• podcast
  • The Evolution of the Graphics Adaptor from the Software Side
  • The Evolution of the Graphics Adaptor from the Software Side


    Hosts: Dennis Garcia and Darren McCain
    Time: 34:05

    Subscribe Options
    RSS (MP3)
    iTunes (MP3)
    Spotify (Stream)
    Amazon (Stream)

    Originally recorded June 2021

    Show Notes

    In our previous episode we talked about the evolution of the graphics card from the beginnings of the CGA to the modern Display Port graphics processors rocking 4k resolutions, ray tracing and DLSS.  While the hardware has changed quite a bit over the years it was really the software that defined it.  Software was needed to use the hardware and talented programmers were needed to define the connection between the two.

    We start with OpenGL which really defined what 2D and 3D graphics acceleration was.  The video adaptor still just displayed the pixels but, the API is what defined a new path the processor could take to display those graphics faster.  3DFx took this to the next level by providing an accelerator card that would offload the graphics processing and not only increased performance but increased the detail and texture resolution beyond what could be done by the processor.

    From there things steamrolled when Microsoft started including DirectX and Direct3D with the Windows operating system giving game developers a common platform to use for game development and helped to shape how games and other graphics are interpreted today.

    Of course this process works in pairs.  On one side we have the hardware which is used to do the actual work and offer the acceleration which is completely worthless without the software.   You could rock a GeForce 2 Ultra but if your game was written for DirectX 8 it will likely never run which created a need and desire to upgrade, not only to increase performance but, to take advantage of the latest technology and graphical advances.

    Related Links
    The Evolution of the Graphics Adaptor

    Episode 125 featured music:
    Little People - Start Shootin' (http://www.littlepeoplemusic.com/)