GeForce graphics cards gain OpenGL 3.0 support

— 12:56 PM on December 17, 2008

This probably won't get too many gamers excited, but Nvidia has released drivers with "full" support for OpenGL 3.0 and version 1.3 of the OpenGL shading language (GLSL). The drivers work on Geforce 8 or newer graphics cards along with a number of Quadro professional offerings, and they're available for Windows Vista, Windows XP, Linux, Solaris, and FreeBSD.

According to Nvidia, these drivers allow developers to "immediately begin using these drivers to build OpenGL 3.0 functionality into their software to give end-users new, superior graphics reproduction and visualization features." The official FAQ says getting up and running with OpenGL 3.0 involves using a new context creation call—if that isn't used, then the software falls back to OpenGL 2.1.

You can learn more about OpenGL 3.0 by visiting the Khronos Group's OpenGL page and perusing the overview presentation (PDF). The latest version of the spec reportedly "adds many new features to OpenGL's advanced programmable pipeline and, while remaining fully backward-compatible with older versions, introduces a deprecation model for the first time." OpenGL 3.0 may not impact the PC gaming scene a whole lot, though, since the vast majority of folks writing games for Windows use Microsoft's DirectX these days.

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