I am new to SDL. I like what I have seen so far but I am concerned a
little bit about performance and high end graphics cards. It is my
understanding from talking to a buddy of mine that Video Card
Manufacturers like nVidia and ATI develop chipsets with DirectX in
mind. This is of course because Windows is currently the gaming
platform. So DirectX can actually use more features of a video card.
The question is kind of messed up. Using more features is not the same
as getting better performance.
On MSWindows SDL uses DirectX for the few graphic functions that it
provides. So, its performance is the same as DirectX for those
functions. (There may be a nanosecond or two overhead for using SDL, but
seriously, nothing to worry about.)
am wondering how SDL deals with this if it deals with this at all.
Also, is my buddy misinformed possibly?
What he is talking about is accelerated 3D. SDL uses OpenGL for that.
OpenGL is every bit as fast as DirectX.
Because OpenGL is open the standard does not keep up with changes in
hardware technology as fast as DirectX can. The difference is that MS
can do anything they want while a standards committee actually has to
respect the users and the industry. So, the device manufactures add
extensions to OpenGL (using a standard extension mechanism) to provide
support for their latest features. Which means that OpenGL drivers from
the different manufactures do as good a job of supporting their hardware
as their DirectX drivers do.
What does that really mean for most people? Not much. Games have to test
to see if each special feature is built into the card you have and then
either use it or not. If you video card is more than a year old the
support in DirectX and OpenGL is going to be pretty much the same.
What does that mean for people learning to program using SDL/OpenGL?
Figure that it will be a year or ten before you know enough to start
using all of those new features in your own code. Which means it won’t
affect you at all. Then there is the fact that even if one was twice as
fast as the other, it would make no difference to 90% of the games out
their. Once you get over a 100 FPS you can’t see or feel the difference
in performance. And, there is the simple fact that the graphics APIs
used in most of the gaming market (PS2, Nintendo, and cell phones) are a
lot more like SDL/OpenGL than they are like DirectX. Which means the
skills you learn using SDL/OpenGL are more portable than the skills you
would learn using DirectX.
Microsoft works very had to make sure that everyone believes that
DirectX and MSWindows/XBox are the whole gaming market. The are large
part of the market, but not a majority of it. And, they are getting
smaller every month.
Any info would be great. Thanks.
Hope that helps
Bob PendletonOn Wed, 2004-02-11 at 08:18, Gregg Bolinger wrote:
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