Below are my system stats. I have OpenGL 2.1. I see the newest version is 4.4. I did a check for driver updates on the Intel site but there are no updates for my computer. Can someone explain what this means for my programming in C++. Do I need to buy a new computer with OpenGL 4.4? Do I need to use a programming guide written for OpenGL 2.1?
Driver Version: 18.104.22.1689 (20-Feb-10)
Shading language version: 1.20 - Intel Build 22.214.171.1246
Renderer: Mobile Intell® 4 Series Express Chipset Family
Adapter RAM: 829 MB
Monitor:: Genteric PnP Moniter
Display: 1440x900x32 bpp (60 Hz)
Operating Sytem: Windows 7 Home Premium
Processor: Intell Celeron CPU 2.20GHz
Version 9.0c - June 2010, 10.0
Shader model: vs_4_0, ps_4_0
Certain OpenGL features can only be implemented (efficiently) on hardware with certain capabilities. Your hardware and driver (apparently) can not support all required features of newer OpenGL versions, so they may only claim to implement up to OpenGL 2.1 - you may also have access to specific newer features through OpenGL extensions supported by your driver.
As far as learning OpenGL goes the problem IMHO with material written for 2.1 is that it (very likely) will make no or little use of shaders so that would suggest using a guide written for OpenGL 3 (or newer). Unfortunately some of that material will not work 1:1 on your system and on top of learning OpenGL you’ll also have to figure out what the equivalent older functionality looks like (or that there isn’t any), which is probably not easy if you’re just starting with the API.
If You want to learn OpenGL programming. Then OGL 2.1 is not enough to learn modern (and fast, and future proof) stuff.
Buy some cheap GCN or Maxwell GPU/APU (yes, look for gpu architecture, as both AMD and Nvidia cheat somewhat by selling old stuff in “new” cloths). --> 100$