I currently on involved in a project where we are starting to enter the software testing/beta phase of our software, and I was interested in what other peoples experiences have been with the quality of implementation of various OpenGL drivers from different companies.
My current rankings
- NVIDIA - What can I say. I have yet to find a bug in their drivers and they do a very good job in even supporting there old cards. The best SDK also.
- ATI - Pretty good. I have so far found only two bugs. One is really minor, and the other a little more serious, but still not a show stopper. I will be interested to see how ATI responds to my bugs.
- Plain Jane MS OpenGL driver- I found the drivers to be not bad. Considering how old they are I actually impress that our code will run.(fewer features) Lets see you do that on DirectX(It has problems even on Win2000). I have run into a strange bug with glGenTextures() and gluBuild2dMipMaps() for some reason these function calls fail sometimes.(Anyone else ever seen this) Also having some strange problems with drawing transparent objects.
- Matrox - Dead last; I am still just discovering problems. It is the only driver that will actually crash my program, and they have bugs that any user would notice. Unfortunately a ton of Dell boxes use this card.
I would be interested hear other peoples experiences and insights.
I cannot talk about ATI as I have not used their latest cards. The only chip from them I know is the Rage 128 and I have had some problems with this one…
NVIDIA is my preferred manufacturer because of their good drivers and very good supports. I have occasionally found some bugs in their drivers (and many other people here too) but they are usually fixed quite quickly… The only problem there is that although the bug is fixed, it may take some time for a new build of the drivers to be released.
I haven’t had much problems with the MS implementation. The only thing is that it is entirely software so it is quite slow. Moreover, it does not offer a lot of extensions (3 if I remember correctly).
Can’t speak about Matrox because I haven’t seen their Gxxx series.
I had a G400 for a while… What can I say? It didn’t even run properly the popular GLExcess demo. Their so-called TurboGL tweaked driver was probably an optimized code path for QuakeIII-engine based games, to have honorable ‘performance’ figures in benchmarks. But for everything outside QuakeIII code path, just forget it.
Of course, developer relations are just a concept for them; unless you are working for a big company (I’m just guessing here, never worked for a big company), you won’t receive replies to emails (here I’m not guessing).
Moreover, they never exposed EMBM in OpenGL (for some months, G400 was the only card on the market that supported EMBM in hardware). This shows how commited they are in supporting OpenGL.
Maybe the situation will change with Parhelia.