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Old 01-12-2016, 14:59   #1
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Graphics Card

We are looking to purchase a Windows 10 Dell computer to run OpenCPN. The Inspiron laptop 15" 2 in 1 comes with a built in graphics card. It is an IntelR HD graphics 620 with shared graphics memory. Is this a strong enough GL driver to operate OCPN? If not, what do we need.
Jim and Shelley
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Old 01-12-2016, 15:09   #2
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Re: GRAPHICS CARD

Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Armstrong View Post
We are looking to purchase a Windows 10 Dell computer to run OpenCPN. The Inspiron laptop 15" 2 in 1 comes with a built in graphics card. It is an IntelR HD graphics 620 with shared graphics memory. Is this a strong enough GL driver to operate OCPN? If not, what do we need.
Jim and Shelley
All I can tell you is I run OpenCPN successfully on my Dell Inspiron 15 with a 1.5GHz Intel Celeron CPU 1007U, 4GB RAM, built-in graphics.

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Old 01-12-2016, 16:20   #3
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Re: GRAPHICS CARD

James...
The chip is definitely powerful enough. Whether the W10 driver is bug-free enough I don't know but hope so - they keep improving over time.

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Old 02-12-2016, 02:00   #4
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Re: Graphics Card

Opencpn will run perfect on 'any' laptop produced after 2003 - I'm running a installation of opencpn on a old Thinkapd T42 from 2003 and it works perfect. On the other hand, the computer who run win10 perfect is yet to be made in the future :-) Some operating system's is heavier than others, and win 10 is in this comparison 'the burger king' - Even so, opencpn should run perfect on your Dell Inspirion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by James_Armstrong View Post
We are looking to purchase a Windows 10 Dell computer to run OpenCPN. The Inspiron laptop 15" 2 in 1 comes with a built in graphics card. It is an IntelR HD graphics 620 with shared graphics memory. Is this a strong enough GL driver to operate OCPN? If not, what do we need.
Jim and Shelley
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:19   #5
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Re: Graphics Card

What year is the machine.
Look up opengl compatibilty for this chip. I am with pavel on this. Chase down the details first.
I have dell inspiron xps with intel hd graphics 4400 and nvidia geforce 540m.. nvidia is better. Intel on board works and is slower.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:31   #6
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Re: Graphics Card

Don't forget that the more powerful the graphics card, the greater the power draw, often exceeding the wattage of the rest of the computer combined. If this is going on your boat, go with the most efficient solution possible.
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:05   #7
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Re: Graphics Card

I agree:
Quote:
Don't forget that the more powerful the graphics card, the greater the power draw, often exceeding the wattage of the rest of the computer combined. If this is going on your boat, go with the most efficient solution possible.
My Dell has onboard HD Intel + Nvidia Geforce and it uses more power.

I think this machine is far more current than mine and should run opengl. The Intel HD Graphics cards have been getting better and better for opengl support and I think provides enough gb ram even though it is shared.

---but make your own investigation and decision!


https://www.quora.com/How-many-GB-do...phics-620-have
Intel® HD Graphics 620
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:48   #8
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Re: Graphics Card

You also need to ask if you need to run OpenGL. I don't use it because it seems to make raster charts less sharp and I find performance adequate without it. But there are some plugins which require it. If you need OpenGL in your OpenCPN installation you need to be sure the OpenGL driver will work for you.

I just tested it on my computer and it seems to run fine. I didn't have any trouble moving around to different parts of raster or vector charts, zooming in and out, and moving from one chart to another. That suggests to me the Dell Inspiron 15 you're looking at will work just fine for you.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:02   #9
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Re: Graphics Card

Thanks to everyone who responded to our query. We have proceed with our purchase of the Dell Iispiron. If we have any problems we will make a new post.
Jim and Shelley
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Old 03-12-2016, 19:34   #10
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Re: Graphics Card

Quote:
Originally Posted by fgd3 View Post
"seems to make raster charts less sharp"
You are seeing mipmapping which improves image quality. Without mipmaps (no opengl) what you see are very sharp edges which occur due to loss of data from shrinking the image without properly averaging the pixel values.

You will find, that it is easier to read text on the chart with mipmaps, and without mipmaps it will not make text easier to read, even though
you will see sharper edges.

so this loss of sharpness is an illusion, if we wanted this effect we could just change the texture mag filter to GL_NEAREST, and you would see this with opengl enabled, but we don't want this effect.
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:59   #11
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Re: Graphics Card

Quote:
Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
You are seeing mipmapping which improves image quality. Without mipmaps (no opengl) what you see are very sharp edges which occur due to loss of data from shrinking the image without properly averaging the pixel values.

