Quad-Buffered OpenGL 3D Vision On a Laptop

Nvidia 3D vision is (or was…) a cost-effective way to get stereoscopic 3D on an ordinary gaming PC in windows, or with a professional Quadro graphics card, to do the same in Linux. One cool thing it can be used for is to run a Co-location Display, where haptics and visual imagery is co-located so you can touch things exactly where you see them.

Nvidia is discontinuing the product and latest drivers lack support.┬áBut it still works! While it is getting more difficult to get your hands on a 3D Vision kit to run active 3D stereo, you can actually get it to work on a modern Windows 10 computer – in fact even on a laptop – if you hook it up to an external 120hz monitor with 3D Vision support. A good thing is also that while Nvidia is discontinuing the product, they are maintaining their drivers until April this year, and you may be able to work with them for a while afterwards too – and – compared to some while back you can now run real Quad Buffered Stereo even if you have a consumer-grade GeForce graphics card.

Jonas wearing 3D glasses and testing a monitor

Testing 3D vision on a external monitor, wearing the fabulous 3D Vision glasses.Some things to note if you want to set up this follows. First of all you need the 3D Vision glasses and USB embitter, obviously. For example DevinSense has some remaining stock, or you can be lucky on second hand sites like ebay.

Second you need to install the “Release 418 family” of drivers. But that actually means a range of drivers, including the 425.31 driver I just tested and can confirm worked well. As Nvidia writes in their release notes “This driver release is from the Release 418 family of drivers (versions 418.xx to 420.xx, and 425.xx to 429.xx).”, for which there is 3D Vision Support.

Third, you need a “3D Vision Ready” monitor. It is actually not enough with a 120hz+ monitor, it need ot have this marking to work properly. A common one you can still find in the market is Asus VG248QE.

And forth, but not least important: you need to hook up the monitor with a proper cable. DVI is not enough. You need something that can handle “dual-link” speeds and give you the option of running the screen in 120hz. DisplayPort does, so I use a mini-displayport (laptop) to displayport (monitor) cable and that works fine!

If things work well you can right click on the desktop, select “configure stereoscopic 3d” and activate it by following the guide. Good luck!

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