The specifications for OpenGL 4.0 were released barely a month ago, and ATI has beat Nvidia to the fray by announcing a set of preview drivers for both OpenGL 3.3 and 4.0 which are already available for download.

Read on for more information.

In the past, fans from both the ATI and Nvidia camps often had huge disputes about the graphics capabilities of cards from both manufacturers: ATI fans would often claim that Nvidia cards were too pricey, while Nvidia fans would respond by saying that ATI’s drivers were never up to par with those provided by Nvidia.

However, with ATI releasing preview drivers for both the OpenGL 3.3 and 4.0 specifications, even with the latter barely reaching a month old, it seems that AMD is now moving to show the world that its drivers are just as good and up to date as its competitor.

According to a blog post by the developers, the added functionality that OpenGL 3.3 introduces is fully supported on all discreet graphics products “released since the spring of 2007”, and the beta drivers which were just released for download will activate the additional functionality as specified in the OpenGL 3.3.

Meanwhile, the driver for OpenGL 4.0, which includes support for tessellation and integrates the OpenCL API into OpenGL has been stated to be fully compatible with ATI’s latest high-end graphics cards, namely the Radeon HD 5900 and HD 5800 series. Other cards from the 5xxx series will also obtain full OpenGL 4.0 functionality with the beta driver, with the exception of double precision support, which ATI promises “will be enabled at a later date”.

However, as the drivers are still be beta status, they are likely to be buggy, and ATI has posted a disclaimer stating that the driver is currently not supported by AMD in any way as full testing has not been completed on it. But if the idea of testing pre-release drivers do not deter you one bit, you can obtain the OpenGL 4 drivers from AMD’s website here.

Source: AMD Developer Central