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Test System & Gaming Experiences

Wall-Sized 3D Displays: The Ultimate Gaming Room
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System Hardware
Processor(s) Intel Core 2 Duo e4300
1.8 GHz, 2 MB L2 Cache
Platform Biostar T-Force 965PT (socket 775)
Intel 965 chipset, BIOS vP96CA103BS
RAM Patriot Signature Line
1x 1024 MB PC2-6400 (CL5-5-5-16)
Hard Drive Western Digital WD1200JB
120 GB, 7,200 RPM, 8 MB cache, UltraATA/100
Networking On-board 1 Gigabit Ethernet
Graphics Card Sparkle 7900 GS SF-HPX76GDH (PCIe)
256 MB GDDR3
Power Supply Koolance 1200 W
System Software & Drivers
OS Microsoft Windows XP Professional 5.10.2600, Service Pack 2
DirectX Version 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
Graphics Driver Nvidia Forceware 93.71 and stereoscopic beta 93.71 drivers

As you can see, our test system uses a relatively low-end processor and midrange graphics card. This is no top-of-the-line system, so it is certainly within the reach of the average PC gamer.

We can't really benchmark any games with our projector system, but we can relay our gaming experiences to you.

General Experiences

As discussed previously, the projector will probably limit your ability to game at high resolutions, unless you can afford an expensive one. Our projector has a native resolution of 1024x768, which is a bit on the low end of the scale, especially for video that will be blown up to the size of your living room wall. Is there anything we can do about that?

The first thing that comes to mind would be antialiasing. Unfortunately, this feature causes a colossal performance hit in stereoscopic mode. Even 2xAA will make many titles so choppy that they're unplayable, so it's not an option.

The best solution to get around the lower resolution limitation is to let your projector downsize a higher-resolution image signal. For example, our EP719 projector has a native resolution of 1024x768, but it can handle an input signal as high as 1400x1050 - it simply interpolates the signal down to it's native 1024x768 resolution. The result is that the interpolated 1024x768 image output by the projector appears antialiased.

In practice, this method has a harsh flaw, because higher resolutions are usually limited to lower refresh rates. For example, our EP719 projector can take a 1024x768 signal at 85 Hz, but it can only take a 1280x1024 signal at 75 Hz. It's up to you to decide if the higher image quality is worth the lower refresh rate. We often found we very much preferred 1024x768 at 85 Hz, because it's easier on the eyes.

With this in mind, make sure that you set the refresh rate to the maximum your projector will allow at that resolution. Don't exceed the refresh rate beyond what your projector is rated for, however, as this might even damage it!

Other than resolution and refresh rates, the only complaint we have about our 3D projector is that the color reproduction frequently appeared slightly different from each eye. We're not sure what causes this effect, but it is a relatively minor annoyance and certainly didn't prevent us from enjoying our wall-sized 3D experience.

One thing we had to tailor on a game-by-game basis was the stereo separation, decreasing it in-game by pressing Ctrl-F3, and increasing it with Ctrl-F4. Because the glasses would darken the resulting image, we often increased the gamma with Ctrl-G as well.

Those are the general notes, now let's get to the nitty-gritty: individual games.

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