Why use Direct3D? Why not use OpenGL?




For those of you who have never used it, OpenGL is another graphics API. Silicon Graphics designed it in the early '90s for use on their high-end graphics workstations. It has been ported to countless platforms and operating systems. Outside of the games industry in areas like simulation and academic research, OpenGL is the de facto standard for doing computer graphics. It is a simple, elegant, and fast API. Check out http://www.opengl.org for more information.
But it isn't perfect. First of all, OpenGL has a large amount of functionality in it. Making the interface so simple requires that the implementation take care of a lot of ugly details to make sure everything works correctly. Because of the way drivers are implemented, each company that makes a 3D card has to support the entire OpenGL feature set in order to have a fully compliant OpenGL driver. These drivers are extremely difficult to implement correctly, and the performance on equal hardware can vary wildly based on driver quality. In addition, DirectX has the added advantage of being able to move quickly to accommodate new hardware features. DirectX is controlled by Microsoft (which can be a good or bad thing, depending on your view of it), while OpenGL extensions need to be deliberated by committees.
My initial hope was to have two versions of the source code—one for Windows and Direct3D and the other for Linux and OpenGL. This ended up not being possible, so I had to choose one or the other; I chose Direct3D.

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