Confused about what is glide by 3dfx

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Confused about what is glide by 3dfx

Postby XJ220 » 2007-11-18 @ 19:30

When I used to play these early hardware accelerated games I would just select 3dfx and I new I was playing the game at its best visuals and performance, while at the same time not really understanding what was an API and everything else involved. Now its all DirectX with some games throwing in OpenGL as well. Remembering back to the mid to late 90's though I remember some games offered DX and GL as well. Documents at the time stated that Glide was a cut down version of OpenGL and that's why QuakeGL engines ran faster on 3DFX cards using the miniGL driver. So why do I have to shove my old 3DFX card in my new computer If I want to play my older games, since my GeForce card can handle any DirectX and OpenGL game, is that not enough API's to cope with all the older games, or did these older games require something specific that's only available in the 3DFX hardware. Sorry for the long post.
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Re: Confused about what is glide by 3dfx

Postby Zup » 2007-11-18 @ 21:58

I guess it's not exactly something in the hardware...

Glide is a propietary API, so only those who have the permission of 3Dfx may program a driver that supports glide for a given card. Back in time, 3Dfx used that to their advantage... the SDK was free so any company would make glide games, but if you wanted to play that games you had to buy a 3Dfx card.

On the other hand, any hardware manufacturer could do drivers with full Direct X and OpenGL support, so those two APIs spreaded more than 3Dfx. Later, nVidia bought 3Dfx, so only 3Dfx and nVidia cards would have glide drivers... but nVidia never was interested in supporting glide APIs.

Today, no new 3D cards have native glide support, but there are some glide emulators (dgVoodoo and Glidos for DOS games, and Openglide, eVoodoo and some others for Windows games).
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