ASUS VG278H & NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 Review «

I’ll be honest with you: I don’t like 3D technology. Call me an old fogey but I still think the tech is a gimmick, especially for films. I can however, get behind the 3D gaming experience if the design aesthetic warrants it. This leaves the responsibility to companies like NVIDIA to prove that it’s a worthwhile tech for the consumer to invest in. If they can manage that, perhaps the games and players will follow suit.

I still prefer to play my games in old fashioned “2D” now that I’m done with my ASUS VG278H review — but the tech itself has impressed me to the point that I have to admit that, yes, it works. Pretty damn well in fact. It’s just not for me personally. But if you’ve been following the 3D gaming trend and have been waiting for the tech to improve its support and overall effectiveness, then now would be the time to consider the investment as long as you meet the system and wallet requirements.

ASUS VG278H 3D Monitor


ASUS VG 278H Monitor Specs

  • 27″ Full HD LED-backlit 120Hz display 1920×1080
  • 50,000,000:1 ASUS Smart Conrast Ratio
  • 2ms Trace Free II Technology
  • NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 Technology + NVIDIA LightBoost Technlogy
  • Built-in adjustable IR emitter
  • Full height, tilt, and swivel adjustments
  • Free pair of NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 glasses
  • Price: $699
  • Product Page
  • 3D support only works as good as the monitor it’s played on, and in the case of the VG278H, which has been built with the NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 glasses in mind, it makes for some of the best 3D gaming I’ve ever seen in my limited time with the technology.

    What strikes me as being the most impressive — and this has a lot to do with the software and the hardware — is how much game support there is behind it (here’s a list). Nearly every game I tried had some degree of support that ranged from “Excellent” to “Good.” Of course there are a few games marked with an “Unknown” rating and that support varies between poor image quality or just outright not working.


    The way it works is like this: When a game is booted up, a message is displayed in the lower-right corner to let you know the 3D effectiveness of the game. Clearly, the better support built into the game and drivers will yield better 3D quality. Of the games I installed to try out, Crysis 2 and Bad Company 2 were the tops — they were rated “Excellent” and “3D Ready” respectively. Then there was Deus Ex: Human Revolution that was listed as an “Unknown” and it showed — there was a lot of blur when moving and the UI itself was difficult to see. The same went for StarCraft 2 where the lower menu was difficult to read but the graphics of the units were well defined. So again, depending on the games you like to play, you should look over this supported games list to make sure some of your favorites are supported.

    Of course if you’re even considering playing games in 3D, you need to make sure your GPU (and your system) is capable of playing these games. As stated by NVIDIA “3D requires twice the frame rates on games to render to active shutter glasses for a left eye and right eye image. So games that play well in 2D may need different settings for 3D to achieve playable frame rates.” Because NVIDIA provided the demo unit that exceeded the minimum requirements, the experiences were just about as “perfect” as one can get, leaving me very impressed with the results.

    NVIDIA 3D Vision 2 Glasses


    One pair of wireless 3D Vision 2 glasses comes free with the VG278H monitor, and is the only point of contention I’ve had with the whole product. I understand that the lenses themselves are slightly bigger than previous versions (they fit well over my prescription glasses) and the wireless connectivity to the IR receiver at the top of the monitor is nice — once you get the two synced up you’ll be ready to go. The problem I ran into was with the design of of the temple arms, about an inch in from the temple tips, as they rubbed on the inside of my ears.

    Perhaps if some padding was put along the arms these could alleviate the rubbing. I even tried the included adjustable nose guards to raise the glasses some more, but they still slipped behind my ears, rubbing them. If I’m running into issues I’m certain others will as well so it’s worth mentioning — some of us just have big ears, okay?

    Final Verdict

    I know 3D gaming isn’t for me personally, especially since I like to play games in long sittings and generally dislike the 3D effect. That being said, if you’re into 3D gaming and have the rig (and wallet) that can handle this, the ASUS VG278H is a damn fine monitor that shows that 3D gaming has started to evolve so much from just a few years ago.

     

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