Intel X3100 Graphic cards and OpenGL

Hi all,
I’m totally new to OpenGL and I’m going to buy a laptop to begin studying computer graphics programming. The laptop I want to buy has an Intel X3100 graphics card.
My friends tell me that X3100 only supports OpenGL 1.5 while the current version of OpenGL is 2.1.
I wonder if an Intel X3100 graphics card is enough to study?


I would say no.

No GLSL support means you will have to do things the old hard way :frowning:

Which means no…

Maybe with this hardware it’s better to start with Direct3D 10 which is supported I guest.

The issue with OpenGL if “just” that drivers are not ready and never will be.

Nvidia mobile cards are actually really good at OpenGL.

X3100 supports vertex, geometry and fragment shaders as it is an unified stream processing architecture. It is another question if Intel drivers are on pair, though. I must say, it work rather well with my MacBook — the performance is horrible of course, but OpenGL 2.0 is supported with many of the latest extensions; and I could play WoW on a 1600x1000 screen with 30-40fps if I wanted to :slight_smile:

I’ve never understood how Intel is on the ARB and yet their drivers are so backwards. Intel even wrote a marketing type article which appeared on gamedev about how great their X3100 is for gaming, which received complaints because it was marketing.

I suggest getting something with Gf 8400, 8600, 8800
One day, Intel will make better drivers and will all switch to their graphics :slight_smile:

Thanks all, how about NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M?
As in , this card supports OpenGL 2.1 and it’s quite good.

My advice: get a notebook with a 8600gts

Mustang84v I don’t know where you live, but in the US I got an ASUS laptop G1S series? with a CD2 CPU and a 9500GS GPU and 4GB of RAM, and love it. $1199 I have had no issues with it and GL2.1+ meaning DX10 extensions. The only thing that sucked was my code from my 8800GTS Desktop has more registers I am guessing due to I had to pack a few vec2’s into a glTexCoords to get my data from the VS to the FS, so I ran out of varying variables… Other than that nice GPU to code with, on the go anyway.

Sorry but those Quadro things are mostly commercial stories. Just get a GeForce, it’s let expensive an probably more efficient. That especially true with NVS card.

My advice will be a GeForce 8600 GTS too.

OK, I think I should buy a notebook with Geforce 8600.

Thank you very much. This forum is really great! :slight_smile:

I’ve got an HP8710w laptop with an nvidia Quadro FX 1600M and I’m not complaining :slight_smile: but still, you can’t go wrong with an 8600, or preferably an 8800.

That sounds like an older driver on the laptop(?).

The hardware can do GLSL, but I don’t know if the Windows drivers support it.


This is a bit of misinformation-- the Mac X3100 driver does support GLSL, and many of the latest extensions. However it does not support OpenGL 2.0. It can only faithfully claim to support OpenGL 1.2, because it does not implement multisampling.

You are right, of course…

AFAIK the X3100 supports OpenGL 2.1 with the latest Linux drivers (Mesa 7.1).


How can it do that? The hardware does not support multisampling, which is required for GL 1.3. Unless of course Mesa falls back software whenever multisampling is used.

Conceivably, the driver is working around the lack of hardware support by rendering the scene multiple times with subpixel jitter, and resolving the results. Or falling back to software.

But that’s just speculation, as I’ve not tried the Mesa driver.

The minumum value allowed by GL 2.1 for GL_SAMPLES is zero, so it’s allowed to have just 2^0 = 1 samples per pixel.