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Graphics Software

3dfx Does OpenGL 77

bwoodring writes "Yahoo! Business News is reporting that 3dfx has been admitted to the OpenGL Architectural Review Board. This could be an indication that 3dfx plans to retire their proprietary 3D API Glide soon in favor of the more ubiquitous (and Linux friendly) OpenGL."
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3dfx Does OpenGL

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  • This doesn't have crap to do with glide... What this means is that another forward looking company that built its reputation on fast and flashy has joined the ARB which comprises such companies as Microsoft, SGI, and ATI. The ARB is notoriously slow at adopting new technologies and adding them to the language (ie. the new version of DirectX will have API calls for bump mapping). DirectX has gone through 5 major versions in the last 5 years... GL has had 2 in the last 10. I'm a big fan of openGL (I'm using it right now in fact in a project im working on) they just need to pick up the pace and adopt some of those vendor specific extensions and add them to the API...
  • since they are one of the few non D3D companies remaining, and will be more so after the Xbox debuts.


  • You may be interested in the work being done over at SGI: OpenGL® ABI for Linux []
  • Architecture aside, the main reason developer's originally flocked to glide, was the Voodoo's popularity. Times have changed, and glide seems less relevent.
  • 3dfx no longer supports glide, they've said this in the past. Not long after they opened up and started releasing glide source, they announced that they would no longer be supporting it.

    This is old news. Obviously they would go after one or more other APIs, and OpenGL is the only other choice after Direct3D, even though Direct3D is lightyears ahead of OpenGL.


    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."
  • I agree, Glide, despite it's good performance for games and other low-polygon-count applications, is a bad API. This is mainly because it is entirely proprietary. However, Glide is just as Linux-friendly as GL. For more than a year it has been possible to download FULL SOURCE CODE for Voodoo drivers and the Glide API for Linux, and compile scripts have been provided with them. I'm not defending 3DFX's attempt to monopolize the industry with a proprietary game API, I'm just saying that Glide is not so bad on Linux.
  • It's only good if you like locking in your customers to use ONE brand of video card!
  • The term is legal... look it up...

    Those wrappers are not legal...

    Did you know that Creative made a really nice
    wrapper for their TNT card... well.. they got sued by 3dfx for using their glide development resources to make the wrapper. Glide has been open for quite a while.. it just depends on how you look at open.
  • Direct3D's development process is so much faster than OpenGL's. The core OpenGL spec hasn't changed in a long time. OpenGL 1.2 has been around forever.

    Direct3D is constantly getting new functions, features, etc, that make common procedures faster. The Architectural Review Board seems to sit around and meddle over suggestions instead of making a decision and adding support.

    In the graphic world, advantages, no matter how slight, are advantages, and as far behind as OpenGL is, Direct3D might as well be lightyears ahead.

    If OpenGL was on par with Direct3D, there would be no question as to what I would use.


    "I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer."
  • I think he's talking about the GeForce 256, and the Radeon 256. I, for one, cannot tell the marketing hype from the architectural reality...
  • There was a short talk at the siggraph OpenGL/Linux BOF where someone said (don't remember his name) that OpenGL might actually loose the war for "preferred game API" within the next few month. The problem, as he stated is that changes for new extensions take way to long to pass the ARB.

    Yeah, right. And if you don't write it with OpenGL how do you make it work on Linux? Like I said, we're winning. [
  • If you've got a RagePRO, it's merely a matter of adding a "Module" section with a 'Load ""' in it, copying/linking 4 files in the right places (Three files/links go to /usr/X11R6/lib- all the libGL* files. One file goes in /usr/X11R6/lib/modules- and you're good to go with Utah-GLX.

    It is literally that simple.

    Right now, I'm working with people with Alphas and PPC machines (I just got a loaner from a good friend of the Open Source community a couple of weeks back and I've just got around to putting SuSE on the box- PPC support is very likely to become a reality.) The Voodoo/Glide setup is notably harder and much twitchier- I know, I've GOT a Voodoo3; it's because of the implementation, not OpenGL/Mesa.
  • They are totally legal IF the maintainers recompiled with the opensource headers. That is 3DFX's position on it.
  • So your saying I can take the glide source
    and create a nice friendly glide wrapper for my TNT?

