OpenGL new user HELP!!

Hello everyone, i am a gaming enthusiast, and i have been recently upgranding my computer part by part to make it a gaming machine.

altho i know that without DirectX or OpenGL gaming sucks, so i have been using directX and i have been very very irritated by the fact that the new direct x10 and direct x 11 can only be used by vista and windows 7 and since i am not keen on leaving windows XP, OR paying 270 euros for windows 7, i have bee delving into other software regarding gaming.

thus i am considering completly leaving directX librarys and moving to a full OpenGL gaming PC, so what i ask of you allmighty OpenGL user is thatyou give me some pointers such as:
-how do i instanll OpenGL on my computer
-Can i use the latest 3.2 OpenGL on windows XP?
-Were can i get drivers for my graphs board to run on OPENGL ( ati radeon HD 4890)

please help make my PC OpenGL…

  1. included in drivers
  2. yes, provided that your drivers supports it. I know that Nvidia does it, not sure about ATI. And to clarify, there is no software I am aware of that require GL3+ to work yet. Contrary to DX, modern features are added to GL without the need for higher versions. A GL 2 implementation can support all the new features of GL3.2 even if it is not mandatory.
  3. see AMD/ATi drivers website :

and i forgot to ask, does it improve game performance over directx? cause im running directx 9.c and since i cant keep up with the latest versions of directx and openGL is always update disregarding the OS you run, will i get improvements on my games FPS’s?

There are like 5 AAA games that use OpenGL (thank ARB, ATi and Intel for that). GL when used correctly is natively a bit faster than DX9 for cpu-bound games; but the presence of GL on your PC doesn’t magically speed-up your DX9 games.

Everyone has moved to gaming on consoles, so the few crumbs that get ported to PC stay compatible with DX9 level. You’re safe for ~4 more years with that WinXP.

Each game is written against a specific API so if it’s written for DX you can’t use OpenGL for it. But, rest assured, most new games support DX9 which is in turn supported by winXP. Our hope is that with OpenGL 3.2 more and more people will start using OpenGL instead of/together with DX for games, just like it used to be in the late 1990s.

That won’t happen unless non-NVidia drivers get significantly better.

I have seen GL applications that run at half the speed of a Geforce on a comparably old ATI card.

I think it is just a “minus” for AMD, and “plus” for NVIDIA. :wink:
Don’t blame OpenGL for that.

Maybe mobile-devices, like iPhone 3GS, will bust the usage of OpenGL ES, and thus OpenGL as well.

And WebGL, if become the standard, will strengthen the whole ecosystem.

Can anybody tell me if/where i can get the 1.3.0 update or drivers .

That won’t happen unless non-NVidia drivers get significantly better.

I have seen GL applications that run at half the speed of a Geforce on a comparably old ATI card.
We all know Ati had quite rubbish OpenGL drivers 2-3 years ago. But the situations has considerably changed since Ati was taken over by AMD. OpenGL 3.2 support probably won’t take long anymore to arrive (AMD is mostly a couple of months behind the latest spec).

I’m working on OpenGL apps on a Linux box with an HD4870 in it. Currently I have nothing to complain about the drivers (most of the driver code is shared between windows and linux by the way).

By the way, for a list of games that can use OpenGL see:

I have no clue what you are talking about…
Drivers for Ati graphics cards should be downloaded from and drivers for nvidia graphics cards should be downloaded from There are no specific OpenGL drivers: graphics card drivers contain both drivers (for DirectX and OpenGL).