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Best Buy3D Technology3D-Ready Computing
3D computing. Find out how you can get in on the fun.

What do I need to buy to enable 3D on my home computers?

3D laptop and glassesWhether you want the full HD 3D experience right away, or intend to build it up over time, here's what you'll need:

  • You must have a computer running Windows Vista or Windows 7 with Intel® Core™ 2 Duo or AMD Athlon™ X2 CPU or higher processor, minimum of 1GB of system memory (2GB is recommended) and 100 MB free disk space.
  • Your computer must have a 3D graphics card installed.
  • Your connected monitor or your laptop display must be capable of a 120Hz refresh rate.
  • You must view your display with 3D glasses that are compatible with your PC hardware.

Will my current hardware support 3D technology?

3D itemsYou must meet the requirements listed above:

  • 3D-ready PC with compatible operating system
  • 3D-ready graphics card
  • 3D-ready monitor or display with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Compatible 3D glasses

Click here for a tool that will automatically check your system for compatible components.

If you already own a computer that meets the minimum standards, it is possible to purchase and install compatible components that will make for a great 3D-viewing experience.

What kind of 3D content is available for my computer?

New 3D content is constantly being developed for this emerging technology. Right now, you can purchase 3D games and cameras that take 3D photographs and video. If you own a 3D-ready Blu-ray player, you can watch 3D Blu-ray movies — there are a number already on the market with more available every month. In addition,some 3D streaming content is also available on the Internet.

How do 3D glasses work?

Active shutter 3D PC glasses, when used in conjunction with a 3D GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) in your PC, convince your brain that you are seeing a real, three-dimensional object. The GPU renders and displays two images, one for your left eye and one for your right eye. The monitor and 3D glasses work with the GPU, opening and closely in sync with the images on the screen, so each eye receives its own image. Because each of your eyes receives a separate image, your brain perceives 3D. And because your 3D-compatible monitor is capable of 120Hz, each eye still sees a full 60Hz signal — that's equivalent to the refresh rate on LCD monitors today.

Because this technology displays full images on alternating frames, there are no restrictions on the viewing angle in 3D mode. You can move your head vertically or horizontally within the full viewing angle of the display without losing the 3D effect.

Are 3D glasses always required to view 3D computer images?

It would be great to be able to view 3D media without special glasses, and some manufacturers are working on developing that technology. However, it's likely that 3D viewing without some kind of device positioned close to the eyes is still years in the future.

If I buy a 3D monitor, will it work as a 2D display?

Yes, the 3D monitors on the market today will display 2D content as well as 3D.

How do I know the components I purchase will be compatible?

Until there is a 3D standard in place, we recommend that you read the product descriptions of components carefully. Purchasing all components from one manufacturer increases your chances of compatibility, but a product description will indicate, for instance, which 3D glasses work with a monitor.

Have other questions? Get them answered here.

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