    Somehow I still think this is going to be a
    no no based on the terms and conditions set for by
    those at 3dfx.

    One word, proprietary.
  • Hopefully this should allow 3dfx to take a more agressive stance on supporting OpenGL. Up till now, their ICD has been surprisingly poor, only supporting what they have to in order for a few games to work. Hopefully this is a good indication of better support and a full ICD.

    With 3dfx cross-platform stance (Mac, Linux, Windows) OpenGL is the only real solution.

  • From the standpoint of the technical computing market, the more industry support for OpenGL hardware in Linux, the better our options.

    Between developments like this and some improvement in x86 memory bandwidth, you could start to see develop a tsunami of engineering desktop workstation choices migrate from the low volume, high end, high dollar RISC chips onto a more commoditized x86/Linux basis.

    So far, those 2 items have kept many workplaces in the camps of Sun, SGI, HP, IBM and DEC(Compaq) where

    Performance = log(Price)
    remains as true as ever.
  • all their OpenGL-drivers seems to be some kind of wrapper for Glide.

    You're thinking of the old miniGL drivers that only worked for Quake-engine games. 3dfx did that because it was a lot quicker and simpler than writing a full ICD (and also because Win9x only can have one ICD, and a Voodoo1's ICD would have hosed that of any primary display card). Quake was the big game at the time (early-mid 1997), and they saw supporting GLQuake as a great way grab mindshare from the DOS-only Rendition VQuake. And boy, did it ever work. The development of the miniGL persisted because Voodoo owners were speed freaks who shuddered at the thought of using a slower ICD. 3dfx basically kept with the miniGL wrapper because it was what people wanted. It finally died off when non-Quake engine OpenGL games started to appear, since developing a miniGL for each of those games would have been too expensive.

  • Actually, glide is implemented well across platforms. It is also VERY fast. From what I've heard, it is also ridiculously easy to develop for, and that's what I was told by a GL developer.

    Glide is one of the few proprietary products I don't mind supporting.
  • When Glide became open-sourced I hoped to see wrappers appear to allow those of us with accelerated OpenGL to be able to make use of Glide-specific applications. In fact, I almost wondered whether 3dfx would go down this route themselves - Glide on top of OpenGL would not be as optimal as the native Voodoo acceleration, but it would expand the base of Glide-accelerated cards and thereby accelerate the adoption of Glide.

    Has anyone seen anything like this on the Linux side? Many wrappers exist for Windows to provide this functionality (with varying degrees of success) but there appears to be little evidence of such a beast in Unix-land.


    Toby Haynes

  • So how viable is doing that sort of thing anyway? I know companies like Sonic Solutions do some pretty significant add-ons, and I know that some of the old Amiga's allowed adding of PPC processors as a coprocessor as well as (IIRC) some PCI-based processor upgrades for the Mac (and PC emulation boards). It would be kinda cool to have a use for those old Voodoo cards... z
  • You might think 3dfx OpenGL is a Glide wrapper, but I got the beta of the Windows Voodoo 3 OpenGL drivers, and they act fairly differently in 2 ways:
    1: Whenever glide is initialized, the animated 3dfx slash screen shows up. OpenGL is instant.
    2: Glide _will not_ run in a window no matter what. In fact, switching to a windowed app can corrupt the graphics both in Win95 and MacOS 8. The OpenGL drivers run with no problem in a window.
  • 3dfx is staying with a 128-bit 2D accelerator when the world has moved onto 256-bit.

    Oh no... It happened to you too. Check out this article [] over at Tom's. The Geforce is NOT a 256 bit chip. It's all marketing.

    Here's the quote:

    I could hardly believe my ears when I was finally told what the '256' stands for. NVIDIA adds the 32-bit deep color, the 24-bit deep Z-buffer and the 8-bit stencil buffer of each rendering pipeline and multiplies it with 4, for each pipeline, which indeed adds up to 256.

