nVidia Ships OpenGL 3.0 Driver

Now hurry up and make Quake 5, iD!

While there’s no denying that nVidia is having a few problems right now, for the most part it looks like internally it’s still business as usual. nVidia’s driver team has just claimed the company the title of first GPU manufacturer to ship OpenGL 3.0 drivers for (some of) its cards.

As the name suggests, OpenGL is an open standard, unlike DirectX which Microsoft limits to Windows. Despite the fact that an overriding amount of PC games use the DirectX rendering API, a few cross-platform titles do still use OpenGL; the most notable recent examples probably being World of Warcraft and Quake Wars. The quake engine having historically used OpenGL – as most games enthusiasts will know.

Obviously the driver is currently intended for developers wishing to create OpenGL 3.0 content, rather than end-users wishing to display it. nVidia’s nvemulate utility is needed to activate the additional functionality, and you’ll need an 8000-series (G80) or newer GPU. In case any developers are reading this, nVidia does mention a few functions in the OpenGL 3.0 feature-set not currently supported by its hardware.

  • One-channel (RED) and two-channel (RG) textures
  • Mixed size FBO attachments (mixed-format attachments are supported)
  • The Clearbuffer API
  • Windowless rendering support (We suggest you use GPU affinity instead)
  • Forward-compatible context
  • Debug Context

Doubtless this functionality will be added with future driver revisions. We expect AMD and Intel will follow suit with their own drivers in due course.

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