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Chopper777
11-09-2011, 08:10 PM
I'm setting up a new Linux PC for use primarily as an OpenGL learning environment. I'll be taking 3 graduate Computer Science graphics courses next year, all of which use OpenGL.

I know nothing about OpenGL or graphics cards. And I hear that some graphics cards are incompatible with some versions of OpenGL. Sounds like I need some good advice from experienced users.

I like what I read about Nvidia. Someone suggested Fermi 4xx cards or better.

Can anyone suggest a specific video card and OpenGL version? I won't be doing heavy duty gaming, but will be doing 3D programming in OpenGL.

Thanks,

Chopper

Alfonse Reinheart
11-09-2011, 09:07 PM
I hear that some graphics cards are incompatible with some versions of OpenGL.

It's not a question of compatibility so much as "doesn't have the featureset". These days, you can't really buy anything new that doesn't support DX11 (except maybe some embedded GPUs), which in OpenGL terms is 4.0+.

You can't go too far wrong with NVIDIA or AMD. With NVIDIA, you're more likely to run into a driver that is too permissive, allowing things that the spec forbids (so unless you test frequently on AMD, you won't know you're doing something wrong). With AMD, you're more likely to run into a driver that is too restrictive, forbiding (usually subtle) behaviors that OpenGL allows.

Really, either one is fine. Just don't rely on Intel, and you'll be doing OK.

Chopper777
11-09-2011, 09:53 PM
Would you prefer AMD over the Intel i7 CPU?

Thanks

Alfonse Reinheart
11-09-2011, 11:34 PM
You asked about OpenGL. That's graphics cards. So yes, I would suggest having an actual GPU instead of that thing Intel puts on their CPUs.

Dark Photon
11-10-2011, 06:00 AM
Would you prefer AMD over the Intel i7 CPU?
It's not an either or. You need a CPU, and you need a GPU. Intel i7 is a good choice for CPU.

What he's saying is that Intel "also" makes some GPUs that are integrated on the motherboard with the CPU (sometimes in the same chip). He's just saying don't lean on those for stellar OpenGL support -- get an NVidia or AMD plug-in card for a GPU.

Chopper777
11-10-2011, 05:39 PM
Thanks, I misread what he said.