    It looks like ATI got sucked into doing it as well because it seems this strategy to confuse consumers actually works.

  • Relax. Not everything Microsoft does is a conspiracy. There's a DLL on Win32 called opengl32.dll that is developped by MS. It's the equivalent of Mesa and it's used by games, renderers and programs like Softimage 3D to make calls to your hardware.

    They are only a voting member on the ARB, nothing more. OpenGL is a part of Windows so they care to influence it's direction in the best way possible and that's what they've been doing all along. MS *needs* OpenGL, not the other way around.

  • by Performer Guy ( 69820 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @02:57PM (#747299)
    I'm all for OpenGL but there are lots of pretty poorly informed posts in this thread which need to be corrected.

    Glide had earlier and better support on Linux for 3Dfx hardware than OpenGL. Infact OpenGL under Mesa became available on Linux because Glide was already available to supply the hardware acceleration underneath it.

    This is all old history because OpenGL has well and truly arrived on Linux and 3Dfx has already deprecated Glide, infact they did this a long time ago and it has nothing to do with ARB membership.

    Some other comments suggest that 3Dfx were late to the OpenGL party but this again is highly misleading. 3Dfx were one of the first out with consumer card OpenGL drivers on Windows (a subset at least) which Carmack used to test his port of Quake. These matured into real drivers over time and 3Dfx even aggressively implemented extensions like multitexture and point parameters. They have been doing a great job on OpenGL.

    The membership of the ARB merely gives them voting rights on future direction and extensions. This is a good thing and indicates OpenGL's importance to PC card manufacturers but it really doesn't say anything about 3Dfx's commitment to OpenGL which has been there all along. To commit to and implement OpenGL drivers on your hardware you don't need ARB membership and 3Dfx have been doing this for years now.
  • I believe that Microsoft was added at the point when Farenheit was the "last best hope" for a unified graphics API. Unfortunately, the project fragmented when SGI bailed. Last I heard, MS has continued the project in its own vision, but I haven't heard much of it lately. For any who don't know, Farenheit was supposed to be the fusing of DirectX/Direct3D and OpenGL.

    Thank god it died, imagine what an ugly platypus it would have been if it had ever been other than still-born. Farenheit was just Microsoft's face-saving strategy to quiet down an open rebellion that was going on on at the time. I boggled when SGI played along. Well, they should have known better as they can now see with 20-20 hindsight.

    Today, if OpenGL doesn't quite rule the world yet, it's clearly the crown prince, and Direct3D has become the decrepit pus-ridden old emperor. John Carmack deserves a lot of credit for that, but he's far from the only one.

    Just one more of the many fights we're winning these days.
  • Anyone who has been keeping up with these little wars knows that glide is dead. It was nice when 3dfx controlled the market and therefore had the edge on features. But now with the majority of the consumer level cards on the market supporting d3d and ogl its obvious that 3dfx would have to grow with the times. So it came as no surprise to me when back in the initial specs of their newest card line they announced that they would not be using glide. This (the Rampage) is going to be a totally new architecture and will support primarily ogl and d3d.

    I have never been a fan on 3dfx but I am all for market competition. This seems like the last chance for 3dfx to pull themselves out of the gutter.

    Their "glide edge" that they have had in games in the past over ogl dropped extremely fast over the past two years with the rise of nvidia and is shown with Epic's (the guy's who did unreal tournament) new business descion to focus on supporting nvidia cards. nvidia who has consistantly provided ogl extensions to developers to maintain a high ogl feature set. The most overwhelming pitfall of UT's design was its overdependance on glide, which at the time of its creation (96ish) was all that was really feasible.

    This is good news for everyone as now 3dfx will be able to provide the level of ogl support as nvidia has. Which can only make everyone happier.

  • kinda creepy knowing that the framework of a 3d scene is NEVER actually standing still.

