Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Graphics Software AMD Upgrades Hardware

AMD Adds OpenGL 3.0 Support To Graphics Drivers 102

Posted by timothy
from the stars-are-aligning dept.
arcticstoat writes "Just a few months after The Khronos Group unveiled the Open GL 3.0 spec last year, AMD has included full support for the new API in its first WHQL driver of 2009 — Catalyst 9.1. OpenGL 3.0 requires DirectX 10-level hardware, such as AMD's Radeon HD series of GPUs. However, unlike Direct3D 10, OpenGL 3.0's features can be enabled on both Windows XP and Vista, as well as Linux and Mac OS, which could be a bonus for game developers looking for a broad base of customers. The Khronos Group claims that OpenGL 3.0 has a 'rough feature parity' with Direct3D 10, and it provides Shader Model 4.0 support, including features such as the Geometry Shader. The Khronos Group also says that the new API will interoperate with the GPGPU API OpenCL, which could allow OpenGL 3.0 to compete with the Compute Shader promised in Microsoft's DirectX 11 API."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

AMD Adds OpenGL 3.0 Support To Graphics Drivers

Comments Filter:
  • waiting game (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aranykai (1053846) <slgonserNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:31PM (#26656385)

    Now we just have a waiting game, to see if any major developers will adopt it. It seems these days they just want to port over xbox games so directx is the obvious choice.

    • Re:waiting game (Score:4, Informative)

      by Bert64 (520050) <bert@slashd[ ]fi ... m ['ot.' in gap]> on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:34PM (#26656439) Homepage

      Depends whether their games target the Wii and PS2/PS3 systems as well... The install base of PS2 systems is huge and new games are still being made, and the Wii is selling very well. If they target OpenGL then everything but the xbox is an easier port.

      • Re:waiting game (Score:5, Informative)

        by Ilgaz (86384) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:37PM (#26656473) Homepage

        Lets not forget the 10% approaching Mac OS X. While game developers may think otherwise, users _hate_ bootcamp to run games or Cider (Windows) games under OS X. Under OS X, native 3d is OpenGL.

        • Re:waiting game (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:44PM (#26656577)

          Ah, but this article is about a driver for Windows. Are OpenGL 3.0 drivers available for OS X yet?

          • Re:waiting game (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Ilgaz (86384) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:49PM (#26656649) Homepage

            I am almost sure Apple will be hurrying to implement them under OS X. OS X had very early OpenGL 2.x support, very silently with a OS X update. They try to use whatever available as you probably know, for desktop acceleration and CoreImage etc.

            Interestingly my low end NV5200 had OpenGL 2.x support just with a system update. While on it, here is the tool I get such details and benchmark/test them: http://www.realtech-vr.com/glview/version3.html [realtech-vr.com]

            • by corser (995751)

              They try to use whatever available as you probably know...

              Tell that to my non hardware accelerated h.264 video.

              It's mostly QT since XBMC plays MKV video much better, but it would still be nice to not boot up into windows for high bit rate stuff

              • OSX can't decode h.264 fast enough to watch that you have to boot windows?

                I find that curious since I use fedora and an onboard nvidia gpu with shared memory and it decodes 720p and 1080i/p x264 videos just fine. Maybe your CPU is the bottleneck? I have the low quadcore Q6600 or whatever.
                Just curious what you're running that is giving issues in OSX, since I'd think the hardware utilization of OSX & linux would be similar to each other when compared to windows drivers.
                • by Ilgaz (86384)

                  I think he talks about GPU h264 decoding support being available on Windows (drivers) while it is non existent on Apple OS X. Another issue is, Apple H264 decoder is multi core/SMP enabled while ffmpeg/mplayer based decoders doesn't have it. Latest Perian codec set solves this issue by not supporting h264 base decoding and leave it to Apple h264 decoder.

                  MKV format has some weird issues on OS X too and I have no clue why since it is just a container like mov. I started to suspect filesystem.

