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3D Mode

Zalman’s stereo monitor could only work with Nvidia’s GeForce 6 or higher graphics cards, but the iZ3D is free from this limitation. It is compatible with graphics cards from both Nvidia and ATI/AMD. I performed the tests of the monitor on my standard testbed with a Sapphire Radeon X1650 Pro card (I had had to assemble a new configuration with a GeForce for the Trimon tests). SLI and CrossFire configurations are not supported.

I performed my tests in two steps, on different computers. The first computer had a Sapphire Radeon X1650 Pro graphics card with Catalyst 8.9 driver, Windows XP Professional SP3 with DirectX 9.0c (updates from August 2008). The monitor’s driver version 1.09.beta2 (build 1.08.0023) was used.

The second computer had an ASUS EN8800GTS/HTDP card (GeForce 8800GTS/512, ForceWare 175.19) and 64-bit Windows Vista Ultimate SP1. The monitor’s driver version 1.09.beta4 (build 1.08.0032) was used.

The developers from iZ3D recommend updating the monitor’s driver regularly because its newer versions offer support for more games. The lack of support for a specific game in the driver doesn’t mean it will be incompatible with the stereo mode, but an outdated driver may provoke hang-ups, performance hit and other problems. You can download the latest version from the iZ3D website.

By the way, the stereo driver of the iZ3D only supports games that use Direct3D (DirectX) 8 or 9.

The driver has a control panel that can do the following:

You can choose the way of turning the stereo mode on: automatically as you launch a game, with a hot button (it is the asterisk * on the numpad by default), or disable it altogether.

You can also set up the behavior of the control panel itself.

Of course, you can set the driver up for specific games. Particularly, you can define hot keys for turning the stereo mode on and off, change stereo mode parameters (spatial depth and convergence of the left and right images). Three Preset buttons are meant to switch through several presets but you can only specify one preset in the control panel. The buttons do work, however, so in the process of playing you can indeed experiment with three different stereo mode presets, quickly switching between them.

The driver identifies games by the name of the executable file. There are also generic settings for all unidentified games.

The pictures on the monitor’s two matrixes can get out of sync without vertical synchronization (VSync), so the appropriate checkbox can be found in the control panel. Of course, you can turn VSync on in the graphics card’s or game’s settings. You can also specify the default spatial depth (Separation, i.e. the level of separation of the pictures for the left and right eyes), shift the space left or right (Separation mode), enable the iZ3D driver’s messages (they inform you about the turning on and off of the stereo mode and changes of its parameters), and display the frame rate. The last option is interesting, but the result is predictable: the frame rate is two times lower in the stereo mode.

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