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Transfer data from FBO to PBO using glReadPixels()

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I cannot access texture in vertex shader because my ATi card does not support it. So I render to a FBO which is already binded with a texture and copy the texture from FBO to PBO. Then I use bind this PBO as a VBO for rendering. However, copying FBO to PBO using glReadPixels is somehow extremely slow. I use GL_RGB16F_ARB as internal format, GL_RGB as data format and GL_FLOAT as data type. I thought there should be no per-pixel data convertion. Is there any problem that I did not realize? Or is there any way to render to a PBO or VBO directly? Thanks.

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