mac mini - unable to use shaders?

    Mar 02 2006 | 7:12 pm
    Using a brand-new mac mini (not the new intel one) with the ATI Radeon 9200, none of the shaders seem to work. I get errors saying "Cg not supported" or something similar (sorry, don't have the machine anymore, long story). The same goes for all for all of the example shaders I tried. Is it true that the mac mini video cards don't support OpenGL shaders? The card seems to be really similar to the one in my old powerbook G4 here, where everything works very well. Has anyone else had similar experiences? This is really disappointing, I wonder if there's a hardware hack to enable shader support?
    Thanks, Evan

    • Mar 02 2006 | 7:43 pm
      Nope. You need an ATI 9500, GeforceFX 5200 or higher. Sorry, nothing we can do here.
      On Macintosh, you can run the shaders in the software renderer, if you render to a matrix with @quality 1, though this defeats the purpose of leveraging the GPU for processing.
    • Mar 02 2006 | 8:18 pm
      It figures... too bad!
      FWIW, it looks like the new Mac Mini has an even worse GPU. Intel should be barred from releasing GPUs. How can a company that is so good at making processing chips make such crappy video chips??
      Best, Evan
    • Mar 02 2006 | 9:33 pm
      On Mar 2, 2006, at 12:18 PM, evan.raskob wrote:
      > It figures... too bad! > > FWIW, it looks like the new Mac Mini has an even worse GPU. Intel > should be barred from releasing GPUs. How can a company that is so > good at making processing chips make such crappy video chips??
      It's not crappy. It's aiming for a balance of price, size, power consumption and features which fills a particular niche in the marketplace. Specifically, more emphasis has been put on video playback, which fits the Mini's target market well. This is not a gaming machine.
      Despite that, the specs are not too bad. What's interesting is that it has fragment shader support, but all vertex processing is done in software. Makes sense given the video emphasis. Here's some info from the Mac OpenGL list.
      > Subject: Re: Intel OpenGL in the new Minis... > > The GMA950 is fragment programmable using both ARB_fragment_program > and ARB_fragment_shader. You can write in GLSL, and the limitations > are similar to most other shipping hardware, and similar things will > force your rendering to occur in software. Branches cannot be done > in hardware, although as long as your branching in GLSL is not too > complex, we will flatten the program. > > The chip has no hardware TCL, and so all vertex processing is done in > software. Both ARB_vp and ARB_vs are exported. You'll obviously > want to keep your vertex count down. > > Other interesting bits: > - PBO and VBO are entirely supported. I suggest that you use VBO for > drawing bulk vertex data, on the GMA950 and all other renderers. As > of 10.4.3, VBO is exported on all renderers. Most of my efforts to > optimize vertex performance are focused on VBO. > - EXT_compiled_vertex_array is not exported. Use VBO instead. > - ARB/EXT_texture_rectangle is supported > - FBO is supported. > > The currently exported extensions are: > > Renderer = Intel GMA 950 OpenGL Engine > Vendor = Intel Inc. > Version = 1.2 APPLE-1.4.26 > Extensions = GL_ARB_transpose_matrix GL_ARB_vertex_program > GL_ARB_vertex_blend GL_ARB_window_pos GL_ARB_shader_objects > GL_ARB_vertex_shader GL_EXT_multi_draw_arrays GL_EXT_clip_volume_hint > GL_EXT_rescale_normal GL_EXT_draw_range_elements GL_EXT_fog_coord > GL_APPLE_client_storage GL_APPLE_specular_vector > GL_APPLE_transform_hint GL_APPLE_packed_pixels GL_APPLE_fence > GL_APPLE_vertex_array_object GL_APPLE_vertex_program_evaluators > GL_APPLE_element_array GL_APPLE_flush_render GL_NV_texgen_reflection > GL_NV_light_max_exponent GL_IBM_rasterpos_clip > GL_SGIS_generate_mipmap GL_ARB_shading_language_100 > GL_ARB_texture_border_clamp GL_ARB_multitexture > GL_ARB_texture_env_add GL_ARB_texture_cube_map > GL_ARB_texture_env_dot3 GL_ARB_texture_env_combine > GL_ARB_texture_compression GL_ARB_texture_mirrored_repeat > GL_ARB_shadow GL_ARB_depth_texture GL_ARB_fragment_program > GL_ARB_fragment_shader GL_ARB_point_sprite > GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object GL_ARB_pixel_buffer_object > GL_EXT_framebuffer_object GL_EXT_texture_rectangle > GL_ARB_texture_rectangle GL_EXT_texture_env_add GL_EXT_blend_color > GL_EXT_blend_minmax GL_EXT_blend_subtract GL_EXT_texture_lod_bias > GL_EXT_abgr GL_EXT_bgra GL_EXT_stencil_wrap > GL_EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic GL_EXT_separate_specular_color > GL_EXT_secondary_color GL_EXT_blend_func_separate GL_EXT_shadow_funcs > GL_EXT_stencil_two_side GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc > GL_EXT_texture_compression_dxt1 GL_EXT_blend_equation_separate > GL_APPLE_ycbcr_422 GL_APPLE_texture_range GL_APPLE_pixel_buffer > GL_NV_blend_square GL_ATI_texture_env_combine3 > GL_SGIS_texture_edge_clamp GL_SGIS_texture_lod > >