Asus VG236H 3D Vision Monitor Review


Asus VG236H 3D  Vision Monitor Review


If there is one element of 3D that is impossible to get around, it's the horsepower necessary to run it. It's definitely possible to use lesser hardware if all you want to do is watch films or use it for viewing 3D photographs, but for gaming you need every last ounce of power available.

Because the graphics card has to render both a left and right eye image you instantly double your overheads. So whereas once you might require 60fps to get a rock steady image, now you need to be able to provide 120 frames per second to achieve the same effect utilising 3D. Thankfully one of the benefits is that because the images appear much more realistic it lessens the need for such heavy anti-aliasing and so you can recoup some of the power needed by using lower settings.

Nonetheless we wanted to make sure we had as much power available as we could, and to this end our test setup was as follows :

Asus P7P55D Motherboard
Intel i7-870 overclocked to 3.8GHz
4GB G.Skill RAM
Asus GTX480
Windows 7 64-bit
Asus VG236H monitor and 3D Vision

Testing Methodology

Here is definitely an occasion where my wordsmithing skills are tested to the absolute limit. Normally when reviewing a monitor we can show you a couple of screenshots to get a feel for the quality of the image you can expect. This does of course have the problem that you're looking at it on your monitor. Anybody who has seen the advert for the Sharp TV with Mr Sulu extolling the virtues of RBGY technology will understand the exact problem.

However because it's impossible to take a photograph of 3D, and the glasses do alter the image quality slightly, then I have to rely solely upon words to get the point across. This is made even harder as 3D is one of those things that until you've seen it, you can't fully appreciate it.

Still Images

This is easily one of the most mind-blowing aspects to the whole 3D setup. It's possible to produce, using special cameras or some very exacting photography skills, a stereo image and then view it on the VG236H using the glasses to see it in 3D. When OC3D were invited to London for the nVidia presentation on 3D technology by far the most impressive usage was in photographs.

The benefits over a standard photograph are fantastic.

Firstly you get the brilliant quality that we have come to expect from high-resolution digital images these days, ensuring that every detail is captured. The VG236H does a great job in displaying these with well reproduced colours and, thanks to its good pixels per inch courtesy of a high resolution in a sensible sized monitor, the details are sharp.

But the real star of the show is the 3D itself. With some clever subject choice it is possible to have elements clearly in front of the screen, others deep down the Z-axis, and the whole thing has the extra element of being able to move your head and look around the shot to some degree. This really gives a feeling of being there and so photographs which were once more of a memory jogger than a sense of being there, now become a teleport back to that place and time.

The application of this for holiday photos or scenery is sparkling, but to be able to have photographs of loved ones that can really make you feel like they are there with you is unparalleled. It makes me sad this technology wasn't around when my daughter was young or my grandparents were alive.

Because it's a still image you are much more focused on the small details than on the movement or focusing on not dying like you are with a film or game, so it really allows the Asus VG236H to shine. If you aren't lucky enough to own a 3D capable camera (and that'll be almost everyone) then nVidia actually provide a selection on the CD that accompanies the Asus VG236H, with even more available on their site.

Films and other Media

Most of you will have become aware of 3D technology primarily through its introduction into the world of the movies via titles like Avatar and Coraline. Curiously this is actually the weakest of the three applications of 3D technology.

Photographs take something we've always been aware of and transform it almost beyond recognition. Gaming has always required a large amount of imagination and so to find yourself even more immersed than you normally are really changes the way you play and how much adrenaline you find coursing through your veins.

Films though have always had phenomenally talented cinematographers and cameramen to provide sweeping vistas that work around the limitations of the medium. After all nobody believed there were any limitations. There are two main ways in which you can view films in 3D. The first is obviously to have a film that has been specifically designed for 3D and play it via the Asus VG236H to see it in all its splendour. The second method is to use a program to fiddle behind the scenes and provide a pseudo 3D effect. CyberLink PowerDVD is one such program.

As I spend my life reviewing all the latest hardware for you my dear readers, I haven't actually been to the cinema to see a 3D film and so to see one in all its glory is quite something. Once again the VG236H really shines as it provides very good colour reproduction in both dark and light scenes. Movement also isn't an issue as it is capable of displaying all but the fastest moving scenes without a hint of smearing. The sense of depth really has to be seen to be believed and more than once I found myself getting up to check that the monitor hadn't become 10 foot deep.

Understandably using PowerDVD to 'tweak' a standard film into 3D doesn't have such a profound effect, but there is still definitely a depth there. It's one of the primary uses of the "on-the-fly" depth adjuster on the IR transmitter because you can watch all your standard clips and films using your setup without constantly having to delve into the control panel.

Onto gaming...

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Most Recent Comments

21-07-2010, 12:39:56

If you get a 3D monitor like this, does everything have to be viewed in 3D all the time, or can you view games and such like a normal monitor if you want to give your eyes a rest or something?Quote

21-07-2010, 13:27:04

You just hit the button on the 3D emitter and the whole system goes back to 2D mode.Quote

21-07-2010, 16:30:51

There is an old axiom that says 'seeing is believing' in this case very true, custom pc reviewed 3D vision a few months ago and give it a absolute NO they said it give you a headache after one hour of playing and the 3D effect wears out, so for me it is a absolute NO until the technology evolves to something more mature also I read a review in bit-tech that claimed that the FPS drop dramatically when using 3D vision so another downer, last week I went to CURRY’S and a sales person showed me a 3D movie clip on a 50’’ 3D plasma, to be honest it was very impressive but after a while the 3D effect did wear out, fact is the brain can only be tricked for a short time and all the current 3D products in the market are at the first stages of the evolution of the 3D technology.Quote

21-07-2010, 17:53:12

I kind of think it's proably something you just have to adjust to. You don't seem to hear complaints about 3D films, and Custom PC did bad mouth 3D vision, but I stand firm supporting it. Of course it might be weird and your aim might be off completely to begin with, yet this makes sense as when Tom explained how 3D works.

The normal 2D image only imitates 3D through depth perception in terms of the size of object in reference to the foreground. The 3D vision is different in the like real vision one eye effectively sees slightly more of one side of an object and the other eye vice versa, your brain then combines the images to give you the overall image perceiving 3D.

This is probably why it takes some getting used to as your brain will see the 3D of your room and then a second 3D image of different depth on the monitor, hence why it might get confused and lead to some people getting headaches or sometimes just poor aim.

Like patting your head while rubbing your stomach however, the brain can be taught to distinguish between simultaneous tasks affecting the same area of the brain.

Apache pilots effectively learn to look like a Chameleon looking at different images with each eye and still maintaining an overall picture without feeling sick or losing perception of depth.

I think with a little practice it would be easy to adjust to the change in picture and you'd soon be fragging people the same as always.

Of course there's the fact you can still just watch films (if you didn't want to game with them on) providing the 3D movie experience at home.

I myself have bought a 3D vision monitor in preparation for my pc I'm still building (seems like ages, tho I did start planning it in feb lol).

We'll see how I get on eventually.Quote

21-07-2010, 19:26:00

hope you finish your pc soon like to know your honest opinion on 3D vision after having it for a few days and getting adjusted to it.Quote

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