide
    d70guy , March 30, 2010 11:34 AM
    idisarmuWhat's wrong with the old school red-green glasses? It seems like a much cheaper and convenient solution. I would hate having to recharge glasses, let alone wear them if they're going to be heavier than normal.


    Red blue glasses are the worst case 3D experience. Both polarized and shutter glasses are 10 times better at delivering a realistic 3D experience. The anaglyph (red/blue separation of the image distorts the color of the image, and even with high quality (eyeglass quality) red/blue glass lenses the overall effect is that of a poor quality experience. Shutter glasses these days are not that heavy, and its not like you are going to be wearing them for the length of the movie. It really doesn't factor in. Personally, I will take the shutter glasses. They block light much better thereby eliminating the ghosting issues associated with the polarized lenses. I say this as someone who has worked with linear, circular, and shutter technology since the late 1980s.
  • 1 Hide
    Artman256 , March 30, 2010 12:21 PM
    From the dual projector page - "the filters polarize the light across a plane". This is not entirely true, old systems did that, but modern systems use circular polarization, which avoids the problems caused by tilting your head.
  • 1 Hide
    JohnnyLucky , March 30, 2010 12:21 PM
    This is going to be very expensive.
  • 12 Hide
    salgado18 , March 30, 2010 1:11 PM
    I don't know if it would be possible, but it would sure be AWESOME to see some of those games on a short gif animation in "fake" 3D! Please! (a video review would be great too!) :D 

    PLEASE people, vote me up! If you do they'll try it!
  • 5 Hide
    pluripotent , March 30, 2010 1:23 PM
    But Don! I'z only gotz one eye!
  • 2 Hide
    Rehnquist- , March 30, 2010 1:53 PM
    Why on earth are all the screenshots scaled down to such a low resolution?
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