    Actually, neither is ANYTHING you see: your eyes are constantly twitching back and forth at about 70 Hz. This jitter allows your brain to interpolate the data from the retina, thus increasing the effective resolution. Kinda funny how hardware imitates life.
  • Umm... you can, and people have. Look into the N64 emulation scene a bit. Since UltraHLE ONLY supports GLIDE, people have made OpenGL wrappers for it. I've actually used said drivers to play a couple games on my Ati Rage Pro Turbo...
    if you don't believe me, do a search for

  • Friendly, compared to DirectX.

    Here I go, spoiling my Karma again.
  • by Evangelion ( 2145 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @07:39AM (#747305) Homepage
    "... (and Linux friendly) OpenGL."

    What the hell does this statement mean? Glide was the only way to get Unreal Tournament running on Linux at *all*. Glide has been on Linux since forever.

    If anything, Glide has also been easier to set up and configure than Mesa/OpenGL is currently (I've spent the last week attempting to get XFree86 4.0.1 to talk to my GeForce2 GTS, and it's been a bit of a hassle, to say the least).

    I think you're after the words "Open" or "Free", but only in a philosophical sense is OpenGL more "Linux Friendly" than Glide.

    (Something that also factors into this equation, is that Glide is no longer supported under Linux on the Voodoo 4/5/6 - and it looks like it never will be. I bought the Voodoo5 5500 and returned it the next day in favour of the GeForce2 - the V5500 was a pain.)

  • What's wrong with Glide under linux? I'm pretty sure it's a lot easier to get Glide working under linux than it is to get OpenGL if you are an applications programmer.

    I've never done either, but I know a few people who have done both, and OpenGL was a PITA compared to Glide!

  • Well, maybe 3dfx being admitted onto the ARB is news, but it's been known for a long time that 3dfx is phasing out Glide. The OGL drivers have improved a heck of a lot since the early days of the Voodoo3, while no development on Glide has been done that I know of. Heck, wasn't Glide open-sourced last year sometime?
  • I have been buying 3dfx cards all along (ever since my horrible Voodoo Rush), simply to get the Glide compatibility... Glide, especially in the early days was a pretty good way to program in 3D, and from what i heard, easy to learn. So if any grassroots project had 3D, Glide would be the first thing supported. (Kinda like Gravis Ultra-Sound in the Demoscene, back in the day).

    Now while Glide is not as popular even among programmers (i guess it's because 3dfx decided to market their own boards), there are still a bunch of good apps floating around there that are worthwhile looking at on a Voodoo board.

    If 3dfx was any smarter about this, they'd embrace all the Glide wrappers out there to make the standard more popular. Then more programmmers would write to it, since it would mean a bigger target audience than it has now. But the results would be better and faster on a Voodoo board because they were designed from the ground up around Glide. Now, because they tried to fight Glide emulation, 3dfx is pretty much a has been.

  • by bmetz ( 523 )
    As I understood it, Glide was already out the door.
  • Does this mean that we can start to see some really convenient and easy to use OpenGL support for all those of us that think adding bits and components to Linux involves ticking the right boxes in the installation screens?
    Will people start taking notice of it now so that they can easily port games to Linux?


  • by GauteL ( 29207 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @07:40AM (#747311)
    This story seems to be very poorly though through. If you look at this slashdot-story [] you can see that Glide is now Open Source, that is, not proprietary.
    Being truly OpenGL-commited is a good thing though. In the past, (and still), all their OpenGL-drivers seems to be some kind of wrapper for Glide. That is, uses Glide to respond to the OpenGL-calls.
    Could anyone enlighten me as to wether this really changes that position for 3dfx?
  • That's all well and good, but it is yet to be seen how well 3dfx can write a decent OpenGL ICD. Their mini-implementation seemed good enough for quake, etc.; but NVidia's inroads in this matter seem to be far ahead at this point. Such a task is not trivial, witness Matrox's and ATI's failings in the past.

