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AMD Adds OpenGL 3.0 Support To Graphics Drivers

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the stars-are-aligning dept.

Graphics 102

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."

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waiting game (4, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (3, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656439)

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 (4, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656473)

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 (3, Insightful)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656577)

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

Re:waiting game (4, Interesting)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656649)

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]

Re:waiting game (1)

corser (995751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657555)

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

Re:waiting game (1)

Walpurgiss (723989) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658031)

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.

Re:waiting game (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658447)

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.

Re:waiting game (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#26664365)

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.

Re:waiting game (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656869)

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?

Re:waiting game (1)

corser (995751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657645)

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

Re:waiting game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660401)

Let me get this straight. The people who make a pile of money when you buy a new overpriced computer, are the same people who make interoperability and support decisions about the computer you already bought? That walled garden of yours just gets more and more pungent.

Re:waiting game (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658521)

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 use it. At least on Snow Leopard. OS X does have massive opengl 2d acceleration already in use.

Re:waiting game (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665843)

52% on Leopard with an nVidia 8600M GT (late 2007 macbook pro)...

Re:waiting game (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26662351)

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

Re:waiting game (1)

not already in use (972294) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657819)

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.

Re:waiting game (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658215)

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.

Re:waiting game (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658821)

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 it's not entirely relevant to this discussion yet, but if you're talking about scalability OpenGL has a lot of traction.

Re:waiting game (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659323)

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 iTouch [itouchds.com] )

Re:waiting game (2, Funny)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660921)

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 the iPhone since Apple seems to hate Flash for some reason.)

Like I said, though... a lot of those games are poor quality right now. But they're getting better fast, and downloads have doubled in the last month according to developers, so it's a growth market.

Re:waiting game (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665883)

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.

Re:waiting game (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659825)

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 years, preventing cross-platform opengl code that works on Linux, Windows, BSDs, Solaris (even running on Mac hardware), but not OS X. Where on OS X, you can get the system entire to lock up, crash and various other annoying things.

Re:waiting game (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660945)

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.

Re:waiting game (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661389)

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 skeptical that iPhone has more games available for it than the Nintendo DS even when ignoring the fact that the DS also has access to much older game libraries from the previous generation of portables.

Of course you're right about quality, but that's improving fast.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Re:waiting game (1)

samkass (174571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26662021)

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 really need? There are, however, a much smaller but significant number of pretty innovative games that use the accelerometer, multi-touch, and even location services in interesting ways.

Considering that the iPhone is not going away any time soon and the video capabilities will get substantially better with each generation, I think you have to admit that Apple is and will remain for awhile a major player in gaming.

Re:waiting game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26658231)

Spend X dollars to get 90% of the market share right off.

AND spend Y dollars porting the game to get 10% of the market share.

Any real company (concerned with making money) will never bother with that 10% from mac. It's just not worth it.

It's just not going to happen. Unless you want to pay a HUGE premium for a mac game to make up the diffrence. $100 game? I know the mac people like to pay premiums for things. But i don't think even they will go for that much.

Re:waiting game (1)

Facetious (710885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659993)

Your line of reasoning, though appealing, is getting tired. From a business perspective it works like this: will Y dollars (using your notation) produce revenue > Y? If yes, spend Y dollars. Besides, X dollars can be viewed as a sunk cost, and that sunk cost includes a great deal of fixed costs (storyline development, artwork, maps etc.). In other words, the margin on Y is likely higher than on X, meaning potentially more profit from Y than might be expected.

Re:waiting game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660839)

most all of the game companys in the world say they disagree and it's not worth developing for the mac due to the tiny marketshare.

Gaming on OS X? Not any time soon. (3, Insightful)

dusanv (256645) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Gaming on OS X? Not any time soon. (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658581)

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 G5 and the only graphics upgrade option I have is ATI X1900 G5 edition which is priced more than $300 and not even in market anymore. How can I blame Apple? We can blame them on Intel GMA junk but not on availability of graphics cards for mac market.

Re:Gaming on OS X? Not any time soon. (1)

dusanv (256645) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661707)

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.

Re:Gaming on OS X? Not any time soon. (1)

GenP (686381) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658691)

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 (4, Informative)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657189)

I'm not 100% sure -- I work on tools primarily, not the actual engine -- but from what I've heard the PS3/Wii may not use OpenGL exactly, but their APIs are basically OpenGL derivatives with a few custom extensions.