                  • QuickTime's decoder also does a lot of extra postprocessing. If you play the H.264 you grab from iPlayer on my old PowerBook with VLC and with QuickTime, you can easily see the difference. The channel logo in the corner is much more blocky with VLC than QuickTime, but the CPU load is about half. I generally try watching H.264 stuff in QT but switch to VLC if it is dropping frames.
          • by aliquis (678370)

            Rather, is OpenGL 3 in OS X at all? Because I guess only drivers isn't enough? In the case of Windows maybe they replace other stuff but in OS X?

            • by corser (995751)

              Apple is the single point of contact for all updates to their systems.

              Any files/libraries needed in addition to the drivers would come from apple during the same update. Assuming they provide one.

              It's of of the nice things about apple and it's one of the most frustrating when you find there is a bug

            • by Ilgaz (86384)

              I am on OS X Tiger (10.4) now which is 1 generation older than Leopard. Even Tiger supports 9% of OpenGL 3 specs on a very old NVidia 6600 card/GPU. So, 2 of 21 extensions are already here.

              The application which I use check is: OpenGL extensions viewer 3.11 which is clean freeware by a known company. http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/55098 [versiontracker.com]

              If I know Apple well after all these years, if there is a particularly impressive feature of OpenGL 3.x which is related to their frameworks, they will sure

          • by LoRdTAW (99712)

            They will be, OpenCL was developed by Apple. Would not make sense to have one and not the other.

        • Apple's market share is highly irrelevant (in more than one sense). Of that 10%, the majority are laptop owners, of which an even smaller percent actually want to game on them.
          • by Ilgaz (86384)

            Well as the World moves to laptops, some good GPUs started to appear on laptops with good formulas as putting one low power and one high power gpu, give user the choice. Some good games are already playable _unless_ you run Intel integrated graphics.

            Another thing is, coding the game on OpenGL and ship an OpenGL ES (scaled) version same time on iPhone, Symbian and even PSP. Companies who are clever to use OpenGL are already making use of it.

          • by samkass (174571)

            I know you're talking about computers, but there are now more games available for Apple's iPhone/iTouch than all the other handheld gaming devices combined. Yes, right now 90%+ of them are little better than your typical flash browser game, but they're improving in quality rapidly and Apple is realizing where their bread is buttered. The latest crop of Mac laptops pay a lot more attention to GPU issues and the next iPhone will likely make game performance a priority.

            Of course, the iPhone is OpenGL ES, so

            • I know you're talking about computers, but there are now more games available for Apple's iPhone/iTouch than all the other handheld gaming devices combined. Yes, right now 90%+ of them are little better than your typical flash browser game, but they're improving in quality rapidly and Apple is realizing where their bread is buttered. The latest crop of Mac laptops pay a lot more attention to GPU issues and the next iPhone will likely make game performance a priority.

              Considering the DS has passed 85 million units and the GBA before it sold a fairly strong 40-50 million... You have to imagine with a market like that, there'd be a massive library of games. I'm pretty sure that surpasses Apple's iPod Touch by far.

              Unless you count flash games as iPod/iPhone games? If so, that's a cheap move. They could be played on a DS, too, at least in theory. And isn't flash not even working on the iPhone?

              (I hate people who use "iTouch". when the hell did this meme start? This is the iTo [itouchds.com]

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                by samkass (174571)

                It's not that hard to actually check, you know. The DS has about 500 games [nintendo.com] available for it, according to Nintendo. The GameBoy Advance has about 950 games [nintendo.com].

                The iPhone currently has 17,367 total native apps available for it, of which 4,460 are tagged as games and 4,806 as entertainment (many of those are tagged as both). It's really no contest. Apple is by far the largest marketplace for handheld gaming, beating the DS by an order of magnitude. And I'm not counting web games (most of which don't run on

                • by Bert64 (520050)

                  The reason is that the barrier to entry for someone wanting to develop apps on the iphone is much lower than the ds, similarly the distribution costs are a lot lower and the cost for users to acquire games is generally much lower too.

            • by X0563511 (793323)

              When you have this for the iPhone, it really tells you something...

              http://x-plane.com/iPhone/iPhone.html [x-plane.com]

            • by Ash-Fox (726320)

              I know you're talking about computers, but there are now more games available for Apple's iPhone/iTouch than all the other handheld gaming devices combined.

