PDA

View Full Version : Intel's declining support of OpenGL



meanfox
10-28-2004, 10:11 PM
I recently found out that Intel has turned off hardware acceleration for a number of their embedded 3D chipsets if the application is an OpenGL screensaver. Why? "because of potential compatibility issues with a number of third party OpenGL screensavers".

This seems very lame. Blame the developer for your inability to create robust drivers? What's next, turn it off for games too?

I sell 3D OpenGL screensavers for a living. Now I have to think about migrating to DirectX.

I wonder if OpenGL.org has any interest in rating 3D hardware manufacturers according to their support of the API. If so, thumbs down to Intel. I will be telling my customers to go buy an nvidia card.

Any comments welcome.

Tom

Typical reference: http://support.intel.com/support/graphics/intel845g/sb/cs-004684-prd865.htm

M/\dm/\n
10-29-2004, 02:16 AM
Intel is sucking big time in graphics industry. Sorry to say, but I hate them real hard, and I'm allways recommending ATI or NVIDIA over Intel EG, even if it's FX5200/64 bit.
When developing programs, I don't even test them on Intel's platform. Wanna grphx, don't go Intel.
Case closed.

Jan
10-29-2004, 03:40 AM
Well, for you (Madman) and me and many others, this is quite easy. Tell people to get real hardware and thatīs it.

But i can see meanfoxī problem. If you develop (and sell) screensavers, a big bunch of your customers are average people, and not gamers, who usually donīt know much about graphics and therefore simply want the program to run properly. And of course, those people usually donīt have a high end gfx card, if any (other than on-board).

But, yeah, intel sucks. But i donīt think, that we can do anything against that. We cannot force them to implement good drivers. Although i wonder, why they have OpenGL drivers, at all, but donīt enable them (for screensavers). Sounds as if they and Microsoft are working together there.

Jan.

bobwall
10-29-2004, 09:47 AM
Jan's right. It is a Microsoft conspiracy.

Anyways, a more logical explanation would be that OpenGL drivers tend to be much more effort consuming to develop than Direct3D drivers. I think that the Direct3D makes a lot of assumptions about hardware and has its pipeline so that it's easy to plug in hardware routines. OpenGL ICDs on the other hand probably require the developer to start from a reference OpenGL implementation and then manually customize the pipeline. What I said is probably not true anymore since if you look at the Mesa OpenGL implementation, you can see that there is a fairly well layed out driver structure.

JelloFish
10-29-2004, 02:30 PM
How does the driver detect if its a screensaver running? Maybe just have your .scr boot a .exe, or do some other strange work around.

nigels
10-29-2004, 08:21 PM
Was Intel _ever_ a serious option for 3D?

I must admit, I've been living in NVIDIA world
for a long time now... :-)

Nigel

Obli
10-30-2004, 01:18 AM
While I also agree on how much this is bad, I must say I can understand Intel's position.

I had some GL accelerated screen savers a year ago. They often crashed the whole computer. I think this is a software issue with the screen saver not getting the 'power down' message.
I know there's a message used to inform the OS when the screen saver is running. Maybe it's WM_POWERNOTIFY? I never focused on it.
Possibly the driver looks at this state to decide when to enable GL acceleration.
Well, this message is also sent when, after few minutes of saver screen is blanked and everything goes to 'halt' mode.

If I am not wrong, this message comes from the OS but there's a win32 func which can be used to inform the OS itself the screen saver is not running (don't know how this works inside screen savers however).
Maybe using this func to tell the OS there's no screen saver, the driver will be tricked at believing there's a real app running.

There's still the need to manage the 'go to halt' message. Having the PC never halting would be lame. Having it halted (and crashed) is even worse.

I would be glad to know if this approach could work.

nystep
10-30-2004, 01:51 AM
that's WM_SYSCOMMAND with wParam set to SC_SCREENSAVE that indicates whenever a screensaver is starting... there's also a message that indicates whenever the screen is entering power save mode..

this is weird.. but the scr launching an exe may be a good workarround to prevent intel from detecting a screensaver running..

