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“3D Solar System” is one of several available demo versions of the screensavers developed by Astro Gemini Software. You will find this screensaver under the Top 5 Downloads category, on the Home section at the Astro Gemini Software Web Site. If you already are a user of Astro Gemini Screensavers, you sure have installed the Screensaver Manager on your PC. This way, you don’t need to go to the web site to get this screensaver but you can find it right from your manager. “3D Solar System” is a nature style screensaver but have in mind that it’s a graphical animation and not a video screensaver, which is pretty natural considering the subject. The performance of the screensaver will be seriously affected by the configuration of your system. You can check out the requirements later in this review. This screensaver, besides being entertaining can be educational as well, since it gives some information about each planet included in our solar system. 3D Solar System screensaver also includes background music to make it more amusing.
The screensaver provides a configuration dialog from which you can control many aspects of it. The first aspect is the Video Mode for which you can select the screen resolution from a drop down list, or you can check the Use Desktop Settings checkbox and the VSync checkbox. The second parameter is sound for which you can control the volume level, and you can enable/disable music. The following section of the dialog is Graphics. From there you can set the Gamma Control on a percentage scale; select the graphics detail (low, medium, and high), and select to use the default settings. Finally, we have the Misc Options. This section allows you to: enable/disable the FPS display; enable/disable the time display and configure its format between 24h and 12h format; enable/disable the exit on mouse move characteristic; enable/disable the random planet order option, among others.
This screensaver runs on Windows 9x/2000/XP/Vista. It requires, as a minimum, 32 MB Video Memory, Open GL-compatible video card, and Pentium II processor or higher. Once you have successfully installed the screensaver in your computer you need to put it to work. To do that, follow the following steps:
1. Click the Start button in Windows.
2. Select Settings.
3. Select Control Panel.
4. Double click the Display icon.
5. Select Screen Saver tab.
6. Select “Solar System 3D Screensaver”.
7. Click either Preview or Settings.
- It combines animation and sounds very well
- It gives information about planets
- There's a free trial
- The trial has limitations
- The information about planets is available in English only
- The setup file is kind of large to download for a screensaver