              I doubt the iPhone, iPod touch game libraries even reach near the quality and quantity of games on the DS, nevermind all portables combined.

              The latest crop of Mac laptops pay a lot more attention to GPU issues

              It didn't really help much in performance and Apple have yet to fix the numerous bugs in their OpenGL implementation that have existed for so many

              • by samkass (174571)

                The iPhone has an order of magnitude more games available for it than the DS. Of course you're right about quality, but that's improving fast.

                • by Ash-Fox (726320)

                  The iPhone has an order of magnitude more games available for it than the DS.

                  My private DS game collection has 280 games, I stopped collecting DS games two years ago (and no, I'm not a Nintendo fan). That number was nowhere even close to the amount of DS games available at the time and I suspect since that number has definately increased numerous times over.

                  Unfortunately, google fails me at finding any concrete numbers of games released for the platform, which is why I can't quote you any numbers. I am skep

                  • by samkass (174571)

                    Here's a post [slashdot.org] where I looked it up. According to Nintendo, there are currently about 500 DS-specific games and 950 GBA games currently for sale. Even if you assume that 4 out of 5 games ever made for the DS are currently out of circulation, you still have 1/2 the number of games (4,460) that are currently available on Apple's App Store. The two systems combined have about 1/3 the selection.

                    But really what matters is the quality of the games. How many Rock-Paper-Scissors or Whack-a-Mole games do you real

        • by dusanv (256645) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @05:06PM (#26658493)

          How do you imagine they're going to play games on the Macs when half of them have the notorious Intel GMA "video cards", most of which still don't have hardware T&L (example: Intel GMA950 is still used in Mac minis and was until recently in MacBooks)? The other half of the Macs has outdated and non-upgradeable video cards. To illustrate: the most up to date video card you can get for the Mac Pro (most upgradeable and powerful Mac) is the Radeon 3870 or the NVidia 8800GT (both a generation behind the curve).

          I don't think developers are going to take gaming on OS X seriously until Apple does.

          • by Ilgaz (86384)

            Well, Apple saved (!) those poor GPU driver coders from endian problem with Intel switch, they use standard EFI and OpenFirmware as BIOS I think we should point fingers at ATI and Nvidia gang and even S3 for not releasing similarly priced graphics cards for Apple. What excuse do they have now?

            Apple can't do any more favor unless they sit and make a "Apple GPU" which is impossible. They are giving away free SDK/ Driver development kit/ specs and it is up to ATI and Nvidia to ship graphics cards.

            I got a Quad

            • by dusanv (256645)

              Mac Pro is a high end workstation, not a gaming machine. It's way too expensive (and powerful). Unfortunately, none of the machines in their lineup are suited for gaming (some are completely useless due to the GMA fiasco). Apple needs to release a suitable machine (something like a MacPro/2) and video cards will start showing up. It's up to Apple to get the ball rolling here.

          • by GenP (686381)
            To be fair they managed to implement EXT_framebuffer_object on the GMA950 somehow. Even Intel can't seem to figure that out on win32/linux.
      • Re:waiting game (Score:5, Informative)

        by robthebloke (1308483) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:54PM (#26656719)
        Uhm. PS2/PS3 and the Wii do not support OpenGL, so not sure how you figure that's even an issue? (There is a truly awful OpenGL ES wrapper for PS3, but nobody sane would ever use it....)

        In actual fact, porting between GL3.0 and DX10 isn't that hard. It's all SM3.0/SM4.0 shaders that just need to be ported. Everything else is more or less createBuffer/createTexture etc. Porting legacy OpenGL code is a royal PITA though. There just aren't any equivalents for immediate mode/display lists/fixed function etc. Sadly, it's easier to port a DX10 app to GL than it is to go the other way around...
        • Re:waiting game (Score:4, Informative)

          by BigBuckHunter (722855) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @07:34PM (#26660455)

          Uhm. PS2/PS3 and the Wii do not support OpenGL

          This is correct, though they both utilize openGL-esque APIs. Mesa wrappers are already showing up for the Wii.

