Pixel fillrate and 2D graphics programming

Greetings fellow coders,

I’ve checked out some topics about blitting, sprite drawing, framerates and using OpenGL until SDL 2 is released. The information I found was very useful so I would like to thank all posters. My problem was that I couldn’t believe my GeForce FX 5200 (2003) wasn’t able to blit a 3 layers scroller in 1280x1024x32 at excellent speed using version 1.2.11/15. Browsing the board I quickly discovered that SDL 1.2 was obsolete and OpenGL the solution to my performance issue. Using textures instead of surfaces, hardware of software I don’t remember, definitely increased the FPS but not that dramatically. On the way I also learned a few things and thought sharing them could lead to an interesting discussion.

To go back to my little scroller with 2048? pixels large images I only had 43 FPS. So how many pixels was it able to blit ? A 5 MB screen and 3 layers, so in total my video cards was pouring 645 MB per second ! It’s funny because when you blind code and your animation lags well you tend to blame the card. But such calculus allow you to comprehend that it’s actually capable of drawing millions of pixels per second, nearly a billion ! It’s insane if you think about it.

That’s how I ended up searching for benchmarks and specifications. The Tech Report review feature a single-texturing test and the card did 666.2 Mp/s. So I suppose my estimation is right and that my surfaces were hardware created. In theory it’s capable of filling 1000 Mp/s. What about your hardware ? Let’s post your specs and eventually some benchmarks !

As I plan to upgrade my system I wondered if the pixel fillrate had dramatically increased over the years. I know it’s the case because I’ve checked some other specs but according to GPUReview.com and Wikipedia manufacturers like NVIDIA have focused on shaders.

Comments are welcomed, cheers !

References :

 NVIDIA's GeForce FX 5200 GPU (http://techreport.com/review/5065/nvidia-geforce-fx-5200-gpu) (The Tech Report)

 nVidia GeForce FX 5200 AGP Video Card - Reviews, Specifications, and Pictures (http://www.gpureview.com/GeForce-FX-5200-AGP-card-153.html) (GPUReview.com) : Dawn awaits you at the end. Fantastic !

 Pixel Fill Rate (http://www.gpureview.com/pixel-fill-rate-article-365.html) (GPUReview.com) : Don't miss the comment.

 Fillrate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fillrate) (Wikipedia) : The paragraph about efficient drawing is a pleasant surprise.