|NVIDIA GeForce GTX-460 1GB Video Card|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Monday, 12 July 2010|
Page 17 of 22
NVIDIA 3D-Vision Effects
Readers familiar with Benchmark Reviews have undoubtedly heard of NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision technology; if not from our review of the product, then for the Editor's Choice Award it's earned or the many times I've personally mentioned it in out articles. Put simply: it changes the game. 2010 has been a break-out year for 3D technology, and PC video games are leading the way. Mafia II is expands on the three-dimensional effects, and improves the 3D-Vision experience with out-of-screen effects. For readers unfamiliar with the technology, 3D-Vision is a feature only available to NVIDIA GeForce video cards.
The first thing gamers should be aware of is the performance penalty for using 3D-Vision with a high-demand game like Mafia II. Using a GeForce GTX 480 video card for reference, currently the most powerful single-GPU graphics solution available, we experienced frame rate speeds up to 33 FPS with all settings configured to their highest and APEX PhysX set to high. However, when 3D Vision is enabled the video frame rate usually decrease by about 50%. This is no longer the hardfast rule, thanks to '3D Vision Ready' game titles that offer performance optimizations. Mafia II proved that the 3D Vision performance penalty can be as little as 30% with a single GeForce GTX 480 video card, or a mere 11% in SLI configuration. NVIDIA Forceware drivers will guide players to make custom-recommended adjustments specifically for each game they play, but PhysX and anti-aliasing will still reduce frame rate performance.
Of course, the out-of-screen effects are worth every dollar you spend on graphics hardware. In the image above, an explosion sends the car's wheel and door flying into the players face, followed by metal debris and sparks. When you're playing, this certainly helps to catch your attention... and when the objects become bullets passing by you, the added depth of field helps assist in player awareness.
Combined with APEX PhysX technology, NVIDIA's 3D-Vision brings destructible walls to life. As enemies shoot at the brick column, dirt and dust fly past the player forcing stones to tumble out towards you. Again, the added depth of field can help players pinpoint the origin of enemy threat, and improve response time without sustaining 'confusion damage'.
NVIDIA APEX Turbulence, a new PhysX feature, already adds an impressive level of realism to games (such as with Mafia II pictured in this section). Watching plumes of smoke and flames spill out towards your camera angle helps put you right into the thick of action.
NVIDIA 3D-Vision/3D-Vision Surround is the perfect addition to APEX PhysX technology, and capable video games will prove that these features reproduce lifelike scenery and destruction when they're used together. Glowing embers and fiery shards shooting past you seem very real when 3D-Vision pairs itself APEX PhysX technology, and there's finally a good reason to overpower the PCs graphics system.