|NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision Gaming Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 09 January 2009|
Page 6 of 8
3D Vision Performance Impact
EDITORS NOTE: This section was added on 01/12/2009, after the article was initially published.
At the time that I received the 3D Vision for GeForce kit from NVIDIA, Benchmark Reviews was packing up for the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. While I would personally consider the 3D Vision kit to be an experience enhancing product, and not a competitive tool, there have been a few questions in regard to the overall impact on frame-rate performance. So with CES behind us now, I have returned to deliver some benchmarks showing what kind of performance you can expect from the 3D Vision for GeForce gaming kit.
The system I used for testing was comprised of the following hardware and software:
Before I reveal my benchmark performance results, I feel that it's prudent to note that my game-play experience was not altered by the frame rate performance at any point during testing. While I have been a competitive gamer at points in the past (namely with Battlefield 2), my original objective for this product wasn't to see if it would improve or decrease performance. The entire idea behind 3D Vision is the revitalize video games with a new immersive experience. Overall, that was exactly what I rated with the video games I tested. This section, however, is all about numbers.
NVIDIA offers 3D Vision enhancements from 1-100%, or disabled from the control panel. Using Far Cry 2 as my test platform, I utilized the included benchmark tool to measure frame rate performance. 3D Vision for GeForce does not use standard-edition ForceWare drivers, as it requires special 3D profiles (similar to SLI profiles) from a different ForceWare package. Beginning with no 3D Vision, I set a baseline for performance. Next I follow-up with 16% enhancement (which is the default for 3D Vision), and completed the testing with 100% enhancement. The chart below illustrates the impact on frame rate performance.
While I didn't particularly notice any degradation of performance while playing the game for several hours, the benchmark has caught what I didn't. Far Cry 2 is probably the most demanding video game on the market today, requiring slightly more graphical power than the original Crysis. With the frame rate at 1680x1050 reduced to 19 FPS using the short benchmark tests (which give the lowest score), it appears that there will be a point at which the action will be reduced by using 3D Vision for GeForce. I'm not entirely certain this will matter much to the average consumer, who I presume will likely look at the 3D Vision kit as a tool for improving gaming experience. It's like the force-feedback and motion seats for racing games, or the vibration in game control pads; 3D Vision for GeForce is not necessarily going to improve performance but it will improve the experience.