I am new to programming vertex and fragment shaders and after doing some studies on OpenGl Orange book I wanted to put some code together and realize that nor my mobility Radeon 9000 based PC or the G4 PowerBook running Apple OS X 10.3 Panther where supporting GLSL.
Now I have to face the idea to build a basic system just to program shaders and I will be building it based on a Vide Card that fully support GLSL but which one?
I am incline to ATI product because I am planning to use RenderMonkey as an IDE but I am open to any suggestion, I just would like to make sure that I could just code vertex and fragment shaders without banging against lack of support issues.
Is there a specific Video Card from ATI or from nVidia that works really well with OpenGL Shading Language 1.5 and GLSL?
Well as far as using Rendermonkey you can do that even if your running on nvidia board. I would look into geforce6 6600 when it comes out. But if you looking for uber cheap shader support any geforcefx should have bare glslang support!
This could start a flame war.
If you are only developing (ie don’t care about speed) I would suggest a FX 5200 (~ 50 USD). You can have really long shaders (vertex /fragment) but not really much branch/loop support.
The Geforce 6 series 6200 - 6800 adds branching and loops (in hardware, the driver may not support it yet) I would personally go for a 6600 as it has reasonable speed, quite cheap (~ 150 USD) with all the long shaders/branching/looping/vertex textures.
On ATI anything from Radeon 9500+ will support GLSL but you may run into problems with shader length/ loops / dependant textures in fragment shaders/ no-vertex textures in vertex shaders etc . (However, any reasonable length shader should run)
GLSL shaders are always compiled into vertex and fragment programs (assembly) by the cards drivers.
For true GLSL support you should chose the “Wildcat Realizm” cards from 3DLabs.
Modern ATI cards offer almost as much support, but not 100%.
NVidia cards, even the newest generation with the newest drivers, give you only about 50% support.
This sounds worse than it is because the 50% of GLSL supported by NVidia drivers contain most of the commonly used features.
NVidia does offer the best performance (from my experience) and the highest complexity in GLSL shaders .
Who wrote that test again?
My 2c, features and functionality on GF6 are beyond what GLSL offers on any other implementation.
Let the flames begin ducks and takes cover
The “GLSL Parser Test” was written by 3DLabs, as far as I know. And I consider 3DLabs as the reference in matters of GLSL.
Please post your parser test results of any NVIDIA card scoring above 50%.
Yeah well, out of the 120 or so tests, only 6 fail that sould succeed. All the other failures are Nvidia accepting invalid shaders. (Which does make it hard for people on nvidia to write correct shaders)
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