The second tab of the control panel offers three settings. You may only want to change the last option which disables full-screen antialiasing. If you choose a resolution other than the monitor’s native one, you’ll see a jumble of lines instead of a 3D picture even in the eyeglasses.
The next tab allows you to specify hotkeys for enabling/disabling and changing 3D mode settings right within a game. You can also turn on the so-called laser sight. As opposed to the default sight in games, this one is rendered basing on the spatial depth. Alas, this sight is often drawn along with the game’s default sight, which isn’t good. You have to turn it off then.
There is an Anaglyph Stereo button here: besides special monitors and polarized eyeglasses, Nvidia’s driver supports two-colored eyeglasses I described at the beginning of the review.
The last tab offers a long list of games that have been tested for compatibility with the 3D stereo mode. Alas, some of them are not 100% compatible. Some objects may prove to be flat or the spatial depth may be inadequate, etc. There are two values describing each game in the list. The list is far longer than what you can see in the PDF file with a description of the stereo mode available on Nvidia’s website.
After I had played with the settings and watched Nvidia’s logo floating out of the screen, I decided to check a few real-life applications on the monitor.
I found a video player and a special 3D clip about submarine life on the disc included with the Trimon. The making of the clip was simple: it is in fact two AVI-files recorded at somewhat different points of view while the player combines them into a single picture.
The viewing of the clip was interesting indeed. The image does have the third dimension. The fish, corals and other see-dwellers swim out of the monitor right into your hands and then move away into the depths of blue water. Then, it is unusual to refocus your eyes while sitting at the monitor. The image is three-dimensional and the brain is at first fighting against the fact that you have to focus your eyes, not only move them about, to see who’s there in the corner.
There is a negative impression, though. It turned to be rather tiring to watch the clip in which there were too many objects near me. Although medium-distance and distant objects look perfect, it is somewhat difficult to focus on closely located ones. This problem can be partially solved by the control panel options. It may also be due to the specifics of the recording of the particular clip.
As for video games, the situation is different in each particular one. You experience may vary dramatically, from non-operating stereo mode to a perfectly detailed depth of space.
I couldn’t enable the stereo mode in Prey. In S.T.A.L.K.E.R. the stereo mode worked badly. There was no depth in open scenes while in closed environments the nearby objects would be seen double. I couldn’t focus my eyes on them.
Far Cry was a success. The stereo mode worked perfectly in that game. I could see three-dimensional bushes, houses, trees and cars in detailed perspective. Considering that open scenes are overall good and detailed in Far Cry, playing in the true-3D world was a real pleasure. I wouldn’t say the third dimension made a revolution in my experience of the game, but the virtual world seemed less appealing when I turned the third dimension off.
The only problem I had in Far Cry was the above-mentioned Laser Sight. I had to turn it off because it would be drawn along with the game’s native sight (and these two sights would be at different distances from me in the 3D world).
Moreover, the stereo mode affected the speed of the game. Although the vertical resolution of the frame is reduced twofold, the graphics card has to process two frames simultaneously (from two different angles) and then display them in sync. As a result, the frame rate dropped from 120-140fps in ordinary mode to 45-50fps in the stereo mode.
Another performance-related problem is that the 3D stereo mode works in the monitor’s native resolution only. Otherwise, the picture splits up. So you have to play at 1680x1050 or disable interpolation in the driver settings and agree that the image doesn’t occupy the whole screen.
I want to note that I didn’t feel a headache or sore eyes or any other unpleasant feelings after I had played for about 40 minutes. However, the user manual doesn’t recommend playing for more than 1 hour continuously. I can only add that you should turn the stereo mode off and take off the eyeglasses if you feel the game to strain your eyes (like with the doubling objects in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.). It is no good to have a headache.
So, I can’t tell you that the stereo mode has changed my life, but it has certainly made my gaming experience more realistic and exciting. Unfortunately, the stereo mode is not compatible with every game, but you can use the ZM-M220W as an ordinary “flat” monitor in case of such incompatibility.