          BBH

          • Minus immediate mode. Minus compiled vertex arrays. Minus glFogCoordEXT. Minus Fixed Function. Minus glEvaluators. Minus the selection buffer. Minus the accumulation buffer. Minus gluNurbs. etc etc etc

            And that's really my point. The code paths used on consoles will not provide any of that legacy crap listed above - so to call them openGL-esque is a complete lie. I'd call them 'similar to what we want openGL to look like', but they are nowhere near being OpenGL3.0 conformant.

            Now then, strip openGL of al
            • Would you be satisfied with the terms "provides a subset of OpenGL" or "Provides a 3D API based on loosely OpenGL"? Much like OpenGLES or, for lack of a better example, GLIDE?I realize that "opengl-esque" is a broad term which possibly would include Direct3D, metal, and almost every 3D API in history.

              Sorry in advance for the overuse of quotes.
              BBH
      • by gfxguy (98788)

        I wonder if it'd be that hard to include OpenGL drivers right on a game disc for Xbox games (or if it's possible).

      • Why does everyone think you use OpenGL on the PS2/PS3/Wii? It's just not what is done. You write to the metal for that card using a thin layer.
      • I wish that were true. PSGL (PS3) is based on OpenGL ES rather than OpenGL, and has shader support through nvidia CG, not GLSL. Also, it's mostly there for convenience. Any serious game engine would have to go through the native/low level graphics library for PS3: libgcm.

    • Lock In (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by dch24 (904899)
      Assume for sake of discussion that game companies using DirectX is a bad thing.

      If they ignore the xbox segment, they lose a lot of customers, so the game companies (EA, I'm looking at you) just _have_ to write for xbox. So then they're already coding to DirectX, so they just port it over to Windows. So then I can't play their games unless I have Windows Vista Extreme Ultimate Gamer Edition Fatal1ty Server (MSRP $9,999 per seat).

      Oh, and now DirectX goes to 11.

      I know that OpenGL isn't always the easiest
      • Re:Lock In (Score:5, Funny)

        by nschubach (922175) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:48PM (#26656635) Journal

        if you want to sway the game companies, chuck your xbox.

        Does that mean I have to buy one just to chuck it?

      • Re:Lock In (Score:5, Informative)

        by robthebloke (1308483) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:59PM (#26656797)

        Assume for sake of discussion that game companies using DirectX is a bad thing.

        It's OK. No console developers are writing code using DirectX (barring those targetting windows) - We have XDX for the xbox, but's thats not the same thing at all.

        Also I'm not sure where this myth about openGL being used on consoles has come from, because the truth is very different. We are actually writing rendering code in SDK's specific to Wii and PS3. There is no OpenGL support. (There are some really crappy openGL wrappers that are too in-efficient to be useful if that's what you mean?)

        • Also I'm not sure where this myth about openGL being used on consoles has come from, because the truth is very different. We are actually writing rendering code in SDK's specific to Wii and PS3. There is no OpenGL support. (There are some really crappy openGL wrappers that are too in-efficient to be useful if that's what you mean?)

          OFC if you have to port the game between 4 architectures, (directx,ps3,xdx,wii) it would be beneficial to seperate out the rendering code, which in turn makes it easier to port to openGL right?

          Hopefully as the mac user base increases the cost of writing that extra rendering backend will become less than the benifit. OFC with some wishful thinking eventually, the cost of porting the executable to linux/wine (with an openGL renderer), becomes less than the handful of sales to linux users.

          • Re:Lock In (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Ash-Fox (726320) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @06:39PM (#26659773)

            Would be helpful if cross-platform opengl code that works on Windows, Linux, Solaris, BSDs etc. worked on OS X. Unfortunately, there are so many weird bugs on OS X related to graphics, it isn't even funny.

