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Swap or copy?

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I''m using a 640x480x16bpp resolution. The question is do i make a back buffer on the vid card and swap or would it best be to copy the parts of the screen that change every frame?

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If you are making a program where most of the screen is going to change every screen (like most games) you are probably better off just redrawing the entire screen every frame. For example, if your game scrolls (RPG, 2-d shooter, etc.) or it is pretty much any 3d game, nearly the entire screen will have to be updated when the player moves.

I hope that helps. It really does depend on what you are making, but for most games, you''re probably best to go with a complete redraw every frame since so much is going to need to be redrawn anyway.

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Ok how about this, I will be updating most of the screen at times (unless the player stands still (2d overhead tile based engine)). My concern is will I be able to copy up to 600k to the video card per frame. There will likely be lots of blending and such but that would all be done in system memory. I don''t want the game running slow just because of copying. I will most likely have to do color conversions from rgb555 to rgb565 during the copy process.

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It is probably best to make a backbuffer, as 99% of video cards have over 2mb of RAM, and you get smooth animation too.

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