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Test Systems And Benchmarks

Blu-ray 3D On The PC: The Tom's Hardware Review

We were sent two very different test platforms for our exploration of Blu-ray 3D: a laptop and a home-theater PC. Let's start with the laptop:

The laptop appears to be a variant of Asus' G51J-3D. It employs an Intel Core i7-720QM processor and 8GB of RAM, and sports a GeForce GTS 360M with 1GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory for graphics. The 15.6" display isn't full 1080p HD, but instead features a 1366x768 native resolution, which is a little better than 720p. Regardless, it provides a great picture and fantastic 3D effects for a portable PC. Rumor has it that the final model will feature Blu-ray 3D compatibility from the factory, in addition to an integrated 3D Vision IR emitter.

The home-theater PC is a custom-built Maingear system intended for demonstrating Blu-ray 3D and 3D Vision. The platform is decidedly entry-level, as far as processing and graphics muscle are concerned. Maingear goes the quiet, energy-efficient route with a dual-core Pentium G6950 and GeForce GT 240 GPU. Of course, the GT 240 is the least-expensive and least-powerful graphics card on Nvidia's list of desktop GPUs that support Blu-ray 3D playback. Because we're interested in this GPU's fixed-function video decode logic, however, it's on equal footing with the higher-end GeForce GTX 480 and 470 graphics cards.

The display is an Acer GD235HZ, a 3D Vision-ready 23.6" LCD monitor with a native 1920x1080 resolution and an HDCP-compliant DVI input. This monitor can be found for about $380 online.

The Blu-ray 3D disc we use for testing is one of the only discs available for the budding new format: Monsters vs Aliens 3D. It is not a bad flick, with lots of laughs for the adults as well as the kids. Seth Rogen rocks.

For our objective testing, we ran Blu-ray 3D on our own test systems:

Athlon II Test System
Core i7 Test System

AMD Athlon II X3 440 (Deneb)
3.0 GHz, FSB-200 MHz
(forth core unlocked for some tests)

Intel Core i7-920 (Nehalem)
2.67 GHz, QPI-4200, 8MB Cache


Gigabyte GA-MA790XT-UD4P

ASRock X58 SuperComputer
Intel X58, BIOS P1.90

Onboard Gigabit LAN controller

Onboard Gigabit LAN controller


Mushkin PC3-10700
 4GB Dual-Channel 2 x 2,048MB,
DDR3-1340, CL 9-9-9-24-1T

Kingston PC3-10700
3GB Triple-Channel 3 x 1,024MB,
DDR3-1066, CL 8-8-8-19-1T


Zotac GeForce GT 240
600 MHz GPU, 1460 MHz shaders, 1GB GDDR5 RAM at 1,000 MHz

Asus GeForce ENGTX260 Matrix
576 MHz GPU, 1242 MHz shaders, 896MB GDDR3 RAM at 999 MHz

*all clock rates have been set to reference specifications for the purpose of benchmarking

Hard Drive

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


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

Software and Drivers
Operating System
Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit
DirectX versionDirectX 10
Graphics DriversNvidia GeForce 257.01
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