What is a open GL driver

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Gary Puckett
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What is a open GL driver

Postby Gary Puckett » Fri, May 15 2009, 8:59PM

I was reading Deans topic on installing Vista, and he mentioned a 3rd party open GL driver. What the heck is that? I have the nvidia 9800 GT so what driver do I download.

Maybe that will fix the camara feature for me.

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David Coleman
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Re: What is a open GL driver

Postby David Coleman » Sat, May 16 2009, 11:16AM

If my understanding is correct, an open GL driver refers to a driver that uses code permitted in that particular format. It's like this, the developers say these are the standards that we want to be able to use and these standards act as a common language when software wants to talk to the hardware and get it do to what it was programmed to do.

In other words its a programming standard. We all speak English so when someone comes in speaking another language its hard to understand them.

As far as a driver I'm not sure. I have ATI graphics. You would have to go to NVidia's site to determine that.
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Dean Fehribach
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Re: What is a open GL driver

Postby Dean Fehribach » Mon, May 18 2009, 8:47AM

OpenGL is the graphics library used by eCabinet Systems. The main competitor of OpenGL is Microsoft's DirectX, which many gamers know--and know well. OpenGL is, by its name, an open standard that is extensible by developers on all computer platforms, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, BSD, Solaris, and just about every operating system on the planet. DirectX, on the other hand, is closed and extensible only by Microsoft themselves.

I know I'm going to get whammed about this, but the two primary OpenGL-optimized graphics platforms on Windows are the nVidia Quadro FX series and the ATI FirePro/FireGL series. The nVidia GeForce series and ATI Radeon series can do OpenGL, but with limited capabilities.

Essentially, whichever graphics card you are using, make sure that you get the latest driver from the manufacturer, nVidia or ATI; laptop users must go to their laptop manufacturer to get drivers.
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Re: What is a open GL driver

Postby DanEpps » Mon, May 18 2009, 11:25AM

I have posted a number of times about primary and secondary support for OpenGL (and DirectX for that matter). I would like to clarify what I am talking about, in terms that may be a bit easier for most foks to grasp.

Lets say that English is your native language but you took a course in Spanish. You passed the exam that says you meet the requirements of the Spanish course.

Does that make you a Spanish speaker on par with native Spanish speakers? Of course not. The course teaches enough language to get you through common situations but does not teach the nuances of the language, especially regional differences. Can you understand enough Spanish to find your way around Madrid or read El Mundo, Madrid's top newspaper? Probably but you may not understand everything you hear or read. You can probably take the unknown word(s) in context and make a pretty good guess at what it means, though.

This is what happens with primary (native speaker) and secondary (meets course requirements) support for OpenGL. A video card that provides primary support understands every nuance of OpenGL while one that provides secondary support can "mostly get it right." Most gaming cards support OpenGL but meet only the minimum requirements to advertise that support. Conversly, most technical cards advertise that they meet DirectX requirements, but they are really saying that they meet the minimum requirements, not that they are great gaming cards.

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