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Phoronix Test Suite

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Unigine Heaven Update Coming With OpenGL Tessellation

Gaming

Published on 18 May 2010 06:40 PM EDT
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming
34 Comments

We have heard from Denis Shergin, the CEO of Unigine Corp, that an update to Unigine Heaven is imminent. Heaven is their beautiful but demanding technology demo / benchmark that launched last year with a DirectX 11.0 renderer and then in March reached version 2.0 and was released for Linux (finally) with an OpenGL renderer.

The Linux release of Unigine Heaven with its OpenGL 3.x renderer was postponed many times since the Heaven 1.0 release in October due to ATI Catalyst driver problems. ATI was the first to offer a DirectX 11.0 graphics processor -- the ATI Radeon HD 5000 "Evergreen" series -- that has a hardware tesselator, but their Linux drivers always wound up being too buggy, so Unigine Corp kept pushing back the release. In March the proprietary ATI Linux driver started getting better, but Unigine Corp wound up shipping a release with the OpenGL tessellation support disabled by default even though NVIDIA now has out their GeForce GTX 400 "Fermi" series that are DX11 capable and support this functionality.

Unigine Heaven 2.1 is expected to be released in the coming days and it will offer OpenGL hardware tessellation support. However, we are told by Unigine Corp that the ATI Catalyst drivers still are too broken to work there, which means it will really just run well with a NVIDIA Fermi GPU and their proprietary driver. It wasn't shared, however, whether this Heaven update is hooking into the official tessellation support found in the API for OpenGL 4.0 or what approach they are taking. It's also not known if this 2.1 update will offer any other significant changes beyond the tessellation capabilities.

Unigine Heaven can be run through the Phoronix Test Suite along with dozens of other OpenGL benchmarks.

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