OpenGL 4.3 supported video cards

I pre-ordered the 8th edition of the Red Book and will be learning OpenGL 4.3 from it soon. However, I read on Wikipedia that the supported video cards for OpenGL 4.3 is GeForce 400 series at the minimum. Does this mean that I will need one of the supported video cards to do simple tasks in OpenGL 4.3 such as drawing a cube, or will I only be restricted to certain features without one of the supported cards? If so what features?

In your code, try making a GL 4.3 context. If it fails, try a lower version. Whatever version you get, that is what your driver supports.

Run GPU Caps Viewer. It will show you the OpenGL supported version and all the extensions available.

This is for Windows only.There’s surely a similar app for Linux,but
I’m not a user.

You only need to create a 1.1 context to get the max. supported compatibility version and a 3.1 context to get the max. supported core version via the GL_VERSION string. As you need the 1.1 context anyway to get the function pointers to create the 3.1 context, that’s basically the optimal sequence to create any core profile.

You will certainly be restricted if the card and the driver are not GL 4.3 compliant, but the greater problem will be following the examples in the book if they use GL 4.3 exclusive features. With what GPU are you trying to learn GL 4.3?

I’m actually using the graphics chipset on my motherboard, which worked fine when programming GL 2.x. I’m planning on getting a new PC soon, just wondering where I stand. Just out of curiosity, do we still use glut in GL 4.3? I guess the .dll and .lib files will be different in GL 4.3, so will my code that I wrote with GL 2.x still compile with GL 4.3?

Most OpenGL versions are upward compatible, the only GL version which removed some APIs was the Version 3.1. However in Version 3.2 the ARB defined the concept of GL “profiles” and defined the “core” and “compatibility” profiles. The core profile is upward compatible from 3.1, and the compatibility profile is upward compatible all the way from OpenGL 1.1.

But the compatibility profile is not required for OpenGL compilance, so the driver writers may chose to provide only the core profile in which case your 2.1 programs may not work. However on the Desktop both nVidia and AMD support the compatibility profile, so your old OpenGL programs should work.

However on the Desktop

On non-OSX Desktop. On MacOSX, you have to pick between 2.1 and 3.2 core.

Thank you all for your insights.