Tag Archives: opengl 3

Catalyst 8.9: OpenGL Extensions – Radeon HD 4850

Here is the list of OpenGL extensions supported by the Catalyst 8.9 graphics drivers for the Radeon HD 4850 under Windows XP SP2 32-bit.


The release note says Catalyst 8.9 add the phase 1 of OpenGL 3.0 support. But what does it mean? Compared to Catalyst 8.8, Catalyst 8.9 bring only 3 new extensions:

GL_EXT_depth_buffer_float has the same role than NVIDIA GL_NV_depth_buffer_float. GL_EXT_blend_equation_separate is an OpenGL 1.5 extension and GL_AMD_texture_texture4 is not documented. But most of the new OpenGL 3 extensions quoted in the release note are not present in Catalyst 8.9 under Windows XP and Vista. Maybe AMD/ATI have introduced the same principle than NVIDIA, with a kind of OpenGL 3.0 activation somewhere (see here). But here again, no documentation is available. Or more simply, AMD want to show to the community that they do an effort to support the new major version of OpenGL, but any OpenGL 3 extension is currently available to developers. Communication is a tough art at ATI!

Catalyst 8.9, like Catalyst 8.8, still slow down the GPU when FurMark is detected (see here and here for more detail).

Graphics driver information:
– Operating System: Windows XP SP2 32-bit
– Drivers Version: 8.501.0.0 – Catalyst 08.9
– ATI Catalyst Version String: 08.9
– ATI Catalyst Release Version String: 8.53-080820a-068898C-ATI
– OpenGL Renderer: ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
– Drivers Renderer: ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series
– OpenGL Version: 2.1.7976 Release
– GLSL (OpenGL Shading Language) Version: 1.20
– ARB Texture Units: 8
– Vertex Shader Texture Units: 16
– Pixel Shader Texture Units: 16
– Geometry Shader Texture Units: 0
– Max Texture Size: 8192×8192
– Max Anisotropic Filtering Value: X16.0
– Max Point Sprite Size: 8192.0
– Max Dynamic Lights: 8
– Max Viewport Size: 8192×8192
– Max Vertex Uniform Components: 512
– Max Fragment Uniform Components: 512
– Max Varying Float: 68
– Max Vertex Bindable Uniforms: 0
– Max Fragment Bindable Uniforms: 0
– Max Geometry Bindable Uniforms: 0
– MSAA: 1X
– MSAA: 2X
– MSAA: 4X
– MSAA: 8X

OpenGL Extensions: 108 extensions

The extensions exposed by the old Catalyst drivers are HERE.
You can use GPU Caps Viewer to retrieve the list of extensions of your graphics card.

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ATI Catalyst 8.9 Graphics Drivers

The September 2008 version of Catalyst graphics drivers is out. Catalyst 8.9 introduces the following new features:

  • Catalyst Control Center: New Display mode support
  • OverDrive™ support for QUAD CrossFireX configurations
  • OpenGL 3.0 extension support


OpenGL 3 support? From the release note, the following extensions have been added:

  • ARB_half_float_pixel
  • ARB_draw_instanced
  • ARB_instanced_arrays
  • EXT_texture_compression_3dc
  • EXT_texture_compression_rgtc
  • EXT_texture_compression_latc
  • EXT_texture_shared_exponent
  • EXT_depth_buffer_float
  • EXT_gpu_shader4
  • ARB_map_buffer_range

OpenGL 3 means the possibility to create an OpenGL 3.0 rendering context (see here). But it seems a function to create such a rendering context is not included yet. I will look at this in detail when I’ll publish Catalyst 8.9 OpenGL extensions very soon.

Download links:

The Ghost of OpenGL 3.0

The expected API promises many new features, enhancements and is the first total rewrite of the existing OpenGL Standard. The API promises an interface compatible with the next generation of computer graphics programming and is set to compete with Microsoft’s DirectX 10.

Well, that’s the plan at least. OpenGL 3.0 has been delayed tremendously since its scheduled release in October of 2007. On October 30th of 2007, ARB member Barthold Lichtenbelt (NVIDIA employee) made an official announcement on the OpenGL.ORG forums claiming that the release date was postponed until further notice because “[the OpenGL Working group] don’t want to spend time fixing mistakes made in haste.”

The announcement settled fine with most of the OpenGL community since at least there was news. But after 7 months of neither news nor updates, some of the community is giving up on (or dismissing) the possibility of a new API at all.

But is it really possible to give up on OpenGL? The API is pretty much the only viable hardware accelerated option on platforms other than Microsoft Windows, and even on Windows many developers are reluctant to switch from XP to Windows Vista in order to take advantage of Direct3D 10.

Read the rest HERE