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Game Development Dictionary

Double Buffering

A video buffer consists of a memory allocation for the information that is drawn to the screen. The first buffer is what is actually drawn to the screen, a second and third buffer are used to create a workspace to draw to that doesn't require synchronization to the vertical retrace of the monitor.

Double buffering gives the program a buffer to draw on that is not dependent on the retrace. The second buffer can be held in video memory and then "flipped" to change places with the primary buffer, which then is used as the second buffer until the next flip.