Graphics card that supports accelerated offscreen rendering?

Can anyone recommend a decent modern graphics card that offers hardware-accelerated (GPU) offscreen rendering? My brother wants one for some reason. We’re probably talking anywhere up to £400 - he’s not exactly skint.

I don’t recall if he has PCI-E, however. It would be nice to have a couple of different suggestions.


The only way to have accelerated offscreen rendering, as far as I know, is to use frame buffer object (FBO).
I’m not aware of any modern graphics card not supporting GL_ARB_framebuffer_object (FBO), even the cheapest ones.

So, in short, pretty much any graphics card can do hardware-accelerated offscreen rendering? I’ve not been able to find a tutorial for doing this, however. Can you point me at some information please?

Yes, pretty much any! Framebuffer Objects are a core feature since OpenGL 3.0. You only need a valid OpenGL context to use them.
The only exception are some older crappy Notebook chips that promote OpenGL >= 3.0 but don’t actually support FBOs. But this days there are nearly non existing.
One tutorial:

Note that there is also an EXT version. Better don’t use that one at all. It behaves slightly differently and you may accidentally mix EXT and non EXT functions.

Thanks, I’ll pass this on to my brother. Cheers!