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ManiacalAce

Am I good to go or is my hardware holding me back?

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I'm about to get started with graphics programming and have decided to do so with DirectX 9.0c. I've searched around and it seems that a good book to use is "Introduction to 3D Game Programming with DirectX 9.0c — A Shader Approach", since it uses a somewhat ready-for-the-future approach. I have access to this book too. Now, I'm running XP and am on integrated graphics(Intel GMA900... >_>). This thing has support for pixel shaders 2.0, but I think it only has software support for vertex shaders 2.0. So will the above be enough to use the mentioned book properly? The book's requirement section says: This book's demo programs require DirectX 9.0-capable hardware that supports vertex and pixel shader versions 2.0. I flipped ahead in the book and it mentions something about software shader support: Note: Actually, vertex shaders may also be executed in software if D3DCREATE_SOFTWARE_VERTEXPROCESSINS was specified. I just want to know if I'm good to go or not. Is hardware support completely necessary for learning from the book? (I don't even properly know what the hell shaders are yet >_>)

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Intel and shaders don't play well together. Luckily, SM2.0 hardware is dirt cheap at this point. Newegg lists a couple of GeForce FX 5200s at $27.

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I think it would be fine for learning the basics, but for any non-trivial shader techniques (normal-mapping, shadow maps, post-processing, etc.) that GMA is going to be brought to its knees.

I'd really recommend getting a discrete GPU. I wouldn't recommend anything from the GeForce FX lineup since those are somewhat crippled in a few ways, but you should be able to find plenty of cheap solutions.

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