02 Mar 2012

My main 3D-Gaming PC Motherboard

My Personal Setup and Experiences with 3D

I figured I'd share my own configuration (more specifics than previously) and some experiences I have had since diving into the 3D world.

Display, Glasses, Remote, Misc

My Gaming PC 3D setup

I have a main PC (built with a primary designation as a Flight Simulator X machine and hard drive movie streamer) that i use for 3D gaming in terms of PC games, here are some of its specs.  You can view the full setup here if you want more details.  That link has full details, some geared towards Flight Simulator X if you are curious.  For Flight Simulator X I am using three 24" Widescreen LCDs using Eyefinity (three screen spanning, one giant screen).  I prefer that over 3D, as 3D would chop the frame rate down too much for FSX since FSX is very demanding, more so than modern games.

  • Motherboard: Asus P8P67 Deluxe
  • CPUi7 2600K 3.4 GHz at 4.8 GHz
  • RAM:  16GB DDR3 1600 MHz Gskill F3-12800CL9S-4GBRL x 4
  • Video:  ATI Diamond 5850 1GB 5850PE51G
  • 3D softwareTridef 5.2
  • OS:  Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
  • Case:  Thermaltake Armor Series VA8000BWS

More details on this "Rig" can be found here.


Home Theater PC (HTPC)-dedicated movie/tv PC

Other 3D Content Devices:

Xbox 360

Issues and other thoughts

As I previously mentioned, my gaming PC for 3D and TriDef can run into issues at times.  You'll find yourself needing to tweak the graphics settings on games, like Skyrim for instance.  Or searching on their forums for better Tridef game profiles.  For my PC, its already overclocked from 3.6 GHz to 4.8 GHz, so most games run fine in 3D.  In the case of Skyrim though, for 3D I couldn't run it at "Ultra" like I can with 2D, so I had to set it to high and turn off AA filtering.  If you look on the net, particularly in the Tridef forums, there are mods you can do to the game to make it run better and look even sharper while maintaining 3D.  Usually just having the latest version of the game is the biggest fix.

Since my TV is checkerboard, as I've mentioned, I had to get the Mitsubishi 3DA-1 converter adapter, so that devices like the Xbox 360, which often have games that don't support checkerboard will work.  It was pretty much plug and play, though as mentioned, you need to get a 3DA-1 that is built prior to January 2011 to avoid modding your TV's EDID.  Again, this adapter only applies to certain Samsung and Mitsubishi model DLP TVs.

Another big issue, at least with checkerboard was that of underscan and overscan.  This has to be turned off in your GPU settings, otherwise 3D won't look right or work.  Unfortunately, if you use a DLP set, this means the image will overextend the physical edges of the TV by as much as 3/4" of an inch, meaning you will not see that portion of the game or movie.  This issue only applies to DLP however, and there is no way that I have found to work around it.

If I later swap out my checkerboard DLP for a newer format TV, my HTPC will no longer work with it.  I'll have to find a different motherboard or a dedicated GPU that supports that format of 3D.  If going the embedded GPU route, then the motherboard will need to be at least Sandy Bridge.  For now, this isn't an issue.

If you become heavily invested in the HTPC front, you'll probably end up wanting to consider getting another TV tuning device, like one for recording cable stations, such as the Ceton InfiniTV 4 tuner cable card (or usb version).  These are becoming less expensive day by day.  I do believe the 3D content you would play back from the device should play on the 3D TV, giving you even more 3D viewing fun.

Often when viewing Blu-ray 3D, it looks very impressive.  Like with Avatar.  But the images don't always "Pop" out of the screen.  It all depends on how the movie was made, or in the case of many 3D movies, how the movie was converted (there are some good 3D conversion movies out there as well).  For instance in Avatar, you do get some Pop, but its limited, unlike the IMAX 3D where it was very noticeable throughout.  Its mostly a "looking into the aquarium" style movie.  It is still very impressive to watch on your own 3D set, however.  Then there are certain games, like the Invisible Tiger demo on the 360 that have a great deal of pop, leaving you literally saying "WOW" as you play the game.

Conclusion

3D is here to stay and will grow rapidly in the coming years.  The terminology is currently very confusing to consumers, with so many different formats out there.  Generally its either Passive or Active.  Once you know whether your TV is either of these, you can go from there getting glasses and then 3D devices to enjoy the experience.  If you haven't had the chance to experience 3D, its worth a look.  Once you do, you will be hooked.

Jump to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5


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