Posted: February 22, 2008, 09:37:46 PM Post subject: Comprehensive User Review
This is a review by an ordinary gamer just like you. I Didn’t subject this monitor to any specific benchmark tests to scrutinize it and take it apart piece by piece, so if that’s the sort of review you’re looking for you’ve come to the wrong place. Instead I’m going to compare the performance of this monitor to conventional 2D monitors from the perspective of everyday gaming use. Just like many of you I’m a huge World of Warcraft fan and have been playing since beta. The guys in my guild keep asking me for the experiences I’ve had with my new iZ3D so here they are:
First off, I was nothing short of thrilled with the level of service the sales support team of iZ3D have rendered both before as well as after the sale. Obviously with a price tag of $1000 ($800 on sale currently) the iZ3D is not an investment made lightly. This is revolutionary technology and having no way of actually seeing it in action before making the purchase doesn’t make your decision any easier.
Installation of the monitor couldn’t have been easier. It requires two DVI outputs (or 1xDVI & 1xVGA) from your graphics card which, if you truly want to consider yourself a gamer I’m sure your graphics card can provide. When I purchased the iZ3D I used an ATI X1950pro but have upgraded to an NVidia 8800GTXoc2 since. Not a single problem with either chipset. When I upgraded my card I did have to reinstall the iZ3D drivers, but that was trouble hardly worth mentioning. Also the version of the drivers just like with any other piece of hardware is more then likely outdated by the time you get it. Do yourself a favor and install the drivers from the website rather then from the disk provided.
Currently, on the purchase section of the website iZ3D has the disclaimer explaining that dual monitor setups are not supported by their software however I managed to setup my iZ3D along with two 20.1” 2D LCD monitors just fine. All it takes is a cheap off the shelf PCI graphics card and use it to power the other two monitors. At this point I’d like to make the note that if you are running any version of Vista DO NOT MIX ATI with NVIDIA chipsets when configuring your multidisplay setup. Vistas Aero engine won’t allow it and you’ll find that one of your cards will be disabled. Also, only the iZ3D hooked up to your main video card will be able to deliver a descent gaming experience, any addional monitors work fine for windows however a cheap PCI card won’t be able to render games like Crysis or Bioshock. That should hardly matter since you’ll only be playing one game at a time anyways ;p.
64 OS will be supported in the new patch which should arrive this March according to what I was told.
SLI setups are a bit more tricky, seeing how NVidia disables all but one video output for any SLI setup. It’s currently impossible to hook up more then one monitor to any SLI and since the iZ3D requires two separate DVI outputs you just can’t do it till Nvidia lets you. Thank god, rumors have it NVidia will fix that issue soon. Believe me their forums are full of gamers crying about only being able to use one monitor.
iZ3D has a list of currently supported games on their website, however I’ve had absolutely no problems playing games that were not on the list. The only games I could not get to work were really old games that run on dx7 or OpenGL. Most modern games run on dx9 and shouldn’t pose a problem for your iZ3D. I did notice a glitch with shadows in games that use dx10, currently the only two games on the market that use dx10 are Crysis and Bioshock but many more will emerge soon. This is an issue that should be fixed in the March patch as well according to posts on the user forums. The 3D feature is easy to toggle off and on as well even while playing. Windows and any such software is automatically displayed in 2D.
Now the ultimate question about iZ3D is this one: Is it worth playing your games in 3D vs. 2D? This is obviously subjected to the opinion of the user, for me the answer is a resolute, unyielding and definite yes. I’ve never in my life enjoyed playing videogames as much as I do now in 3D. Most gamers are aware of how immersive video gaming can be but to be able to perceive your game in 3D takes this factor to an entirely new level. On a competitive level of gaming, whether it be pvp in mmos or multiplayer in first person shooters, to see your opponents clearly raised out of the picture of the monitor is definitely a plus.
One question I get a lot in my guild is if I get headaches using my iZ3D. No I do not, I spend a lot of time in front of my computer playing videogames and I’ve never gotten a headache from playing. I don’t feel like it’s stressing my eyes any more then my old 2D monitors did. The glasses that come with the monitor are comfortable and look pretty stylish, no problems on that end either. A pair of clip-on glasses is also included for players that require prescription glasses. My brother doesn’t even notice them over his regular glasses.
Since the monitor does require two outputs on your graphics card it does seem to be a bit harder to handle in 3D mode as opposed to 2D mode. I generally drop a few frames when switching from 2D to 3D but it’s not enough to have to change settings in any of my games. In fact if I didn’t measure my frame rate I probably would not even have noticed. Don’t enable Vsync or Tripple buffering in your games or you might have some problems with ghosting. I found that out the hard way. Ghosting in general was the only thing I would consider a downfall of the iZ3D, no matter what you do there is always some ghosting. According to forum posts a few methods to eliminate any ghosting are being developed in the labs and will be available either in the form of new glasses with different polarization or drivers changing the algorithm on a sub-pixel level.
Pros: Very realistic 3D experience, Great support, Easy to install, Great picture, stylish & comfortable glasses that don't have wires dangling off it like shutter goggles or VR helmets
Pricing, Ghosting, lack of SLI support and lack of color controlls (can be done with software), Not possible to preview product
I hope this answers most of your questions and makes your decision to purchase a new monitor a little easier. I wish I would have had something like this before committing 1000 of my hard earned dollars into this, but as it turns out I’m really pleased that I did. Over all I have to say this monitor was worth every penny of it, even with slight ghosting issues. I’m Just looking forward on SLI support to put in a second card.
Posted: February 23, 2008, 03:39:54 AM Post subject:
I have read comments from some users before purchasing the monitor that there is some ghosting, but "some" is a very flexible term and I haven't seen a good explanation about what ghosting really means when you watch a stereo image.
