Overview of 3d, xgl, and the X server
techAdmin
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Joined: 26 Sep 2003
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Very nice overview of X server here.

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However, it has been twenty years since X was designed and video hardware has changed. If you look at the floor plan of a modern video chip you will notice a small section labeled 2D. Thatís because 90% of the chip is dedicated to the 3D pipeline. You just paid for that 3D hardware so wouldnít it be nice if the desktop used it. A lot of people donít realize that 3D hardware can draw 2D desktops. Look at your screen, itís a flat 2D surface, right? Any picture generated by the 3D hardware ends up as a flat 2D screen. This should lead you to the conclusion that with the appropriate programming 3D hardware can draw 2D desktops.

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