3D Gaming Options and Performance
Now the most important part of the review! Does the ASUS G75VW have the chops for gaming in stereoscopic 3D form? The answer is YES…if you know how to do it.
So far, I’ve tested Call of Duty Black Ops 2, Battlefield 3, Doom 3 BFG, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Metro 2033, and more. In all cases, I’ve been playing at 1080P in stereoscopic 3D form. While 60FPS or better can only be expected in select titles (e.g. Doom 3 BFG, Left4Dead 2), it’s very realistic to get 25 to 35 FPS in such titles as BF3, COD Black Ops 2, Metro 2033, and more – all in 3D of course. In some cases, you will have to turn down some settings like ambient occlusion, or reduce the AA settings – but nothing out of the ordinary.
As far as I can tell, the benefits and limitations of Nvidia 3D Vision’s software are the same on notebooks as they are on desktop computers. If you are playing a DirectX 9 game, you can still game in 3D using DDD’s TriDef drivers in some instances – you will have to experiment.
If the 17″ display isn’t big enough for your needs, you can easily connect the G75VW to a full sized 3D HDTV with Nvidia’s 3DTV Play software. You can also benefit from DDD’s side by side modes if your 3D HDTV supports them.
I’m very surprised that the notebook doesn’t have a dual-link DVI connector. It features DisplayPort and VGA, but not the connector which Nvidia has been married to since they first launched their 3D Vision product. Even ASUS’ VG278H 3D monitor requires a DVI connector for maximum resolution in 3D mode. The good news is that according to Andrew Fear at Nvidia, if you want to connect a 3D Vision approved display like the ASUS VG278H, you can still do so with a DP to DVI converter.
Now what is the best way to get this machine cooking, you ask?
In the Nvidia power management option, choose “Prefer Maximum Performance” for the best results. The adaptive option works too, but not as well as keeping it in third gear.
I also made a recent discovery about “unparking” the CPU cores (Google it). The idea is that as a power saving technique, Windows will turn CPU cores on and off according to how much processing power is needed. From what I’ve read online, unlike desktop computers, Windows tends to be more aggressive in keeping the cores off in notebook computers to save on battery power, and dropping this restriction can make a difference.
While the results will differ from machine to machine, I gave it a go and found a significant improvement with Battlefield 3. I can easily play at 1080P with settings on medium to high on complex 64 player maps. The FPS counter tends to hang around 25 to 30 FPS, but can occasionally dip to about 20. However, it’s a smooth 20, and is very playable given how high the settings are at. I’m honestly impressed.
Tinkerer beware! Before you all unlock your cores, do some reading first. There could be some unforeseen hardware risk for doing this that we won’t be held accountable for, and the results are likely mixed from game to game.