We think it’s fair to say that all stereoscopic 3D drivers have a competitive offering, and consumers should have confidence that they aren’t going to miss out on any major performance gaps.
While Nvidia was green with envy over their competitors’ scores with Resident Evil 5 (a “GeForce 3D Vision Ready” game), their 2D/3D performance was a little more efficient in three out of four titles tested on the GTX285. AMD’s 6870 combined with DDD and iZ3D drivers proved to be an even match, however.
DDD and iZ3D had nearly equal performance in most cases, and tended to perform better with the AMD HD 6870. iZ3D inched ahead of DDD’s results when antialiasing was set high enough. We are taking an educated guess that iZ3D’s memory footprint is smaller than DDD’s when in 3D mode, so antialiasing impacts DDD’s performance sooner than it does iZ3D’s. We would be interested to see if additional GPU memory would make a difference in this outcome for either graphics card maker.
It’s also interesting to point out that while 3D is often accused of cutting FPS in half, these tests show otherwise with efficiency scores ranging from 50% to 70% of the 2D equivalent. In cases where efficiency dropped below the 50% mark and the FPS was on the slow side, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect decent game speed with some eye candy reductions on mid-range graphics card equipment.
All things being equal, measuring an extra frame here and there isn’t going to determine the winning combination. Stereoscopic 3D game quality and visual experience is much more important. Please visit MTBS' 3D Game Analyzer regularly to track that based on member submission. You can also read our S-3D game reviews.
In conclusion, we plan to do more tests like this so consumers are informed of which GPUs will work best with their favorite drivers and games.