Re:waiting game (2, Interesting)

daVinci1980 (73174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659517)

What the GP was saying is correct--most pstriple developers write the pushbuffer directly, instead of using the OGL:ES implementation.

Re:waiting game (3, Informative)

BigBuckHunter (722855) | more than 5 years ago | (#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

Re:waiting game (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26664605)

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 all that legacy cruft, and nicely re-organise the remaining API calls. What you'll have is an API that looks similar to both the console graphics API's and D3D 10....

Re:waiting game (1)

BigBuckHunter (722855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26670497)

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

Re:waiting game (1)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657443)

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).

"So-called" OpenGL is Ballmer's (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26660015)

Also depends on whether MS decides to vigorously and expensively license/enforce all that OpenGL I.P. they salvaged from one of SGI's several near-death experiences.

Re:waiting game (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 5 years ago | (#26661931)

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.

Re:waiting game (1)

noname444 (1182107) | more than 5 years ago | (#26673533)

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 (0, Flamebait)

dch24 (904899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656471)

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 API to write for. But if you want to sway the game companies, chuck your xbox.

Re:Lock In (4, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656635)

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 (1)

EvilMaus (660991) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656997)

Yes. We'll be expecting results within a week. Send us a clear message.

Re:Lock In (5, Informative)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?)

Re:Lock In (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657563)

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 (4, Interesting)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

MOD PARENT UP (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26663515)

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 Apple dropped the wrong set of functions.

Re:Lock In (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26665439)

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 there are literally a 101 ways to draw a triangle. Every other API has just 1 method - and that's always the fastest available. If you've been using OpenGL for 10+ years, you probably have the experience to know which functions are redundant, and which functions are badly supported. If you're new to OpenGL, then god help you! The extension registry is roughyl twice the size of the new testament - That's a hell of a lot of man pages to trawl through.....

Re:Lock In (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657639)

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.

Re:Lock In (1)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659459)

Of course that was running on Silicon Graphics hardware. Silicon Graphics being the primary pusher of OpenGL back then.

Re:Lock In (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657897)

I know that OpenGL isn't always the easiest API to write for. But if you want to sway the game companies, chuck your xbox.

Microsoft has:

  • The best graphics API
  • The best development tools
  • The best online service

There are Microsoft products that don't deserve their market share. IE is the crowning example, and as others innovated and improved, IE lost out.

Your logic is clearly bias, as I have yet to see any game that requires DX10, and even when we reach that point, all versions of Vista have it. So instead of advocating the use inferior technologies, how about you hold them accountable and ask them to improve on their product?

Re:Lock In (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658039)

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 existing DirectX code to Windows.

Re:waiting game (3, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656735)

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

Re:waiting game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26661343)

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.

And to see if the whining on the OpenGL forums dies down a little. Last time I looked it was all Doom & Gloom saying OpenGL would die because the hardware vendors would NEVER support it.

LOL

Who cares anymore? (2)

Akir (878284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656423)

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.

Re:Who cares anymore? (1)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656507)

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.

Re:Who cares anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26656571)

America's Army had fun things like this.

Re:Who cares anymore? (4, Insightful)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656835)

In fairness ATI really isn't at fault here. OpenGL 3.0 was such a botched spec release, that most of us graphics devs (especially those who'd like to see GL regain some dominance) would like to see the Khronos group lined up against the wall and shot.

Re:Who cares anymore? (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657585)

well apparently games can make people do things, so why not change some character models and see what happens ;)

Re:Who cares anymore? (1)

evilbessie (873633) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660695)

So start your revolution then.

Re:Who cares anymore? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26664505)

Stop whining, lackey. Get back to coding and trim that goddamned neck beard.

Re:Who cares anymore? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26656551)

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.

Honestly. I mean, that being an asshole won't make your head actually work, and there's no doubt that not being an asshole will not necessary make your head work.

About time (1, Flamebait)

Mars_999 (1391703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656425)

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.

Re:About time (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26658413)

why is this marked flamebait, the OP is completely right.

ATI's drivers have always sucked and will continue to do so regardless of the OS.

That was awesome. (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 5 years ago | (#26674255)

It deserves a ha ha [nelsonhaha.com] ...

Great (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26656435)

But will it install properly this time?