  • Well, when the Glide wrappers first started to come out, 3dfx slammed down hard on them, modified the SDK lisencing agreement, etc, so not much inroads could be made into the field. But if you remember, Creative did come out with a driver for their nVida board that would support Glide, allthough at a less than stellar performance. 3dfx sued them too, if memory serves me right.

    Now imagine if that had not happened. Because it is an added feature, it's possible that other manufacturers would get on the bandwagon as well, and a Glide driver could have become just as much a standard for any new 3D hardware as an OpenGL one is. I'm sure the simlicity of the API, and its relatively broad distribution would make Glide a more popular platform than it currently is.

    And because cards other than Voodoo would have this support in the software layer, whereas 3dfx has theirs built into the hardware, they'd win out on performance for any Glide title.

  • But 3dfx has mentioned several times in interviews that they have no plans to continue Glide support; in fact, the new Rampage chipset will probably have no Glide support whatsoever. (Whenever it comes out, you know how 3dfx is with their product cycles...)
  • Seriously, NVidia has been on ARB ever since their early days (NVidia, not ARB). I've had the GL_ARB_MULTITEXTURE extension in my original GeForce ever since I first got it (I upgraded to the GF2 sometime around April). 3dfx should at least be castigated for their 8-bit texture compression scheme. Who the hell wants Q2-style texturing in Quake 3?

    Also, since 3dfx refuses to adapt dot-product bump mapping (also known as dot-3 bump mapping) and still refuses to update to cube environment mapping, their position in the 3d market has dropped further. Even ATI is ahead of them in the feature list right now. All that 3dfx has right now is a FSAA routine that jitters the tris; kinda creepy knowing that the framework of a 3d scene is NEVER actually standing still.

  • The API which OpenGL obsoleted on the Mac was QuickDraw 3D, not QuickTime VR.

    Then again, there are people moving to create an Open-Source implementation of QD3D now, too. Check the Quesa Website [] for more info on that. They're pretty far along in it, too.

    I always thought Apple made a mistake in obsoleting QD3D. Relatively easy to work with (easier than OpenGL), an open standard file format, and the capability to do some seriously cool stuff besides. Ever used TextureEyes to map a running MPEG onto a 3D model with three mouseclicks? What Apple should have done was offered OpenGL as a low-level API, with QD3D as a higher-level option. Maybe Quesa can fulfill that one.
  • by gfxguy ( 98788 ) on Thursday September 28, 2000 @08:12AM (#747317)
    Turning point for OpenGL? There was never a "turning point" for OpenGL.

    OpenGL has always been the cross platform 3D graphics toolkit of choice, for going on 10 years now. It was here before Glide. It was here before Direct3D. It was here before Quicktime VR.

    Not only that, but it had about 10 years of experience from IrisGL put into it. It doesn't matter if Apple never adopted it (there would be third party versions, with acceleration, like Mesa, coming along), or SUN, or Microsoft - it's now available for just about every platform in existence. MS doesn't understand that that's why Direct3D will never "win". Apple finally accepted it - they moved to Unix and more standardized libraries, and it will only benefit them.


  • Don't try to HIDE the fact that Glide was ORIGINALLY proprietary. I have never had more trouble in my life than trying to get glide to work on Redhat 5.x in my less experienced days. I am not about to forget the pain that companies like 3dfx have caused (and Microsoft too) in my life by trying to subvert REAL open source projects. Just because they gave up and decided to become open source does not mean that it should be really considered so. I still consider Glide proprietary. By turning open source, it just means that they threw it away because nobody wanted it. It is a final ruse to boost popularity for the technology by making a little noise. I am sorry, but going open source wasn't loud enough for me to hear. *LOL*
  • "If anything, Glide has also been easier to set up and configure than Mesa/OpenGL is currently (I've spent the last week attempting to get XFree86 4.0.1 to talk to my GeForce2 GTS, and it's been a bit of a hassle, to say the least)."

