Nvidia 3D Vision

Nvidia launched its 3D Vision technology back

in January of 2009, giving consumer-level 3D gaming the biggest endorsement it had ever received. The company's proprietary combination of 120 Hz active glasses, licensed monitors, and in-house driver solution enabled early adopters with all of the puzzle pieces needed on the hardware side. To this day, 3D Vision is not perfect. But it's unquestionably the more comprehensive end-to-end solution for 3D gaming currently available.

AMD HD3D and the TriDef Ignition Driver

AMD, in October of 2010 introduced its Radeon

HD 6800-series cards was accompanied by AMD’s HD3D initiative, a vastly different approach to 3D on the PC: instead of a proprietary system, AMD provides driver hooks to software developers and leaves 3D displays and glasses to third-party providers, because of its more open environment, we've had to wait a lot longer for HD3D to become a viable angle waiting for other companies to provide all of the hardware and software to support it.


Nvidia 3D Vision


Graphics Hardware:

GeForce cards

AMD Radeon HD 5000 or higher (Radeon HD 6000 series required for hardware accelerated Blu-ray 3D playback)

Supported Displays:

3D Vision Monitors over DVI-D (60 FPS/1080p) 3D-ready TVs over HDMI (24 FPS/1080p or 60 FPS/720p)

DisplayPort (60 FPS/1080p) 3D-ready TVs over HDMI (24 FPS/1080p or 60 FPS/720p)


3D Vision 120 Hz Active 3D Vision Glasses 3D-ready TV over HDMI: Active or Passive (depends on the display)

Active or Passive (depends on the display)

Game Software:

3D Vision monitor GeForce Driver 3D-ready TV over HDMI: 3DTV Play

Depends on application: TriDef or iZ3D drivers for games, although two titles currently come with native HD3D support

Blu-ray 3D Software:

ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre, Cyberlink PowerDVD, and Corel WinDVD for Blu-ray 3D movies

ArcSoft TotalMedia Theatre, Cyberlink PowerDVD, and Corel WinDVD for Blu-ray 3D movies

Multi-card support:

Yes (SLI)

No (CrossFire not yet supported)

Multi-monitor 3D support:

Yes (with SLI

Yes (single-card only)

3D Vision

Nvidia’s 3D Vision is the most well-established 3D solution able to leverage 120 Hz displays to give each of your eyes a smooth 60 frame-per-second experience. The software enabling 3D Vision is so tightly integrated that Nvidia makes it part of the standard GeForce driver package.

If you have a 3D Vision kit, including the emitter and glasses, a 3D Vision-certified monitor, and a 3D Vision-capable GeForce card, simply open up the Nvidia driver panel and select 'Set up stereoscopic 3D' from the left-hand menu. From there, you can set up your 3D display type and fine tune your controls.

Once a game is launched, the 3D Vision On-Screen Display (OSD) gives you information about that game’s compatibility, if it's available from the driver, and suggest the most appropriate settings known to yield the fewest visual artifacts.


There is no HD3D certification for monitors or glasses. Instead, you simply need to remember that all Radeon HD 5000 and 6000 series cards are compatible, though the boards capable of playing games smoothly in stereoscopic mode are practically limited to the high end. You also need a DisplayPort enabled (HDMI 1.4a) 3D display with its own ecosystem and glasses. Additionally, a middleware stereoscopic 3D driver is required in order to play games, except in rare cases where the game is HD3D-certified. There are two middleware drivers available: the IZ3D driver and the TriDef Ignition driver.

One key ability that the TriDef Ignition software offers is a 'Virtual 3D' mode. Instead of rendering each eye independently, Virtual 3D renders one eye, and then applies information from the depth buffer to create the 3D effect. Don’t be fooled by the word 'virtual' the result has the same apparent depth result as a stereoscopic image with the added benefit that any visual artifact caused by rendering two different camera positions is usually eliminated.

On top of often improved visuals, 'Virtual 3D' may also yield better performance, too. The caveat is that the driver has to extrapolate certain parts of the image between views. This is undetectable in most games, but it can cause a noticeable blurring effect on the edge of objects in other titles. It's also important to note that the TriDef driver works poorly when anti-aliasing is turned on.

Aliens v Predator 3 (3D)

Aliens v Predator 3 preforms as should

with the TriDef Ignition driver in DirectX 9 mode, but only with Virtual 3D enabled, there in no improvement running the game in DirectX 11. A note that 3D will demand double the frame rate as before for similiar performance, as frames are rendered for each image produced.

Aliens v Predator 3 displays significant lighting and motion blur anomalies with 3D Vision. While motion blur can be disabled, no combination of settings can get rid of the lighting differences hitting each eye.



Comparison with Dead Space 3D

Dead Space in 3D (RedCyan)
Dead Space in 3D (RedCyan) (2)
Dead Space in 3D (RedCyan) (3)
Dead Space in 3D (RedCyan) (4)

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