I have explained above how the monitor can produce two independent pictures for the left and right eyes on the hardware level. Of course, this requires software support. The graphics card must process both frames simultaneously and combine them together in interlaced mode: the odd-numbered lines come from one frame and the even-numbered lines come from the other frame.
So far, this is not a default function of any graphics card. Nvidia has been doing some work in this field but only offers such technology in GeForce 6 or higher series cards and only for 32-bit versions of Windows Vista. Such drivers had been developed for Windows XP and 98 but the support for these OSes was abandoned. The owner of a Trimon will have to install Windows Vista.
Eyeglasses with polarizing lenses are included with the monitor, of course. They do not feature an extraordinary design, yet they are handy and should be appreciated by the fans of Half-Life. Gordon Freeman wears the same eyeglasses (without the Zalman logo, though).
These eyeglasses do not have any diopters but if your eyesight isn’t perfect you can use the included clip-on lenses that can be attached to ordinary eyeglasses.
These lenses aren’t very convenient. Their fastening will be annoying if the frame of your eyeglasses fits tight to the bridge of your nose. They also make the eyeglasses much heavier. On the other hand, these drawbacks can be put up with. I can assure you about that because I wear eyeglasses, too. If you need to distract from your play for a couple of minutes, you can just lift the clip-on lenses up without taking them off.
Included into the kit are a plastic case for the glasses and a microfiber napkin for cleaning them. Do not forget to remove the protective film from both sides of the lenses prior to wearing them.
I performed my tests on a computer configured like follows:
- GeForce 8600 GTS graphics card with driver version 175.19 and with 3D-stereo driver version 174.76
- Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 processor
- ASUS P5E mainboard
- 2x2GB DDR2 SDRAM (Patriot PDC24G6400LLK)
- Western Digital Raptor WD740GD hard disk drive
- Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit
The monitor doesn’t need additional drivers. The included disc contains the same 3D-stereo driver from Nvidia.
The driver was installed without problems. After the installation, there appeared a Desktop icon of its control panel. The 3D-stereo driver has its own control panel that does not overlap with the one of Nvidia’s ordinary graphics card driver. Besides setup options, the control panel offers a good test of the 3D mode.
One of the most important options of the Control Panel is the Depth Amount slider which refers to the depth of the emulated 3D space. If you feel a headache or have difficulties focusing on the image in the stereo mode, you should try to reduce the spatial depth. If, on the contrary, the image seems too flat, try to increase it.
You can see two buttons that launch 3D tests here. The Medical Test Image button opens a window with text and an object. Without the polarizing eyeglasses this looks like a square chaotically filled in with black dots. In the eyeglasses, if the monitor is set up correctly, you can see a second square which is placed against the first one but closer to you. It seems to be hanging in front of the screen as if you can touch its corner with your finger.
You can find the optimal position of your head relative to the screen using this test. As I found out, the ZM-M220W gives you a lot of freedom in choosing your head position. The 3D picture remains in fact the same if you move your head around a little. However, the screen must be placed in such a way that your eyes were opposite its center. The 3D picture splits up if viewed from above.
The Launch Test Application button launches a program that shows a simple picture: Nvidia’s logo is rotating and floating back and forth within a tunnel.
The picture is so three-dimensional that you get a feeling the logo is just sticking out of the screen. But as soon as you take the eyeglasses off, you only see a fuzzy and stirring jumble of lines.