ATi 3870 supported Extensions?


I’m looking to buy a new graphics accelerator and after analyzing reviews and pricing, ATi’s 3870 is my favorite. There’s a minor problem though:

When checking the supported extensions at the GPU database at, I noticed there isn’t GL_EXT_DRAW_INSTANCED or GL_EXT_DEPTH_BUFFER_FLOAT in the list. I thought instancing was part of DX10, thus a compatible GPU must support it? Or are those extensions just not implemented in the driver yet, or are they not available at all?

Any insights are appreciated, Thanks!

P.S. If you own a 38x0 card with latest drivers, would you mind c&p the extension-list the card supports? Maybe ozone3d’s database is just outdated.

It appears I’m not the only one pondering about this:

GF8800GT look better to me, for similar prices.

Yes, im also asking this question because im picking a new card.Ati 38xx has some advantages for me(like lower price, dx 10.1 support, tesselator unit), but from the other hand ive heard that ati opengl support is not as good as nvidias and that ati drivers are generally more buggy + as i see from reviews 38xx has considerable perfomance penalties in quality modes(AA+AF). I think that from consumers point of view 38xx and 8800gt are pretty much the same (if they are in market stock at the price that was set by ati/nvidia, which is not the case in Russia, where resellers want $400 for 8800gt and as much for 3870, hope this will change in a month), but from the delelopers, especially those using ogl, nvidia may be much better.

I hope this doesn’t turn into a flamewar :stuck_out_tongue:

Over here I get 2x ATI 3870s for the same money as 1x NVIDIA 8800 GT (I don’t want a SLI solution, just to give an idea about pricing). Also the ATi card has some major improvements regarding power consumption, and I don’t really care if the card can draw 100fps, 105fps or 500fps. My TFT cannot go beyond 60fps at 1280x1024.

I’m still looking for an answer to “Or are those extensions just not implemented in the driver yet, or are they not available at all?”

I am not talking about speed, more about features.
Nvidia really have better opengl drivers.
And from DB, a nvidia 8600 exposes GL_NV_depth_buffer_float and GL_EXT_draw_instanced.

Another Opengl related database you can contribute too :

Yeah, it’s all over this forum that ATi has some issues with GLSL. That’s why I’m asking before buying anything.

I’ve used AMD’s online form to ask those questions above, but it’s been over a week now without a reply and I’d really appreciate an answer :wink:

Radeon 38** cards are very efficient card but the lack of OpenGL support is real… When nVidia release the GeForce 8, all new features were exposed in OpenGL… and before DirectX, which wasn’t release yet by the time GeForce 8 came.

Radeon X1*** were OpenGL 2.1 hardware capable cards but the I’m not sure that drivers are ready yet for them… (Maybe since 7.11 which exposed OpenGL 2.1 for Radeon 38**). Why the tessellation unit isn’t exposed?! That’s the special ATI value!

I’m very worry by the evolution of competition between nVidia and ATI… Today’s nVidia just lead far ahead. ATI hardware is good but drivers remains weak and so much development company works on nVidia hardware makes their softwares/games for efficient on nVidia hardware… because optimized for it…

So far, I have a nVidia card… and I could not recommend an ATI card for developers, especially OpenGL ones…

Well you can see that from a different angle aswell: If you develop an OpenGL program on an ATi card, it will most likely work with only minor changes (if any at all) on nvidia cards. The people who were complaining are most likely developing on nvidia hardware and obviously frustrated that their approach failed.

Maybe it has something to do with AMD acquiring ATi and additional bureaucracy and QA are prolonging updates?