            • It really isn't funny. Apple doesn't seem to give a rat's ass about gaming on OS X, so the only thing that works reliably are the core functions needed for their GUI, CoreImage, etc. If you actually try using half the GL functions that are usually reserved for games, you'll run in to all sorts of bugs. And sometimes you'll just run in to the fact that some of those functions don't even exist under the OS X drivers. It's a hell of a lot like working with a MiniGL driver from back in the 3Dfx days, except App

          • OFC if you have to port the game between 4 architectures, (directx,ps3,xdx,wii) it would be beneficial to seperate out the rendering code, which in turn makes it easier to port to openGL right?

            Most devs worth their salt will wrap the raw API calls yes. I think the point you're missing though, is that from whichever API you approach the problem from, the wrapper layer always ends up looking very similar to D3D 10 - since it pretty accurately reflects what's available on modern GPU's.

            The OpenGL 3.0 spec was supposed to end up looking a lot like a modern graphics architecture as well, but unfortunately, they back tracked at the last minute. The result is a pretty broken, fairly nasty API, where

        • I did some sparse game development on the N64. It had a library that was very close to OpenGL. Close enough that I would prototype graphics code using a c compiler and OpenGL on windows. Moving the code over most of the time took little to no modifications.
          • Of course that was running on Silicon Graphics hardware. Silicon Graphics being the primary pusher of OpenGL back then.

      • by tepples (727027)

        If they ignore the xbox segment, they lose a lot of customers, so the game companies (EA, I'm looking at you) just _have_ to write for xbox. So then they're already coding to DirectX, so they just port it over to Windows.

        Then why don't the Windows versions of Windows/Xbox 360 dual platform games support, say, multiple gamepads even if the Xbox 360 version does? Media center PCs tend to have big enough monitors to support this. But for some reason, major video game publishers ignore media center PCs, either dropping split-screen and requiring a network for PC multiplayer, or just skipping the PC entirely. They'd rather rewrite the entire graphics engine in OpenGL ES for PS3 and the GL-like GX API for Wii than port the existi

    • by aliquis (678370) <dospam@gmail.com> on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:55PM (#26656735) Homepage

      Oh no, Starcraft 2 delayed 2 more years ;) ..

  • Honestly. I mean, that won't make their OpenGL 2.0 drivers actually work, and there's no doubt in my mind that the 3.0 code will be faulty as well.
    • by Ilgaz (86384)

      Even if their OpenGL 2.x or 3.x got miraculously bug free and performing, ATI needs to convince game developers that it will stay that way. I know a couple of companies who really, really hates ATI because of valid technical/support issues.

      I even know a OpenGL game which users inadvertently cheated because of ATI driver bugs as it had "invisible walls", "see through bushes". Some guys even gave up playing game until issue was resolved as they felt like cheating.

  • About time (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by Mars_999 (1391703)
    I will have to update to see, but ATI's OpenGL support for as long as I can remember has sucked compared to Nvidia's.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    But will it install properly this time?

  • Linux (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phorm (591458) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:46PM (#26656609) Journal

    I'm hoping that this will eventually lead to a fix of many ATI-related issues on Linux and 3D, as their cards seem to experience a lot of weird GL bugs compared to Nvidia, etc.

    KDE4 on an ATI card, for example, does lots of weird things if you try to use FMV or have 3d apps and the 3d accelerated functions. Likewise Cedega has been known to behave oddly with ATI cards.

    On a positive note about ATI though, their drivers seem to have improved quite noticeably since the AMD takeover, and in some instances are updated quicker than Nvidia's. When 2.6.28 came out, the Nvidia driver wouldn't compile but ATI's drivers worked just fine. Also, ATI's installer has a GUI portion for those users that aren't so comfortable with a command-line.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      OGL 3.0 drivers for linux came out in december.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Give up on the closed source driver, apparently the open ones are coming along in leaps and bounds.

      • There's a working driver now, actually, but is it in the mainstream kernel yet?

        For R700 and R600, that is... And what kind of problems would you expect? I hear you can't do Compiz+XV, but is that only if you use compiz and XvMC or similar stuff? What if the CPU is handling the decoding?

