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Nvidia 3D Vision Surround: Is This The Future Of Gaming?

Benchmark Results: Surround 2D

Though certainly less high-profile than 3D Vision Surround, Nvidia’s 2D Surround technology is a good alternative when games misbehave in 3D mode. In S.T.A.L.K.E.R., we don’t have to use static lighting. We can instead crank up the DirectX 11-class lightning model and enable SSAO for the best possible picture quality in 2D mode. And of course, we can do the same using AMD’s Radeon HD 5870 2GB Eyefinity 6 Edition cards, too.

The performance picture is surprisingly close, but the SLI’ed GeForce cards do take the victory at 4800x900 and 5760x1080.

In 3D Vision Surround mode, Nvidia recommends running Far Cry 2 with a handful of settings that detract from the game’s highest possible quality, which I think is a bummer. Running in 2D mode lets us turn those features up higher (Bloom is enabled, Post FX are set to High, and we can use the DirectX 10 code path).

Here again, the SLI’ed configuration outperforms AMD’s boards in CrossFire. Both setups deliver impressive performance, though.

DiRT2 wasn’t even an option for us in 3D, so Surround mode is the only way we’re going to get to play this one on a trio of displays using a pair of GeForce GTX 480s. Performance is solid compared to AMD’s Radeon HD 5870 2GBs in CrossFire with settings cranked up.

There were minimal changes that needed to be made in order to get Call of Duty running smoothly in 3D. In 2D mode, however, we’re able to turn Depth of Field back on, along with enabling 4xAA. The result is close performance between the Nvidia and AMD boards. However, Nvidia ekes by with the win here.

Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.
  • killerclick
    What are those lines between the screens? Oh yeah, it's the black plastic the monitors are made of! Three monitor gaming = FAIL.
    Reply
  • meat81
    Without sounding ignorant like killerclick, they do need to start producing mainstream monitors that have little to no bezel. If not then i might as well buy a 32-40 inch TV that does 120-240hz and go with that.
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    Hell you might as well go all out and connect 3 32 or 42 inch samsung series 6-8led tvs and tri sli or crossfire 5970's..... one would definitly need watercooling systems and core i7 6 core chips, with an ROG x58 board with ssd's max RAM, win 7 64bit, and 1000watts... this machine would then have to played in full airconditioning and with crazy sounds with some amps and extra lighting effects.....

    You would then have total fun playing games like Crysis, Resident evil, left for dead, Dirt, and Cod MW2..... one can imagine
    Reply
  • liquidsnake718
    all for the cost of around $7500... this would last you for about 3years of fun.... then after, youd have to get rid of it
    Reply
  • gxpbecker
    better yet, a single fold out (nearly bezel-less) display.
    As the article says, this is all nice and dandy but the costs are high, to say the least. However as time passes this technology will be more affordable for us average joes. Good too see GRFX companines are pushing new toys
    Reply
  • gxpbecker
    liquidsnake718Hell you might as well go all out and connect 3 32 or 42 inch samsung series 6-8led tvs and tri sli or crossfire 5970's..... one would definitly need watercooling systems and core i7 6 core chips, with an ROG x58 board with ssd's max RAM, win 7 64bit, and 1000watts... this machine would then have to played in full airconditioning and with crazy sounds with some amps and extra lighting effects.....You would then have total fun playing games like Crysis, Resident evil, left for dead, Dirt, and Cod MW2..... one can imagineAnd will cost as much in power to run that machine as an Air COnditioner during the Houston Summer.
    Reply
  • Onus
    The scales are way too big. Too much money, too much power needed (which means more money), and way too much physical space. Cost and power usage may come down, but space? In the mainstream, I'd sooner expect the VR headset to make a return.
    Reply
  • Reynod
    I wish I could afford all of that hardware ... alas not.

    The Samsung 120HZ 24" monitor, glasses and GTX card cost us arond $780.

    Played it for a few days and got sore eyes.

    Gave it to the kids.

    They played with the glasses for a week.

    Now the glasses are in a drawer.

    Not much more to tell really.

    The whole experience with the glasses reminded me of:

    The yoyo
    The pogo stick
    The hat with the beer cans on top of it and the tubes
    The Bling "Gaming" case with neons that I disconnected
    The Superfloppy
    The external CD Burner
    The ex-wife

    All terribly short experiences of delight (dynamic quality) followed by a feeling of bewilderment and a sense that I had been played by a consumerist market.

    C Wright Mills please save me ... from myself.

    Chris ... is there a cure ?
    Reply
  • ravnoscc
    I have a question:

    Could you explain how the bezels are compensated for in 3D Surround mode? I am trying to imagine how having 2-3 inch spaces in between each projected image would look in 3 dimensions... Having difficulty, but maybe a short explanation?
    Reply
  • theroguex
    So long as there is a bezel, there is no point to having surround in games. None at all.

    Well, racing games could get away with it.
    Reply