video cards

ok hopefully this doesn’t start a war or anything, but I was wondering what is the best card for opengl development and usage…

best meaning speed and support for extentions etc?

any opinions

Geforce 2 Ultra has just been released from Nvidia. 250mhz core at 4 pixels per clock with 64 megs of DDR ram at 230mhz WOW!.

Check their website

if your are looking for home user solutions, nvidia is the way to go.

Their geforce supports almost opengl 1.2 enterily(like 3d texture are missing)through extension. You can even write a shader compiler like SGI for that card because they have all the necessary extensions.

the geforce 2 gts and gts ultra are the fastest cards there is.

There are also other solutions wich are aimed more at CAD software and static imagery, but I don’t know enough about those to tell you wich are the best

Everytime somebody asks for the best card to develop OpenGL you hear only the fastest state-of-the-art cards as answer. But who should use the programs you are writing? Should only GeForce users see it? So a GeForce is nice to have (no doubt). But if you want to write OpenGL code that runs on many machines, than you can’t use any NVidia extensions and you should test your progs with software mode. And for the speed issues you should test it with a TNT.

It is the same problem when developers get their 1GHz computer. They are happy with it, but the customers are not: They get programs which need a fast computer.

Just my 2c.


Software mode is really not an option… I am (trying to) develop in OGL, and as I didn’t ever thought of 3d rendering (I thought I could buy better things than “Game boards”), I (still) have no acceleration. Believe me, If you need more than a dozen polygons in 320x200, you can discard software mode.

But I still think people should develop for Low End cards… Not so low as trident cheapos, but also not a 3GHz $4.500 GeForce Ultra…

Just an opinion… I think one of Voodoo’s pass through cards are excellent for developement, though they dont always support many extensions. I say this because you can debug fullscreen apps without having to do anything weird. Just get a second monitor Dont use the pass-through ‘feature’ since win’s gdi doesnt know anything about the pass through card you can still use the mouse and everthing on your desktop do debug while the application is running on the second screen… Like I said just an opinion… I personally have a Viper II and a Voodoo II and a Voodoo III 2000, sitting here. The former for developement, the latter two for testing.

thank you for all the posts and I have been looking into the geforce ultra, but what boards (brands and products) is it on?

Mr X,

The Geforce 2 Ultra is just announced, not shipping yet. Hercules, Creative Labs, and ELSA are coming out with Geforce 2 Ultra boards, which should start appearing in September or so.

Keep in mind that you’ll be shelling out around $500 for this card if you get it around then. Not sure you’ll be needing all this horse power if you’re just starting to delve into GL. I would think a regular Geforce DDR would serve you very well and cost a lot less. I’m still using one (LeadTek Winfast Geforce DDR, to be exact) and am pleased with it.

(Not to mention I can get 90 fps with it in Q3, but that’s another topic …)


Nvidia certainly provides excellent cards that are very compatible with OpenGL, however, later 3dfx cards such as the voodoo 3 and voodoo 5 also provide good OpenGL support. Just letting you know there are other options (I run my OpenGL programs on both an SGI Octane and a PC with a voodoo 5).