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Software vs. Hardware Rendering

HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration ThreadCentrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
This thread should be a quickie. I'm just wondering what each of these mean exactly and which is ideal, or what circumstances put one over the other.

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    elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Software rendering means that your CPU will be making all the graphics, good for when a program was designed for awkward GPUs or Software; Hardware is where your GPU is doing all the graphical work. Software rendering was popular in games from 1999 or so, and let the game run on computers with terrible graphic cards at the cost of lessened graphical quality.

    Software Rendering is good for when a computer lacks a graphic card, or the program is made for something strange and dead like 3dfx Glide or whatever.

    Hardware rendering is better in all other cases

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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    elliotw2 wrote: »
    Software rendering means that your CPU will be making all the graphics, good for when a program was designed for awkward GPUs or Software; Hardware is where your GPU is doing all the graphical work. Software rendering was popular in games from 1999 or so, and let the game run on computers with terrible graphic cards at the cost of lessened graphical quality.

    Software Rendering is good for when a computer lacks a graphic card, or the program is made for something strange and dead like 3dfx Glide or whatever.

    Hardware rendering is better in all other cases

    Shockingly, this was never covered when I went to tech school. Fucking hackjob piece of shit school. Thanks for the info dude.

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    elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Well, Software rendering is kinda dead with the increase of graphics in all programs, the inclusion of graphic chipsets into all computers, and the widespread-ness of decent graphic cards.

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    HenroidHenroid Mexican kicked from Immigration Thread Centrism is Racism :3Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    No doubt. I was mostly asking because 1) I was generally curious, I remember seeing it a lot back in the day, and 2) Sim City 4 has it as an option and I've been playing it.

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    SeeksSeeks Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Well, Software rendering is kinda dead with the increase of graphics in all programs, the inclusion of graphic chipsets into all computers, and the widespread-ness of decent graphic cards.

    Except for browser-based flash video.

    Damn you Adobeeeeeeeee

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    elliotw2elliotw2 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Seeks wrote: »
    Well, Software rendering is kinda dead with the increase of graphics in all programs, the inclusion of graphic chipsets into all computers, and the widespread-ness of decent graphic cards.

    Except for browser-based flash video.

    Damn you Adobeeeeeeeee

    You got a Nvidia card?

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/adobe_flashplayer_plus_nvidia.html

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Henroid wrote: »
    No doubt. I was mostly asking because 1) I was generally curious, I remember seeing it a lot back in the day, and 2) Sim City 4 has it as an option and I've been playing it.

    On Simcity 4 specifically, I found myself going with Software Rendering back in the day...it just didn't seem to play well with either my video card, driver, or OS. Haven't played it lately; I had it crash about three times on Win7, and it's the kind of game where a crash really pisses me off (because I hate repeating the work).

    With a beefy enough processor, and if you're not scrolling all around the city, software rendering is no big deal.

    The other game where I specifically had to go this route was Tropico (original).

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    slash000slash000 Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    If we're talking 3D games, these things had to be software rendered before there were graphics cards with dedicated 3D capabilities (in the general market that is). As time progressed, games transitioned into supporting both software rendering and optionally hardware rendering, as some people had the newfangled "3D accelerator" video cards, which were finally becoming more common, more affordable, more compatible, and actually functional. Games like Quake initially didn't support hardware acceleration, but it was added in later (GL Quake). Quake 2 was a big deal during the transitional period, because while many people used software rendering, they only got drab gray/brown graphics and white lighting, while those lucky enough to have "3D accelerator" video cards could enable hardware graphics acceleration and enjoy high resolution graphics, smoothed textures, and best of all, colored lighting. Eventually, the "3D video card" market became big enough and viable enough that developers started to transition out of optional hardware/software rendering and started to try to take full advantage of hardware rendering and maximize graphical capabilities. It was a huge deal when Id Software announced that there would be no software rendering option for Quake 3 and that you had to have a 3D accelerator video card if you wanted to play it. This was around the time that the Voodoo 3 was at its hey day and the GeForce 256 was making a huge splash as the first big time "32-bit color" 3D accelerator. Anyway, after that, more and more developers starting jumping on board the required-hardware-acceleration train as it continued to become more viable in the PC gaming market, and as 3D engines that maximized graphics required such cards. The rest is history.

    I think the last couple of great Software-Rendering / Hardware Rendering optional games were Half Life and Unreal Tournament '99. Some people might argue Counter Strike.

    Counter strike man. That Half Life engine (which was based on the Quake engine) had the option for software rendering. Which is why so many people could play it on a variety of computers. Didn't require a 3D card.

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    AyulinAyulin Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    elliotw2 wrote: »
    Seeks wrote: »
    Well, Software rendering is kinda dead with the increase of graphics in all programs, the inclusion of graphic chipsets into all computers, and the widespread-ness of decent graphic cards.

    Except for browser-based flash video.

    Damn you Adobeeeeeeeee

    You got a Nvidia card?

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/adobe_flashplayer_plus_nvidia.html

    Works with ATI too.

    Ayulin on
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