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Though the ability to create 3D content has existed for close to 90 years, the technology has not caught up to what people expected from the experience until now. Only recently have new developments been made in both creating and displaying stereoscopic effects. This has generated not only renewed interest in 3D films with an increase in the number of released 3D movies and 3D DVDs, but in 3D TV and 3D games as well. The introduction of the LC shutter system has made 3D PC, 3DTV, or 3D laptop hardware the next most likely upgrade for home entertainment.

What's surprising, however, is the growing demand for 3D capability in home gaming and computing. This increased demand for 3D on the PC has led an official definition being created to describe what a 3D PC actually includes. For a computer to be legitimately considered 3D PC, it must follow these three rules:

--It must include at least one pair of LC shutter glasses.

--It must include a 120 Hz 3D-capable monitor, projector, or TV.

--It must include a 3D-ready GPU, such as an Nvidia graphics card.

For the moment, there are only a small number of computers that actually qualify as 3D PCs. Most of these are manufactured with an Nvidia partnership in mind. The graphics cards company provides its new 3D Vision system for producing 3D effects to computers from manufacturers like Asus, Acer, CyberPower, and Origin.

This means that almost any 3D PC you come across is likely to have its effects powered by Nvidia. Only one company, MSI, has released its own form of 3D PC, outside Nvidia's influence. The MSI 3D PC uses its own proprietary form of 3D generation, and includes its own version of LC shutter glasses. Whether the same large library of game compatibility as Nvidia-powered systems is available on MSI's 3D PC has yet to be determined.

One such Nvidia-partnered 3D PC is the Acer Aspire Predator G7750. This 3D PC is specifically designed for intense 3D gaming. Not only does it come with Nvidia 3D Vision, but the machine also includes dual LAN ports, customizable overclocking, and liquid cooling. However, the G7750 isn't the only 3D PC option available.

Origin is another PC manufacturer that has partnered with Nvidia. The company offers a fully customizable 3D PC, allowing consumers to choose every major component in their system. CyberPower is another Nvidia-partnered company that offers complete customization for their 3D PCs. This allows consumers to choose exactly what they need, and only what they need, when choosing a 3D PC.

Asus, on the other hand, has released three new models that include Nvidia 3D Vision, one of them a laptop capable of portable 3D gaming: the Asus G51Jx-EE notebook, the EeeTOP ET2400 all-in-one desktop, and the Asus CD5390 gaming desktop. Each one comes fully 3D-ready, and includes one pair of Nvidia's LC shutter glasses.

As yet, there are no announcements for glasses-free 3D PC. Should 3D entertainment continue to grow in popularity, there's little doubt that 3D-capable glasses-free PCs will make an appearance in the next few years. The 3D medium has seen its ups and downs over the years, but if the recent influx of displays and content is any indication, 3D may be finally be here to stay.

Additional Resources

Nividia carry some valuable guides to 3D in general on the official Nvidia website and there is a useful dedicated guide to buying a 3D PC.
Here's the list of the 10 most popular PC games:

1. Call of Duty: Black Ops

2. Need for Speed: Shift

3. Batman Arkham Asylum

4. Battlefield Bad Company 2

5. Tomb Raider Underworld

6. Metro 2033 - The Last Refuge

7. Mafia 2

8. Just Cause 2

9. Lost Planet 2

10. Crysis 2 (due early-mid 2011)