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Need a good software 3D render

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Since I currently don''t own a 3D accelerator (only really become a realistic option for laptops) I''m looking into "prototyping" a 3D game until I get around to getting a 3D enabled laptop sometime next year. In the mean time can someone give me any indication of what sorts of speed I could expect from something like Mesa? OpenGL is written for 3D accelerators so that''s not an option. I''ve heard that Mesa is written as a software version. Anyone had any experiences with it? (looking for sensible answers, suggestions to this one please people). Thanks.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Not quite right - you''ve got confused there. OpenGL is a 3D rendering API, which is usually implemented in hardware. Mesa is a non-certified *implementation* of the API ("OpenGL-like", which may or may not be using a 3D accelerator. There are software implementation of OpenGL around, and indeed Mesa (in software mode) is one of them.

What graphics chip do you have in your laptop? Some laptops turn out to be surprisingly good at 3D rendering, some turn out to be worthless.

--cfmdobbie

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If your laptop runs windows 95 or later and has a screen, you can most likely use openGL or DirectX. I''m nearly certain OpenGL does not require 3d hardware that both openGL and DirectX will work on windows without a 3d accelerator.

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I''m pretty sure OpenGL does have a software renderer. You should download the GLUT demos, and see if they work (meaning OpenGL does have a software renderer). You could always go with DirectX, which I know has a software renderer.

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Any Windows or Linux should come with a software OpenGL implementation for you to use. I developed a 3D engine for 5 weeks on a 700 MHz laptop with an ATI Rage 128 Mobile...i.e. useless.

There were some problems:
1) Slow slow slow.
2) Depth buffering was inaccurately, and frequently, just plain wrong. This was confirmed because it works on any computer with a 3D accelerator or a decent sw OpenGL.
3) Occasional misc. visual artifiacts
4) Just other annoying behaviors I''ve forgotten since.

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DirectX and Windows aren''t options since I''m on Linux. I''d be using SDL and OpenGL.

Hmmm... shame. I was hoping that I''d be able to get a software renderer that would give me the speed of the one from something like Quake / Quake 2 whilst also being very easy to port to OpenGL at a later stage. Pipe dream..? Well... no harm in asking really is there?

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