    • by linds.r (895980)
      Actually this driver update miraculously fixed all the issues I was experiencing with PBOs and massively increased texture upload speed under some conditions compared to version 8.12. So I would say it has a good chance of fixing something else. I was about to throw my card in a really dirty bin after hacking away at 5 different methods of speeding up uploads and getting blank textures and 3 FPS for my trouble. 9.1 gave me back a picture, and then another 249 or so in the next second.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:46PM (#26656615)
  • hmm (Score:5, Interesting)

    by robthebloke (1308483) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @02:49PM (#26656645)

    The Khronos Group claims that OpenGL 3.0 has a 'rough feature parity' with Direct3D 10

    If by that you mean, kinda has the same functionality but it's hidden under piles of legacy crap, then yes ok... But let's just call a spade a spade - It's OpenGL 2.2, not OpenGL3.0. If you spend an hour or two with D3D 10 it becomes apparent pretty that there's a pretty big gulf between the two API's.

    My biggest gripe with OpenGL at the moment is that any monkey can write code using it normally following the red books as a guide. The amount of code I've got to strip out of our codebase that's all been done with fixed function immediate mode is just not very funny. I bet you any money that the GL3.0 red book will still devote large chapters to the stuff you shouldn't be using.

    Sadly, if you want to write high performance openGL code, then your only real option is to refer the DX10 documentation. Find the required methods in those docs, then hunt through the GL extension registry until you find something similar. Having done that, write your lovely NV specific code. Then write an ATI specific codepath. Then write the Intel code path. It's time consuming, error prone and a real pita.

    If only Khronos had done what they'd been promising for the last 2 years and turned OpenGL3.0 into the API that we've all been asking for.... I'll get excited again when the GL3.1 spec + drivers come out, and am sure to be disappointed once more, but I live in hope....

    Sorry for the rant. Anyhow, thanks ATI for finally getting GL3.0 support into your drivers. Much appreciated. It's only been 6 months since the spec was released....

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I really don't understand why anyone who isn't developing AAA games is using Direct3D or OpenGL.

      Sane people working on more modest 3D projects should be using OGRE [ogre3d.org]. It's a joy to work with, it's fast, and it's written by really smart people who know OpenGL, Direct3D, and graphics hardware in and out.

      And if you *are* developing AAA games, aren't there high-quality, cutting-edge, cross-platform engines [emergent.net] you can buy? You still need to know how the 3D software and hardware work. And you still have to write
      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        because most AAA games are made with exisiting code bases.

        Fallout 3 - An improvement upon Oblivion's engine which was an improvement upon Morrowind's engine.

        Source Engine - They took a copy of Half-Life 1's code base.

        I'm not going to list everything but you get the idea. If a company was starting from scratch then yes, Ogre would be a viable choice.

        It's important to point out that although Ogre is under LGPL a company can license it and not have to contribute back.

        • by am 2k (217885)

          Uh, Fallout 3 and Oblivion use Gamebryo, which happens to be the game engine the GP linked to.

          • by LingNoi (1066278)

            They may use that engine, yes, however they have an existing code base.

            You can't just switch to Ogre if your code base is using Gamebryo.

      • by am 2k (217885)

        And if you *are* developing AAA games, aren't there high-quality, cutting-edge, cross-platform engines [emergent.net] you can buy?

        On Slashdot I wouldn't expect someone to call an engine that runs only on Windows and the consoles to be truly cross-platform...

    • If by that you mean, kinda has the same functionality but it's hidden under piles of legacy crap, then yes ok... But let's just call a spade a spade - It's OpenGL 2.2, not OpenGL3.0. If you spend an hour or two with D3D 10 it becomes apparent pretty that there's a pretty big gulf between the two API's.

      Well I could spin that argument, and say if you look up your Direct-X function on your non-MS Windows machine, be it Linux, MacOS X or a console (except XBox), then you quickly realise that there is no Direct-

      • by Luthair (847766)
        I believe the parent was implying that the DX equivalents in OpenGL will likely have the best performance. (Presumably because most gaming is on Windows and nVidia/AMD would aim to maximize performance there.)
    • by mdmkolbe (944892)

      Could you please elaborate? I am familiar with basic OpenGL (i.e. glBegin( GL_POLYGON ); glColor3f(...);glVertex3f( -1, -1, 0 );glVertex3f( -1, 1, 0 ); etc.; glEnd()). Is that what you are referring do by "fixed function immediate mode"?