    You think that's bad, in Quake 2 on my dual voodoo2 setup, I saw rainbow-colored light bursts whenever the shotgun fired. Now that's messed up. Also, in GLQUAKE the rendering speed was really bogged down (sub-25 FPS, should be at least 35 on a single V2). I'm starting to wonder if Mesa is coded in Java, cause that's the only explanation for the loading lag. My GeForce2 on my Win2k machine runs beautifully; anything that wants OpenGL (even the Microsoft screensavers!) gets the hardware drivers.

    I applaud you in returning the Voodoo5 - it is truly a folly of a 3d accelerator. 3dfx is staying with a 128-bit 2D accelerator when the world has moved onto 256-bit. Alex Leupp should really take his blinders off sometime; he would probably pee his pants once he saw how far behind 3dfx really is.

  • OpenGL goes through less and slower revision for two great reasons:
    • It was designed right from the beginning.
    • The whole reason for the board is that extensions aren't added haphazardly, and to make sure there is a consensus on how to do it right.
    Bump mapping is a nice feature, and I'd like to see it in OpenGL, but comparing the rate of change in the APIs only shows how much better thought out OpenGL is compared do D3D.
  • If you read the FAQs on [] (when the server is actually up), 3Dfx has pledged support to BOTH OpenGL and DirectX. They have regulated Glide to a legacy app.

  • GeForce2 in XFree 4.0.1? This was pretty straightforward for, just follow the instructions in 0.9-5, install the kernel-module (it works, so enter the line in /etc/conf.modules (or /etc/modules.conf, depends)) and edit /etc/X11/XF86Config (or /etc/X11/XF86Config-4, when using Mandrake) to use nvidia-driver instead of the nv one. Finally install the opengl-driver and restart X, did take me about 10 minutes (including download)
  • Just because OpenGL is changing at a slower rate than Direct3D, doesn't make it better. A good design decision is a good design decision no matter how long it takes to come to that decision. Disregarding Direct3D as a poor API strictly based on the large number of recent revisions is ludicrous. If OpenGL was planned "right" from the beginning, it should be really easy to add new features to the API. Regardless, I agree that OpenGL is the better planned API, it just seems stupid to say that an API is crap because they made a bunch of revisions recently.
  • Glide api is very similar to an opengl api. Glide api is very close to native 3dfx hardware. So opengl api appears more easy to implement in 3dfx hardware and I think opengl 3dfx will be faster than 3dfx directx. And more important - directx uses COM model which doesn't exist in most unicies (except for 3rdparty commercial COM libraries which is useless).
  • so, please tell me, when did OpenGL become "amateur shit".. its industry standard, go figure
    Guess what your good ol' copy of Quake uses?
  • jesus, good code will remain good code. Hate this thing when people moan about 'old code' == bloat...

  • Direct3D is lightyears ahead of OpenGL.

    Since when? Direct 3D has traditionally sucked in a big way. Although I haven't seem them myself, apparently the newer versions have improved dramatically, and in places edged ahead of OpenGL. But light years ahead? I think that's overstating things a bit.

  • Today, if OpenGL doesn't quite rule the world yet, it's clearly the crown prince, and Direct3D has become the decrepit pus-ridden old emperor. John Carmack deserves a lot of credit for that, but he's far from the only one.

    There was a short talk at the siggraph OpenGL/Linux BOF where someone said (don't remember his name) that OpenGL might actually loose the war for "preferred game API" within the next few month. The problem, as he stated is that changes for new extensions take way to long to pass the ARB.

  • Yepp, that's the plan!! shot in the neck is another good one as well (of course AFTER the opensourced their stuff!)
  • Glide [] is actually a very good API. It's fairly clean and relatively easy to learn if you have used OpenGL [], especially considering that the API is fairly low-level and close to the hardware functioning of the chipset.

    Glide was obviously based on the simplicity of OpenGL. It's designer was Brian Hook [] who worked at id Software on Quake2, and I think previously worked at SGI on the first optimized (read: non-Microsoft) OpenGL software implementation for Windows [].

