RenderingPipeline

from geometry to pixels

Mac OpenGL capabilities

The latest MacBook Pro just got a GeForce 650M – a Kepler based GPU. This chip is not only capable of delivering OpenGL 4.2 but also shiny new features like bindless textures: one way of supporting Virtual Texturing in hardware and maybe something we will see in some form in OpenGL 5.0.

This makes it just more depressing that Apple limits this chip to just OpenGL 3.2 – something a G80 from 2006 can also deliver (in fact, on other operating systems a G80 would give you OpenGL 3.3). When we look at the currently available Macs we will find out, that just the MacMini is still stuck with an Intel HD 3000 and thus is not capable of OpenGL 4 (but you could even buy a Mini with a decent GPU):

 

Year Model GPU capable of supported in 10.7.4 Lion supported in 10.8.2 Mountain Lion
late 2012 MacBook Pro 13″ Retina Intel HD 4000 4.0 3.2 3.2
late 2012 MacBook Pro 13″ Retina Intel HD 4000 4.0 3.2 3.2
late 2012 MacMini Intel HD 4000 4.0 3.2 3.2
late 2012 MacMini Intel HD 4000 4.0 3.2 3.2
late 2012 iMac 21.5″ NVidia Geforce GT640M 4.3 3.2 3.2
late 2012 iMac 21.5″ NVidia Geforce GT650M 4.3 3.2 3.2
late 2012 iMac 27″ NVidia Geforce GT650M 4.3 3.2 3.2
late 2012 iMac 27″ NVidia Geforce GT675MX 4.3 3.2 3.2
2012 MacBook Pro 13″ Intel HD 4000 4.0 3.2 3.2
2012 MacBook Pro 15″ NVidia GT 650M 4.3 3.2 3.2
2012 MacBook Pro 15″ Retina NVidia GT 650M 4.3 3.2 3.2
2012 MacPro ATI Radeon HD 5770 4.2 3.2 3.2
2012 MacPro ATI Radeon HD 5870 4.2 3.2 3.2
Late 2011 MacBook Pro 13″ Intel HD 3000 3.2 3.2 3.2
Late 2011 MacBook Pro 15″ AMD Radeon HD 6750M 4.2 3.2 3.2
Late 2011 MacBook Pro 15″ AMD Radeon HD 6770M 4.2 3.2 3.2
Late 2011 MacBook Pro 17″ AMD Radeon HD 6770M 4.2 3.2 3.2
2011 iMac 21″ AMD Radeon HD 6750M 4.2 3.2 3.2
2011 iMac 21″ AMD Radeon HD 6770M 4.2 3.2 3.2
2011 iMac 27″ AMD Radeon HD 6770M 4.2 3.2 3.2
2011 iMac 27″ AMD Radeon HD 6970M 4.2 3.2 3.2
2011 MacMini Intel HD 3000 3.2 3.2 3.2
2011 MacMini AMD Radeon HD 6630M 4.2 3.2 3.2
2011 MacMini Server Intel HD 3000 3.2 3.2 3.2
Early 2011 MacBook Pro 13″ Intel HD 3000 3.2 3.2 3.2
Early 2011 MacBook Pro 15″ AMD Radeon HD 6490M 4.2 3.2 3.2
Early 2011 MacBook Pro 15″ AMD Radeon HD 6750M 4.2 3.2 3.2
Early 2011 MacBook Pro 17″ AMD Radeon HD 6750M 4.2 3.2 3.2

 

OpenGL 4 capable iMacs and MacPros began even to appear in mid 2010 (but I limited this list to go back only to 2011)…

More information about the supported OpenGL features and extensions on MacOS X can be found here.

To sum everything up: Apple, where are my OpenGL 4 drivers? Most All of your Macs could already support it!

Update 6/18: As Christophe Riccio pointed out, all AMD Radeon 5000 and 6000 should be capable of OpenGL 4.2. I also assume that the Intel HD 3000 is capable of OpenGL 3.3 as 3.3 was intended to ‘backport’ GL 4 features that don’t rely on new hardware features to older hardware.

Update 10/23: I added the new late 2012 Macs to the list. You can’t buy a new Mac without OpenGL 4 capable hardware anymore…

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