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Texture sizes

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What exactly is the advantege to requiring texure sizes of the powers of two? I know those numbers multiply faster, but most older video cards can only do powers of two, so there has to be something else, or am i wrong?

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1. faster multiplies.

2. hardware alignment. Same deal as with aligning structures for things like SSE. Data reads of natural word sizes are faster.

3. mipmapping - powers-of-2 are always mip-mappable.

4. related to #3, tileability - some chips break textures into tiles to optimise texture accesses (if the scene only uses a quarter of a texture, then just that quarter is uploaded into video memory/texel cache).

5. texture/VRAM management schemes - it''s much easier to write an allocator/manager if you know everything is power-of-2. Less likely to have say 3x17 pixel "unusable" areas of texture memory.

Simon O''Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd

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