Want the most intense gaming in complete 3 dimensional viewing you can imagine, the iZ3D 22″ gaming Monitor gives you the feeling of actual 3 dimensional viewing with its dual monitor setup.
The iZ3D monitor is a great way to really get into the game but it does come at a hefty price tag of around $600 currently, this is down from the starting price of $999 less than a year ago. The monitor does work well and is easy to setup but there are a limited number of games with 3D available,the company is doing its best to add to this list though.
Currently there are almost a hundred games that are either supported and play just fine or users report that games work just fine with the iZ3D monitor. The monitor itself is actually an ingenious design with two physical monitors inside the slightly thicker monitor housing.
The first monitor or the one you see and is referred to as the front will be a see through monitor that gives your 3 dimensional view. The back monitor or the main monitor will be the one used for your regular monitor work and as the monitor that your eyes see as the base of your screen in games.
The iZ3D works simply by allowing your eyes to see two monitors at once at a slight angle using the special polarized glasses that also come with the monitor and offset the images you see. This means that some things in the screen will be on the front monitor like your character or things near you while other things will be on the back monitor.
Of course this is much simpler than the real technical explanation but it deals with polarizing the images and splitting and if you really want to know more you can go to the iZ3D website and read up on it in their whitepaper report. I understood it well enough to know it needs the two screens and the glasses to see the image in 3D and using the monitor also needs the software that splits the images into two separate signals.
The monitor does need two connections on your video card so any graphics cards that do not have the two outputs are not going to work with this as well as graphics cards running in Crossfire, CrossfireX or SLI. Currently they are working with both ATI and NVIDIA to solve the problems of using this monitor with more than one Graphics Processor Unit but I think that until they can output onto two screens for the graphics cards the monitor in 3D with multiple GPU’s will have to wait.
The iZ3D monitor comes with the monitor itself, a power cord, two DVI cables and one VGA cable as well as the three pairs of glasses and quick start sheet with a drivers CD. The three glasses are two pairs of regular glasses for people without prescription glasses and one pair of clip ons for anyone, like me, with glasses already.
The glasses are like polarizing sunglasses but not very shaded and only for use with the iZ3D monitor, you would not want to lose them or get them scratched up and have to buy new ones. You can get new ones from iZ3D though, at $10 apiece from their website. The monitor is available from their site as well as Newegg and Amazon internet stores at about $600.
Installing the monitor with the system is pretty easy but you will have to attach the stand to the monitor, which really should be done after you attach the cords. The one cord is right in the middle of the monitor’s bottom and is a bit difficult to reach once the stand is assembled. You can tilt the stand to the extreme back so it is more accessible but it just makes things easier to attach them before putting the stands base on.
Once you have the monitor cables on and your computer powered up one of two things will happen, and this may happen during regular boot up as well. Sometimes the display and your computer will get a little confused and switch the front and back monitors and you will see a big white screen if you’re not wearing your polarizing glasses. You simply enter the iZ3D control panel using the glasses and run the monitor setup to switch them and you’re all set with the monitors correctly positioned.
The front monitor will blank out the back one if they are switched incorrectly and this may happen because something does not know how things are set up and may switch the two monitors around on you. It is a simple thing to correct and just something that you have to put up with on occasion when using the 3D monitor.
There are a few other things that can also be annoying that happen when using the iZ3D but simple solutions for them are always at your fingertips. On a few occasions I have had windows open in the front monitor which means you cannot see them unless you’re wearing the glasses. When you minimize it you see it dance across from the corner of your screen to the task bar but you can only see it if you put on the glasses.
This also means you have to drag it onto the other screen because it’s off to the side of the back screen, or so your computer thinks. You just use the glasses and move the cursor over to the side until it comes into view on the front monitor and grab the window to move it over to the image you can see without the glasses.
The only other problems are things like having to wear the glasses and have them handy when working on your computer when you do get programs or windows popping up off screen. The glasses are not uncomfortable but the clip ons can be annoying, but you do get used to them.
All the problems and little hassles can be dealt with if you want to game in 3D but there is still the cost as well. I did enjoy playing around with this new technology but it still is a new one and one that could use some improvements. The list of games is getting up there and the gaming is fun as well. I had a great time playing a couple of favorites like Battlefield 2142 and Call of Duty 4 but there was only 10 games on the list that I have.
You would definitely have to decide whether this would be worthwhile for you and your gaming but if you spend the same amount on a good video card what is the cost of some great gaming for a monitor. The iZ3D does work very well as a regular monitor but this is almost twice the cost of a regular 22″ widescreen monitor.
The gaming is great and you really do see everything in 3 dimensions while using the glasses, especially with games like Battlefield 2142 and Call of Duty 4. Some games are not as well tweaked for 3D gaming but they still do work and I had a great time playing all the ones I have but there is no way to show the 3D to you other than for you to see it live.
A camera will not pick up the 3D images as you need to be wearing the glasses and have two eyes to see it, a camera or camcorder just doesn’t work and screenshots look like watching a 3D movie without the glasses. So I can only tell you well the games look and they really do have 3 dimensions to them, but not the objects popping off the screen on you.
You can see that things are really 3D and there is space between your character and that wall about fifteen feet from him in the game but things will also not be popping off the screen and bumping into you either. I really do like gaming with this and it is fun but I personally would have a hard time paying so much for a monitor that adds to my gaming entertainment for so few games.
I would have to recommend this with reservations because it is a newer technology and the list of games is a bit short, for now, they are working on that so it is getting longer. It also does cost a lot but like I said a really good graphics card costs the same amount so you can decide for yourself, or go see it.
There are several locations and events that have a showing that highlights the features and you can take a look yourself. There is also a very good forum and you can find out more about the iZ3D monitor yourself by going to the iZ3D website.