    It lacks the high-level features of OpenGL such as doing matrix transforms, display lists, primitives, texture coordinate generation, etc. Glide was designed for game developers, who generally would prefer to implement these functions themselves, anyway. Since Glide was chipset specific and offered a lot of low-level control, you could come up cool effects with a bit of hacking. What 3DFX now hypes as T-Buffering [] was easily possible on the Voodoo1 chipset with Glide 1.1. With a couple of lines of code you could get fairly effective full-scene anti-aliasing and motion blur.

    Most companies were developing their own APIs in the mid 90's so it was natural that 3DFX would do it as well. Rendition (RIP), 3DFX's early main competitor, had their own called Redline and NVIDIA's first attempt, the Edge3D, had an API that was kept away from anyone but licensed developers. Sidenote: NVIDIA used to imply that the Edge3D could render quadratic surfaces in hardware - I wonder what ever happened to that feature. d:^)


  • It was back in November that 3dfx opened Glide. Here's the /. story [].
  • .. however I personally couldn't care less.
    While DirectX is important for game support under Windows, DirectX is highly proprietary and only
    available for Windows.
    How about someone writing DirectX -wrappers for
  • Working in a game company I can say that we would not be swayed to support Glide wrappers, with or without 3dfx's blessing. Telling a customer that in order to use it they have to install an unsupported driver layer written by some unknown person, just in order to get the game to run, would pretty much be suicide.

    The tech support calls would be nightmarish, too.

  • If they had only embraced OpenGL 2 years ago they wouldn't be in the the terriable situation they are in now. Kinda sucks for them. The Voodoo 1 and 2 were good cards at the time. I think that they still have some use as co-processors of some kind. Anyone want to try and get them to puch numbers? And not to the screen. I know that you could use them to render (slowly, the memory transfer was bad) to the screen. Maybe if you got whole programs running on them....
  • Another way of helping out thier faltering technology? 3Dfx is already lagging behind in raw performance, maybe this is thier way of using thier name to expand further into the *NIX gaming market to help boost what may soon be sagging sales.
  • Pro-Pain "Switchblade Knife"
  • Having a "native" API for the hardware is always a good thing - say, 3 years from now nobody uses OpenGL - then you can just write a wrapper around your native driver to that new API and voila - you've got a preliminary driver.

    A marvellous arcade game that uses Glide is Rush2049. Admittedly tho, using OpenGL would make it easier to port.
  • ok so now 3dfx has openGL, will the drivers for x-free-86 4.0.x be made avalible shortly after/on release for nice FAST oGL performance in linux, for are we going to has to stay content with the less then perfect nvidia support?


    and are they going to acutally going to maintain the drivers and not just announce linux support, release version 0.0.1b of the driver and never update it? one can hope cant they?

  • Saying a company with more money than you or I will ever touch in our life times doesnt "get" something seems a bit funny'

    This seems like another of those "Us and Them" posts MS Vs the FreeWorld

    If they get the xBox out there and no OGL on that sucker heh, they are making in roads to gain more developer mind share with DirectX(D3D), So... although they may not be able to *win* if they can get enough people to forget about OGL for the most part....... Viola.

  • .. but only 3dfx boards currently support Glide, apart from the non-perfect unified drivers from Creative.
    Glide on all boards, and support for all games, wouldn't be bad though. That would mean a competitor to DirectX.
    OpenGL is however better positioned to take over that role.
  • it's there blazing performance!

    Lord Omlette
    ICQ# 77863057
  • Is that an alias for RMS? 8-) 3dfx should be forced to beg forgivness, the same as KDE and all others who dare open-source once proprietary code!

  • I believe that Microsoft was added at the point when Farenheit was the "last best hope" for a unified graphics API. Unfortunately, the project fragmented when SGI bailed. Last I heard, MS has continued the project in its own vision, but I haven't heard much of it lately. For any who don't know, Farenheit was supposed to be the fusing of DirectX/Direct3D and OpenGL.
  • 3dfx has been a member for some time, but only now has it become a voting member. It may seam like a big step, but it doesn't have to be.