      Why is "fixed function immediate mode" so bad? What sort of functionality is better and why?

      I confess that I might be just the sort of monkey you are complaining about but I'd be interested in guidance on learning how to not be a monkey or at least understanding what it i

      • Re:hmm (Score:4, Informative)

        by Lord Crc (151920) on Friday January 30, 2009 @02:22AM (#26663029)

        Immediate mode is bad because it limits the driver from performing certain optimizations. The driver can't know that you always send it the same static vertices, so it can't, for instance, compile the shebang into an optimized triangle list which is stored in video RAM, eliminating the upload of the vertex data every frame. Instead you should use display lists or Vertex Buffer Objects (VBO).

        Fixed function is bad because almost none (all?) of the current hardware works like that any more. They will instead convert the fixed function stuff to shaders and use that. Afaik that will also limit the stuff the driver can optimize, and may result in a lot of unnecessary computations. Instead, use vertex and pixel shaders.

        Though of the two, immediate mode is by far the worst.

  • Awesome... (Score:5, Informative)

    by MostAwesomeDude (980382) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @03:14PM (#26657013) Homepage

    Not really all that surprising. I predict there will be many posts saying, "Ha, so when do the open-source drivers get this support?" so let me say it here, first.

    OpenGL 3.0 support will be added to Gallium3D as it becomes supported, and Radeons will gain that support when they are added to Gallium3D. There is no timetable for this support.

  • when will they support accelerated decoding of h264 streams? Until then using nvidia for its VDPAU is a nobrainer.

  • Only 5 1/2 months after NVidia added support for OpenGL 3.0. Google it. http://www.electronista.com/articles/08/08/14/nvidia.supports.opengl.3/ [electronista.com]
  • Anyone know what the cheapest card I can get that supports (or will soon support) OpenGL 3.0 under Linux?

    • by Ilgaz (86384) on Thursday January 29, 2009 @04:55PM (#26658369) Homepage

      Hope ATI fans won't get mad at me but from what I read and watch, it will be a nvidia unreleased card. VIA/S3 started to do really interesting things too as releasing a DirectX 10 card and having Linux support pages for some products too.

      They (S3) say their hardware already supports OpenGL 3.0 http://www.s3graphics.com/en/products/desktop/chrome_530gt/ [s3graphics.com] , I bet it works too... Issue is, there isn't any sign of Linux driver for it. See what I mean?

      The GPU supporting it is one matter, having a decent/supported driver on all systems is another. Drivers really, really matters. Let me give a example, on Tiger OS X (10.4) I get 130 FPS from same benchmark executable while on Leopard (10.5) which has way better kernel and OS architecture, system chokes to 50-60 fps. I still run Quad G5 (PPC) so I suspect lack of interest/time from Apple/Nvidia.

  • DirectX 10 level? pshaw! When they support Linux systems, then I'm interested. ATI shot themselves in the foot years ago with me by not supporting Linux systems.
    • by higuita (129722)

      ?!?

      have you been under a rock the last few months?

      ati have the binary drivers for linux (fglrx) that works fine on most things and are getting better and better since AMD aquired ATI.

      but even better, AMD/ATI is releasing the specs and example code to open source developers, so the open driver gets build... most ATI cards alredy have 2D working fine and basic 3D running. with time we will see if the open drivers will get faster than the closed ones

      • ?!?

        have you been under a rock the last few months?

        YES! Under a rock in my parents' basement. I haven't seen sunlight in years! And I have Linux to thank! Thanks Linux!

        ati have the binary drivers for linux (fglrx) that works fine on most things and are getting better and better since AMD aquired ATI.

        but even better, AMD/ATI is releasing the specs and example code to open source developers, so the open driver gets build... most ATI cards alredy have 2D working fine and basic 3D running. with time we will see if the open drivers will get faster than the closed ones

        Sounds like I might be in the market for an ATi next time I get a card, unless nVidia gets their act together and open-sources their stuff.

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." -- Walt West

Working...