To help potential iZ3D users get an idea of what ghosting really is, here is a link to a comprehensive user review (done by another iZ3D user) which includes camera shots of the monitor through the glasses, so everyone can decide for themselves if ghosting and tinting is acceptable for them or not:
Whatever someone else says about ghosting and tinting is subjective and only a personal opinion (what one can live with or not). And here comes my personal opinion ...
Even though these camera shots are not crystal clear, they show very well how much ghosting one can expect in various games with the iZ3D monitor and also reflect my experience with the monitor.
If I had to describe my stereo experience with the iZ3D monitor, I would say that it is very similar to looking through glasses with living things glued on them which are constantly moving to hide my view. The only way to have a semi-comfortable experience for me was to try and look "behind" or "through" these things (ghost images).
At least for me, ghosting and tinting issues make a lot of games unplayable in stereo 3D with the iZ3D monitor because I just can't stay focused when I try to look at objects "inside the monitor" but see one or two displaced silhouettes of these objects sitting directly on top of the screen, hiding and distorting the view.
But I also have to say that in some games, ghosting issues aren't as problematic as in others, so that the overall experince will also varry depending on what your game preffeences are. For me, Dungeons and Space games have generated the worst results with most ghosting (see Tomb Raider and Portal camera shots from the link above), while games in light natural environments have had only "some" ghosting (see Fall Out 2 shots from the link above). So ... if you are a fan for space simulations and dungeons (like me), you will most likely be annoyed by the ammount of ghosting on the iZ3D monitor. On the other hand, if you preffer fast-paced action on the road, you will probably be more comfortable with the monitor.
Posted: February 23, 2008, 07:12:55 AM Post subject:
What's your beef? You've posted your thoughts already, and they were answered by the CTO of iZ3D no less. He told you a lot of the exciting things happening at iZ3D to get around some of the technical challenges as well as other improvements in the near future.
Why do you feel it necessary that every time someone has a positive experience to share, you need to denigrate the product?
You go out of your way to do it so much, I wonder if you are actually reviewing the product, or just making an active effort to hurt the iZ3D company somehow.
These are iZ3D forums for the benefit of iZ3D customers or people who have an active interest in learning about iZ3D products. I think it's important to be sensitive to that.
Posted: February 23, 2008, 08:06:43 AM Post subject:
Every time I read a positive review which says nothing about ghosting, I connect the iZ3D monitor back to the PC and give it another try. And then, I can't stop wondering how someone can write a review about the monitor without a big note about ghosting.
Anyway ... I think you are right about one thing. I have already spent way too much time writing about my experience with the iZ3D and the Zalman 3D monitor. Time for me to close this file and move along.
PS. Does iZ3D have a return policy where one could return the monitor if not sattisfied? I was looking for a way to return the monitor and get my money back, but couldn't find it on the iZ3D website. And now that they have lowered the price from $999 to $699, I will hardly be able to sell the monitor on eBay (unless I just want to get rid of it at any price).
Posted: February 23, 2008, 08:52:18 AM Post subject: monitor return
In case you have not noticed, the user mentions ghosting in his review, and also look in a cons section. In my opinion the review is very honest and comprehensive.
As far as the monitor return policy goes, we have 15 days no question asked return policy. However we are commited to make our customers satisfied, and we often extend the 15 days to 1 month or even further. Please contact me directly at email@example.com, and I will send you the instructions on how to get it returned.
Posted: February 23, 2008, 09:23:56 AM Post subject:
I'm sorry, I didn't know there was a "15 days no question asked return policy". I think it's good that this was clearly stated now, so anyone interested in the monitor will be able to purchase it and test it out for themselves instead of reading someone else's opinions.
Since ghosting on the monitor varries from game to game and different people have different expectations, I think that this little fact about your return policy is much much more important than any review someone can write about the monitor.
Posted: February 23, 2008, 03:53:19 PM Post subject: ghosting
I didn't create this thread to get into the topic of ghosting, there are plenty of other threads about that on the forums already. Yes there is ghosting noticable on some games. It is a very oppinionated subject. A couple of easy ways to increase how much fun you have with your iZ3D are these:
Keep tripple buffering and VSync turned off, tilt your monitor back slightly to enhance the effects polarization has on the seperation of the screens. Also most ghosting effects appear in specific colors, mainly red. Feel free to mess with the color and gamma settings in the games themselves to further decrease the ghosting you experience. In the cases where games don't have specific options use the software provided for your VGA to adjust the colors. Ghosting is also specific to viewing distance. Depending on what you do in what game affects ghosting. I recommend for spacious games such as WoW, use the fact that iZ3D has three different profiles available to your advantage. Just swap the profiles on the fly in accordance to your environment. Inside of dungeons or close up environments the amount of seperation you can handle with greater convergence is different from wide open spaces, where you will probably want to lessen your convergence to eliminate ghosting. Just a few pointers, I'm sure iZ3D will manage to eliminate ghosting almost entirely with new polarization techinques in the future. Have some faith, this realy is very enjoyable technology and it only gets better from here on in. If you realy try hard to find things wrong with it, you can but over all I couldn't be happier with iZ3D.
Posted: March 07, 2008, 05:17:07 PM Post subject: SLI
Finally, it seems SLI is only a few weeks away. I was told that within a few weeks time (estimate) we will be able to enjoy our iZ3D with SLI setup. This will be made possible (no thanks to NVidia) with the use of an additional device that seperates the single DVI output into a sterescopic picture much like the software does. This device I was told will cost another proud $140. If you ask me that's well worth it if the lack of SLI support is the only thing stoping you from purchasing a 3D monitor. I know i'll order one the second they are available.