    The openGL ARB used to be runed by SGI but since they doesn't do it any more (actually they do but they are not as active as before), some one else should step up and take the lead. But this hasn't happened yet, A lot of people think that nVidia runs the ARB as the currently most power full member, but infect they dont.

    OpenGL is actually runed by A few individuals from all the members that in a most co-operative manner carries out the work. What may be surprising is that some of the most power full voices come from people who does not work for any of the hardware company's, Im thinking of people like Chris Hecker and Brian Sharp, who carries out some excellent work for the ARB. The voting is mostly just a formality.

    BTW 3Dfx has actually told game developers that they do not see Glide as a future platform.
  • all others who dare open-source once proprietary code

    So we should scorn all things not open all the nice linux games should be boycotted since they are not open source?
  • 'Fast' is an implementation issue and performance will improve if the underlying implementation of the spec is good. OpenGL has the advantage in that it is not just for games, it has many high-end applications. OpenGL is also portable and being open 3DFX can actually give their 10c worth. Direct X, or should I say Direct-Draw, while being great for games and well supported has the disadvantage of being Windows only and not really recognised by the high-end apps.

    Software companies are no longer wanting to bet on one horse, so if there is a way to be able to bet on several horses at a time, for the same cost, then they will. OpenGL is such a solution and means that the porting cost is less than something written in Direct-X.

    3DFX is also a hardware company and when most of their competitors are offering OpenGL based solutions, then they will want to go with the solution that is selling. It is easier, and cheaper, for MS to interface Direct-X to OpenGL, than it is for 3DFX to the other way around.

  • Actually, they have every intention of support Glide apps under the DRI. It's just not high on their priority list.

  • With all those games I bought 3 years ago? Most were not ported from glide. Proprietary almost always sucks. -A
  • Although the link is just corporate propoganda, there were two things that stuck out for me.

    The permanent members of the ARB are 3Dlabs, Compaq, Evans & Sutherland, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and SGI.

    What vested interest in OpenGL could M$ possibly have except from leading it in a direction that benefits DirectX.

    And second...

    The board currently includes representatives from 3D Labs, ATI, Compaq, Evans & Sutherland, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Intel, nVIDIA, Microsoft, SGI and Sun Microsystems.

    So doesn't this show that 3dfx is more concerned about not being left out, or losing mind share among important decision makers?

    Seeing 3dfx get seriously on board with OpenGL is great. The shotty OpenGL support at the time of Quake 3 Test is what drove me to nVIDIA. I hope this is the start of a stronger 3dfx that can better compete in the market place

  • Finally...maybe.

    The glide api has come and pass. It was a nice try at cornering the market into using a proprietary api but there is far to much quality competition to think this would ever work today. It now seems to be a burden to gaming companies to provide patches/tweaks/updates or what have you so Joe Gamer can get a few more frames or even decent gameplay on his 3dfx hardware.

    Though I seriously doubt 3dfx would completely remove their glide implementation... this is at least a sign that they will focus their efforts more to the slightly greater embraced OpenGL standard.

    Over the years I have come to respect this company for their continuing dedicated to their hardware and customer base. Routine driver updates and their support of the GNU/Linux operating system are rather notable points.

    Anyhow, this is probably the right thing to do for their customers... so everyone benefits.
  • DirectX is primarily MS Windows only. It has not been ported to all platforms. Linux has SDL which IS cross-platform. Check it out at Its just as fast as DirectX and as comprehensive. And if your a MS DirectX fan who believes this impossible it may be because you are stubborn and cannot think outside a Microsoft certified box. Your loss.
  • I'd definitely have to say the turning point for opengl [] in its march to dominance of glide was when Apple adopted opengl [] as its primary 3d-graphics library a couple years ago (obsoleting the venerable Quicktime VR standard). As Apple succinctly states:
    OpenGL for Macintosh will do for games what the invention of gunpowder did for warfare. In effect, it changes the rules of the game to make Mac gaming titles more real, more powerful, and more fun.

The world is coming to an end--save your buffers!