Korval
10-30-2004, 04:50 PM
I recently found out that Intel has turned off hardware acceleration for a number of their embedded 3D chipsets if the application is an OpenGL screensaver. Why? "because of potential compatibility issues with a number of third party OpenGL screensavers".As long as hardware acceleration exists for applications of importance (ie: games, CAD, etc), does it really matter that much? Sure, we'd like to have accelerated screen savers, but this doesn't really limit Intel's support of OpenGL (not that their drivers were ever terribly great).

meanfox
10-30-2004, 06:16 PM
Thanks for all your responses. Perhaps I will see if I can find a workaround by some trickery. But I am not really that keen to hack my product due to Intel's laziness.

As developers we all know to buy nvidia or comparable. But other than some gamers, most consumers don't know this.

Korval - what is an appplication of importance? Screensavers are important to me because I develop them. They are important to many consumers as evidenced by the fact that they are one of the most (if not the most) downloaded applications from shareware sites - much more so than games for example. Some screensavers are useful, educational, or beautiful.

If Intel doesn't support an application type, but other manufacturers do, then yes, their support is inferior and it would be nice if OpenGL took cautious note of this. We all want OpenGL to grow, not decline.

On another note it seems to me that Microsoft didn't fix the tooltips/opengl bug that they said they would fix in SP2. This manifests in ALL OpenGL apps EXCEPT screensavers.

Tom

V-man
10-30-2004, 08:47 PM
#1 Intel has been doing this for a long time

#2 If screensavers have trouble on your drivers, then most probably all games and applications do. They should all run in software or non at all.

#3 May I suggest that you run a blank screensaver, and have it execute your real screensaver as a separate process, and overlay it over the entire screen.

#4 Write some buggy D3D screensavers to even the playing feild

jwatte
10-31-2004, 07:18 PM
Was Intel _ever_ a serious option for 3D?I don't know. Would you count 40% market share as "serious" ?

Twixn
10-31-2004, 10:33 PM
40%!!!! :eek: are you sure?? Because from what ive read (http://theinquirer.net/?article=19309) there is only 3-4% of the Video card market thats not ATI or NVIDIA...correct me if im wrong though.

Adrian
11-01-2004, 12:51 AM
The inquirer figures refer to the 'discrete graphics' sector which doesn't include integrated cards.

I would have thought if you have the money and inclination to buy a 3d screensaver you're highly likely to have something better than intel graphics.

A large chunk of the 40% Intel market share is probably corporate pcs and 'silver surfers' :)

rgpc
11-01-2004, 03:43 PM
Originally posted by V-man:
#2 If screensavers have trouble on your drivers, then most probably all games and applications do. They should all run in software or non at all.Not everyone is a gamer - not every machine that ends up with commercial screensavers on them will be "game" machines. I have a number of clients who have commercial screen savers on their "work" machines (so I get great joy out of deleting them).


#4 Write some buggy D3D screensavers to even the playing feildIsn't that implicit? :D

jwatte
11-01-2004, 08:24 PM
if you have the money and inclination to buy a 3d screensaver you're highly likely to have something better than intel graphics
I bet that more people who pay money for screen savers are NOT gamers than are gamers. It's that large, un-tapped, nobody-knows-how-to-market-to-it "mass market," you know.

V-man
11-02-2004, 11:06 AM
Originally posted by rgpc:
Not everyone is a gamer - not every machine that ends up with commercial screensavers on them will be "game" machines. I have a number of clients who have commercial screen savers on their "work" machines (so I get great joy out of deleting them).
What I'm saying is if they disable hw rendering for *just* screensavers, but everything else runs with hw rendering, it doesn't make much sense.
They don't mention what screensavers cause trouble? All of them?

To the OP : Intel is part of the ARB. You might want to email to the person representing the company.

JelloFish
11-02-2004, 06:34 PM
Persuant to the topic of this thread, I dunno if this screensaver thing says they are supporting opengl less these days, even if their drivers arent great their latest product apparently supports opengl 1.4 which is a relatively new spec, id say they have kept their level of support relatively stable.