Monthly Archives: April 2007

The quest is over!

The quest for the lost fragment is over, at last!
Today I have returned from Athens and installed in Electron the additional ram module and the long awaited shader capable MSI FX5900XT-VTD128 card!

The first thing I’ve done was to update the Nvidia driver packages from ‘nvidia-96xx’ to ‘nvidia’, this currently means going from 96.31 to 97.55.

This is what’s new from GeForce4 Ti 4200 (NV25) to GeForce FX5900 XT (NV35):

  • The OpenGL version string is now 2.1.0
  • The CineFX 2.0 engine allows for two new anti-aliasing modes: 4x Bilinear Multisampling by 4x Supersampling and 4x Bilinear Multisampling by 2x Supersampling
  • There are eighteen new extensions available: GL_ARB_fragment_program, GL_ARB_fragment_program_shadow, GL_ARB_fragment_shader, GL_ARB_half_float_pixel, GL_EXT_blend_func_separate, GL_EXT_framebuffer_blit, GL_EXT_framebuffer_multisample, GL_EXT_framebuffer_object, GL_EXT_stencil_two_side, GL_EXT_texture_sRGB, GL_NV_float_buffer, GL_NV_fragment_program, GL_NV_fragment_program_option, GL_NV_framebuffer_multisample_coverage, GL_NV_half_float, GL_NV_primitive_restart, GL_NV_vertex_program2, GL_NV_vertex_program2_option

What follows is a series of test, actually they are exactly the same, and with the same settings, as the ones shown in the Easter gifts post:

Test NoAA, NoAF 2xAA, 4xAF
glxgears 4852.8 2678.0
Blender 9978 7927
GL_shadow 1189.4 793.0
GL_pointz 544.8 552.0
GL_blit 2006.0 1391.4
GL_smoke 449.4 402.8

Some tests perform better on Electron than on Thunder (which has a much faster graphic card and DDR RAM), this is very strange, maybe I’ve got to run these tests on Thunder again. 😉

Accepted for Summer of Code

Dear Applicant,
Congratulations! This email is being sent to inform you that your
application was accepted to take part in the Summer of Code.

Yeah, one of my two proposals has been accepted!

My first proposal was about working on GL O.B.S. under the Python Software Foundation, unfortunately it was very likely going to be discarded.
I learned this from a mentor who contacted me, he wrote that my application was based on a personal program and that it would have been hard to find someone to mentor me, moreover I wouldn’t have contributed to the Python community. He also added that I could have been a good candidate for his project, he is, indeed, Arc Riley, Project Manager of PySoy.
And so I did, I wrote another application and, this time, it has been accepted. 🙂

My work will be to integrate multi-texturing in the PySoy rendering loop and API, document API additions, test the whole under many different free software drivers and then implement some related techniques, like bump or normal mapping.

I’m really glad of this opportunity, I will learn many interesting OpenGL and Python topics and I will improve my design, teamwork and communication skills.
Thank you Google! 😉

Easter gifts

While in Greece to spend holidays with my family I was able to get my hands on some interesting piece of hardware to bring back in Italy for Electron: a 128MB module of SDR RAM to fill up the last motherboard slot and *two* different graphic cards (my old 5900XT and a 6200)! 🙂
Actually all this was possible thanks to Easter gifts! 😉
My uncle installed a 512MB module of DDR RAM inside his old PC, while both me and a friend of mine changed our old cards with the good and cheap Gigabyte GV-N76G256D-RH, a GeForce 7600GS equipped card with 256MB of DDR2 memory.

It is a completely silent card which delivers sufficient performance at a great price, it is capable of running Shader Model 3.0 vertex and fragment programs, supports OpenGL 2.1 and all the G70 Extensions, moreover it features a lm_sensors compatible thermal sensor on the GPU core. 🙂

A reduced series of tests follows, all performed at 640×480 excepts Blender 2.43 draw benchmark, which was run at 1024×768, my desktop resolution.

Test NoAA, NoAF 2xAA, 4xAF
glxgears 4966.6 3123.3
Blender 10855 10764
GL_shadow 1428.8 996.2
GL_pointz 631.0 617.6
GL_blit 2052.8 1223.8
GL_smoke 358.2 316.8

The low resolution at which most of the test were run could have made the results a bit too cpu limited, some other games I’ve tested seem to confirm this theory, however that the card shows its strength and I’m satisfied with it.
I hope you also get nice Easter gifts and I wish you a merry Easter! 😉