Linux (4, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26656609)

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:Linux (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657497)

OGL 3.0 drivers for linux came out in december.

Re:Linux (2, Informative)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657613)

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

Re:Linux (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#26659579)

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?

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26666009)

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

Not sure what you are referring to. Linux graphics drivers are not loaded into the kernel at all, they are userspace drivers for X, and the current release versions have very little 3D support, on both the NVidia (nouveau) and Ati (radeon) side. The reason why both NVidia and Ati have a kernel module is because they do not use the regular kernel interfaces to access their hardware.

There will be graphics drivers in the kernel soon, though, with the whole Kernel ModeSetting switchover. But 2.6.29 will only contain KMS drivers for Intel cards, so you'll have to wait at least two kernel releases, and in the nouveau case I'd expect even longer. By the time those drivers are in the kernel, the Gallium3D framework will be merged into mainline Mesa/X and we might have open-source 3D drivers by the end of this year, but I don't really expect solid 3D performance for another year after that.

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?

XvMC is a little bit of a failure. While it does allow the graphics hardware to perform some decoding functions, it is designed to offload MPEG/2 decoding only. There is no framework available for offloading X.264 or MPEG/4 decoding.

About Compiz+XV, I seem to remember something about dri2 (redirected direct rendering) already being available in the latest radeon driver release, but I can't find any references to it right now.

Re:Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26670593)

Not sure what you are referring to. Linux graphics drivers are not loaded into the kernel at all, they are userspace drivers for X, and the current release versions have very little 3D support, on both the NVidia (nouveau) and Ati (radeon) side.

Do you even know of what you're talking about? The only time when GLX was entirely in userspace was around 1999 with the UTAH-GLX X extension which had piss poor performance as it lived entirely in user space. Ever since DRM/DRI came out all the graphics driver has lived in the kernel. The OpenGL library talks directly to the hardware via this driver.

Re:Linux (1)

linds.r (895980) | more than 5 years ago | (#26663817)

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.

nvidia released OGL 3.0 drivers last month (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26656615)

hmm (5, Interesting)

robthebloke (1308483) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:hmm (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26657115)

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 shaders yourself. But let someone else take care of the details.

Re:hmm (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657595)

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.

Re:hmm (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660583)

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

Re:hmm (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660615)

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.

Re:hmm (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 5 years ago | (#26660603)

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...

Re:hmm (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658267)

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-X implementation anywhere else. The argument for Direct-X is kinda lost when you aren't on Windows.

Re:hmm (1)

Luthair (847766) | more than 5 years ago | (#26662397)

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.)

Re:hmm (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#26662435)

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 is that I don't understand yet.

Re:hmm (3, Informative)

Lord Crc (151920) | more than 5 years ago | (#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... (5, Informative)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657013)

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.

Re:Awesome... (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657729)

But is there a time scale? are we talking plank times, weeks, months, years, decades?
I mean nobody is going to sue you for missing a release data but Q3 of 09?

Re:Awesome... (4, Informative)

MostAwesomeDude (980382) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658541)

Currently there are zero (0) devs working on OGL 3.0 support in Gallium, and one (1) dev working on Radeons in Gallium.

"Months" is what we'd all like, yes.

The real question is (1)

ekimd (968058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26657309)

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

cheap cards that support it? (1)

radarsat1 (786772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658157)

Anyone know what the cheapest card I can get that supports (or will soon support) OpenGL 3.0 under Linux?

Re:cheap cards that support it? (4, Informative)

Ilgaz (86384) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658369)

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.

Linux support (1)

Hordeking (1237940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26658793)

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.

Re:Linux support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26659811)

FYI they do. I'm going to download this new catalyst release myself for Linux. As well most of the previous versions have pretty good 3d support, and pretty good AIGLX support (Although they did cause blinking if you ran say compiz with a 3d application on top. May be fixed now, haven't updated in quite a while, since compiz is quite a hog with the number of windows I have open at any one time anyhow.)

Re:Linux support (1)

higuita (129722) | more than 5 years ago | (#26672909)

?!?

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

ATI released Specs months ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26665471)

Didn't ATI release the specs to the cards so you can create fully opensource drivers for them?

It also includes the specs for the 3D aspects for those cards, as I recall.

Re:ATI released Specs months ago (1)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 5 years ago | (#26667229)

Yeah, AMD did when they bought ATI.
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