You will find, that it is easier to read text on the chart with mipmaps, and without mipmaps it will not make text easier to read, even though
you will see sharper edges.

so this loss of sharpness is an illusion, if we wanted this effect we could just change the texture mag filter to GL_NEAREST, and you would see this with opengl enabled, but we don't want this effect.
Thanks for the explanation of the difference between OpenGL on and off.

It hasn't been my experience that the image quality is improved. Nor is the text easier to read.

Since a raster chart is a bitmap image the text/background boundary should be very sharp when the zoom level permits a display with no missing data. Even at those zoom levels OpenGL seems to average the pixel values between text and background, making for a fuzzy boundary. As you zoom out the fuzziness becomes more apparent. Without OpenGL the text becomes unreadable (though still sharply defined) as pixels are dropped. With OpenGL the text becomes unreadable as pixel averaging blurs it beyond recognition.

For me, text becomes difficult to read with OpenGL on one zoom level sooner than with OpenGL off. The greater fuzziness with OpenGL on is visible at all zoom levels, even if it is not enough to render the text unreadable.

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Old 07-12-2016, 14:25   #12
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Re: Graphics Card

it is not fuzzyness but just a better sampling. Without opengl you will see scaling aliasing artifacts which don't occur with mipmaps.

It has been discussed how this improves image quality, this is the first time someone suggested the opposite.

We can easily get the same effect with opengl on:
Code:
diff --git a/src/glTexCache.cpp b/src/glTexCache.cpp
index d7389fe..a8832a0 100644
--- a/src/glTexCache.cpp
+++ b/src/glTexCache.cpp
@@ -484,10 +484,10 @@ static void CreateTexture(GLuint &tex_name, bool b_use_mipmaps)
     else
         glTexParameteri(GL_TEXTURE_2D, GL_TEXTURE_MIN_FILTER, GL_LINEAR);

-#ifdef __OCPN__ANDROID__
+//#ifdef __OCPN__ANDROID__
     glTexParameteri(GL_TEXTURE_2D, GL_TEXTURE_MAG_FILTER, GL_NEAREST);
     glTexParameteri(GL_TEXTURE_2D, GL_TEXTURE_MIN_FILTER, GL_NEAREST);
-#endif
+//#endif
 }

 bool glTexFactory::BuildTexture(glTextureDescriptor *ptd, int base_level, const wxRect &rect)
As you can see it's already disabled in android, but for performance reasons, not image quality. I was going to suggest enabling mipmaps on android in the future as the performance impact is not reduced to near zero.
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Old 07-12-2016, 14:26   #13
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Re: Graphics Card

Clearly text is easier to read with mipmapping. I don't know how you are seeing the opposite from me.
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Old 07-12-2016, 16:54   #14
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Re: Graphics Card

Quote:
Originally Posted by boat_alexandra View Post
it is not fuzzyness but just a better sampling.
Call it what you like, it makes the image look like an out-of focus photograph, which photographers often call "fuzzygraphs" (a derogatory term for the results of many amateur photographers).

I understand what's happening and I agree that more information is preserved. In some situations that information allows you to read text which would be unreadable if it were missing. In others the "improved sampling" results in a blurry image that is harder to read than one when OpenGL is off. To me, the images with OpenGL off are easier to read at both zoom levels than those with OpenGL on. The difference at Zoom 1 is less bothersome than at Zoom 2. Zooming out another level results in an image that is unreadable with OpenGL off, barely readable with OpenGL on.

Perhaps it is related to display resolution. I work on a laptop with a 1366x768 screen. I notice the images with OpenGL on are roughly 3 times the size of the ones with OpenGL off, so they may show up better on a higher resolution display.

OpenCPN's performance with OpenGL on continues to be an issue for me. When OpenGL was first introduced into OpenCPN it simply wouldn't run on my Windows 7 computer. Now that I'm running Windows 10 the OpenGL driver seems to be fine.

But on my Ubuntu 14.04 computer OpenGL really brings OpenCPN to its knees. I first made the mistake of turning on OpenGL without also enabling the transparent toolbar. My toolbar turned white and the program froze for several minutes. When it came back enough for me to close it I edited the config file to turn off OpenGL. Then I tried turning on OpenGL and enabling the transparent toolbar. After I zoomed out twice the computer froze and the screen turned gray. I think that's Ubuntu's signal that it is swapping pages.

With OpenGL off raster charts are sharp and display lightning fast. I'm not keen on vector charts so OpenCPN works very well for me without OpenGL. Different users may look for other features that make OpenGL more desirable for them.

Fabbian
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Old 07-12-2016, 17:08   #15
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Re: Graphics Card

Check out the intel NUC, pair that with a tablet or a monitor..

Slicker than socks on a rooster...



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