OpenGL 4.1 and Nvidia drivers

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3vi1 Posted: Wed, Jul 28 2010 2:23 PM

Not sure if anyone else noticed, but a couple of days ago the OpenGL 4.1 spec was released.  OpenGL 4.0 standardized features that had previously been 3.x extensions which were functionally equivalent to DirectX 11 features.  OpenGL 4.1 adds functionality not yet present in DirectX.

(from http://www.khronos.org/news/press/releases/opengl-4-1-released)

New functionality in the core OpenGL 4.1 specification includes:

  • Full compatibility with OpenGL ES 2.0 APIs for easier porting between mobile and desktop platforms;
  • The ability to query and load a binary for shader program objects to save re-compilation time;
  • The capability to bind programs individually to programmable stages for programming flexibility;
  • 64-bit floating-point component vertex shader inputs for higher geometric precision;
  • Multiple viewports for a rendering surface for increased rendering flexibility.

New ARB extensions introduced with OpenGL 4.1 include:

  • OpenGL sync objects linked to OpenCL event objects for enhanced OpenCL interoperability;
  • The ability to set stencil values in a fragment shader for enhanced rendering flexibility;
  • Features to improve robustness, for example when running WebGL applications;
  • Callback mechanisms to receive enhanced errors and warning messages.

Nvidia released drivers to support OpenGL 4.1 yesterday, as the spec is backwards compatible with all OpenGL 4.0 compatible hardware.

It will be interesting to see if Unigine cranks out a new version of Heaven, to give us an idea of what the features actually add to the end result (if anything).

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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acarzt replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 4:34 PM

It seems like pretty much everything has been moved to DirectX. Are there still any popular games being made on OpenGL?

I remember back in the day it used to be pretty evenly split and there would be benchmarks stating if it was DX or OpenGL, and it would almost always be ATI winning the OpenGL stuff and Nvidia winning the DX stuff lol

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realneil replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 4:51 PM

You used to be able to download OpenGL as an exe file and install it onto windows to make the system work better. It had all of the driver that you needed for good gaming in one easy package. It beat the crap out of Direct X for years. Now you can't get it anymore. Or maybe I just don't know enough to get it done anymore. (the simple exe file was the way to go)

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 5:55 PM

acarzt:

It seems like pretty much everything has been moved to DirectX. Are there still any popular games being made on OpenGL?

Not so much "moved" to DirectX, as "got a DirectX add-on".  For instance, the Id Tech engines and thereby all games created with them are primarily targeted at OpenGL.  But, the engine includes a DirectX back-end (as do Far Cry, World of Warcraft, etc.) that is the default rendering path on Windows platforms.

MPC: So, you said Rage is a 60Hz game. Is it an OpenGL or DirectX game?
John Carmack: It’s still OpenGL, although we obviously use a D3D-ish API [on the Xbox 360], and CG on the PS3.

The reason is simple:  Microsoft is doing everything they possibly can to try to break the OpenGL standard on Windows.  They've scared a lot of people away from OpenGL by saying that it wouldn't be supported in Vista and later operating systems (instead they just made the implementation incompatible with previous versions, so that older cards wouldn't have workable drivers).  So, the use of DirectX by developers in Windows can partially be attributed to developers trying to make sure that MS won't break their apps in the next version or service pack.

Almost every other platform (Mac OS X, Linux, etc.) uses OpenGL for every game engine - which is the primary reason MS wants to make sure that everyone buys into their proprietary, non-cross-platform, API instead.  The more difficult it is to port a game off of the platform that already has 90% of the market, the fewer ports that will occur, and the fewer people who will be able to comfortably opt-out of the monopoly OS.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 6:11 PM

realneil:

You used to be able to download OpenGL as an exe file and install it onto windows to make the system work better. It had all of the driver that you needed for good gaming in one easy package. It beat the crap out of Direct X for years. Now you can't get it anymore. Or maybe I just don't know enough to get it done anymore. (the simple exe file was the way to go)

I think the problems really started when the Trojan horse called Vista came along.   You needed all new drivers, and none of the hardware vendors had any incentive to go back and create OpenGL Installable Client Drivers (ICDs) for their older hardware.

Without the ICDs, Vista and later will do one of two things with an OpenGL app:  #1) Try to use MS's OpenGL->D3D conversion routines, which only support the ancient 1.4 version of OpenGL, or #2) fall back to software rendering and therefore perform like a pile of dung.  And, if you try to use an XP-legacy ICD as a workaround, Vista (and later) will disable the DWM and basically treat you like a red-headed stepchild.

It was really a quite brilliant move on Microsoft's part to screw up the open standard as much as possible and thereby gain market share for their Windows-only replacement.  Brilliant, but evil.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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acarzt replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 6:28 PM

3vi1:

I think the problems really started when the Trojan horse called Vista came along.  

I lol'd hard at that.

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realneil replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 6:57 PM

3vi1:
when the Trojan horse called Vista came along

BOY OH BOY, DON'T GET ME STARTED ON VISTA AGAIN! oops! Caps was on.

Vista was a steaming, stinky-ass turd of an OS, and it was almost entirely unusable until the first service pack came out! I bought three ultimate licenses before it's release based on all of the BS hype that MS was throwing around about how friggin' wonderful it was gonna be. It cost me a small fortune and I never got anywhere near my money's worth out of that purchase.

When Win7 came out, it was what Vista should have been and they had the BALLS to charge full price for it!

Argh!

Got to settle down,......gonna go and wrap my hand in a wet rag and stuff it into the toaster,..........flip the switch.

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sackyhack replied on Wed, Jul 28 2010 11:52 PM

Heh, I jumped on the Vista wagon pretty late, so fortunately I never went through that experience.

 

But yeah I remember for a while in the early 2000s or so when all the cool effects in games were OpenGL only, and I didn't have a card that supported it so I was always looking for some weird hack that would force Direct 3D instead.  I think I used one for Quake 3 Arena and remember how terrible it looked compared the Open GL version.

 

Now I don't know of any pieces of commercial software that use it.  Is it mostly meant as a tool for developers or something?

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