OpenGL was praised at GDC this week in a joint panel session featuring Nvidia’s Cass Everitt and John McDonald, AMD’s Graham Sellers and Intel’s Tim Foley. The group claimed that by using OpenGL in their games, developers can expect a performance boost of anywhere between 7-15 times what they would see when using alternatives.
Recounting the session, Nvidia’s Ashu Rege penned a blog on the matter, stating that with OpenGL, developers can cut driver overheads by 10%.
“With OpenGL, an open, vendor-neutral standard, developers can get significantly better performance – up to 1.3 times.” Rege went on. “But with a little tuning, they can get 7 to 15 times more performance. That’s a figure that will make any developer sit up and listen.
“Better still: the techniques presented apply to all major vendors and are suitable for use across multiple platforms. And they brought demos, showing what these improvements mean on real world systems. That’s because OpenGL can cut through the driver overhead that has been a frustrating reality for game developers since the beginning of the PC game industry.
“On desktop systems, driver overhead can decrease frame rate. On mobile devices, however, driver overhead is even more insidious, robbing both battery life and frame rate.”
If you’re interested you can see Everitt’s full slide presentation here.
What’s your take on the impact of drivers on performance? Could OpenGL implementation and ‘fine tuning’ be the answer? Let us know below.