Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

General discussion about nGlide.
mgtroyas
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Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby mgtroyas » Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:10 am

Well, first of all I want to thank Zeus and all the people who help him developing this great software. When I thought I'd never play again Carmageddon 2 with good looking graphics, nGlide worked out of the box without any texture problems like all other glide wrappers I tested (I'm setting up an XP vmware virtual machine to get a both portable and OS independent classic gaming playground).

But there's something I want to know: when there's option to choose between Direct3D/OpenGL/Glide, like in Unreal Tournament (if my memory doesn't fail) why would you like to take all the hassle of using a glide wrapper instead of native Opengl/Direct3D? Is the Glide version more polished or with additional or better effects?

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Zeus
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Re: Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby Zeus » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:05 pm

That's a rare situation (in 2011) when all renderers work without any glitches, but there's still at least one reason. With nGlide you can play in high definition / 16:10 / 16:9 resolutions. This is very important if you have a LCD monitor where native resolution is the only one that brings sharp image.

The next important thing is dithering issue (sometimes called color banding issue). nGlide converts all 16-bit original data into 32-bit and render in 32-bit eliminating this ugly problem.

mgtroyas
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Re: Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby mgtroyas » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:18 pm

Very interesting. In fact my own monitor is widescreen and has only VGA port, so I can't force the video card to maintain aspect ratio. Dosbox does it very well by software but for Windows games I have no other way of fixing it than running the virtual machine in a window (vmware player) and zooming using the windows magnifier.

Banding is another good point. BTW I still remember how weird dithering worked in my Voodoo Banshee, and how pretty everything looked when I bought a 32 bit Riva TNT2.

Thank you very much for your answer.

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Pac-Man
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Re: Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby Pac-Man » Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:41 pm

In VMware Workstation you can run the VM in fullscreen and select "Stretch guest" which keeps the aspect ratio but stretches the screen to the full screen size.

mgtroyas
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Re: Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby mgtroyas » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:45 am

I already know, but then performance is strongly degraded: FPS drop and tearing appears. I think VMware does the stretching on sowftware, and as the CPU is already at 100% with emulation it's a mess.

I just discovered VMware _workstation_ allows "exclusive mode", designed for graphically intense apps (games) which makes the virtual machine run in true fulllscreen mode. This makes the games run at full speed. But two problems: my monitor doesn't allow letterboxing via hardware (so the game is stretched) and Workstation is a paid program.

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Pac-Man
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Re: Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby Pac-Man » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:40 pm

I have never experienced any slow down when using fullscreen stretching. That's funny, even the highend 3D games where running smoothly as without stretching.

mgtroyas
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Re: Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby mgtroyas » Mon Jun 13, 2011 1:52 pm

I'll try with more games, but it was very noticeable on Carmageddon at high res mode. Difference between stretched and "exclusive mode" was as night and day (lot of tearing and much lower refresh rate).

But it surely depends on a lot of factors. In my case host is Windows 7 x64, Athlon X2 2.8GHz and a Radeon 5830 HD... I'd bet it's ATI drivers fault.

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Pac-Man
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Re: Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby Pac-Man » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:19 pm

Why should it? I'm using an ATI HD4850.

mgtroyas
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Re: Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby mgtroyas » Mon Jun 13, 2011 2:26 pm

Mmm... in that case I'll give it another chance when I arrive home...

mgtroyas
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Re: Why do you use Glide over Direct3D/OpenGL?

Postby mgtroyas » Mon Jun 13, 2011 6:51 pm

Ok, I've just tested the multiple VMware Workstation 7.1.4 full screen options, in two different PCs:

AMD Athlon X2 / Windows 7 x64 / ATI 5830 HD (1680x1050 desktop)
Intel Core2Duo / Windows XP SP3 / ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3450 (1280x800 desktop)

The testing steps were the same:
1) Start the Windows XP virtual machine. Run Starcraft. Start a game.
2) Enter full screen mode and select "Center Guest" -> Game scrolls smoothly, almost as if vsync was activated.
3) Select "Exclusive mode". The PC switches resolution to 640x480 and the game fills all the screen, not mantaining aspect ratio -> but scrolls equally smoothly.
4) Exit full screen mode and enter again, to deactivate "Exclusive mode". Game runs then in "Center guest" mode again.
5) Select "Stretch guest". The game fills the screen but with black borders, to mantain aspect ratio. Doesn't switch resolution, game is stretched -> scroll is then "slow", "blocky" and perhaps "laggy". It's like a very low refresh rate, and tearing appears all the way.

In the laptop (1280x800 res) it's way better than in the desktop PC (1680x1050), and tried setting the desktop to 800x600 (minimum allowed by windows) and then Starcraft ran almost perfect. So it seems as higher is the difference between the virtual machine resolution and the host machine resolution, worst the choppiness. I bet it is a very suboptimal stretching method used by VMware, which makes refresh rate lower and blocky. Games run at full speed, but look bad.

Perhaps the problem is not so obvious for most of the people, as it doesn't render the games unplayable, but it's crealry noticieable for anybody with the eye used to play videogames.

What are your experiences?


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