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What’s Open GL, and what do I do if it’s not supported, but needed?


Dear Leo, I purchased an HP laptop with Windows 7 Home Premium installed.
The machine runs well with no problems until earlier today, I installed Angry
Birds and tried to run it when a box came up. “Open GL 2.0 renderer not
supported because Open GL 1.4 not supported because Open GL 1.3 not supported.”
And the game wouldn’t run. I have no idea what Open GL and the renderer
represent or mean. Could you please let me know what this is all about and what
to do about it?

In this excerpt from
Answercast #72
, I look at a computer with errors from Angry Birds about the
current video drivers.

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Open GL not supported

Open GL is basically 3D-rendering software. In other words, it’s a way to
draw 3D objects (and more, actually) on a computer screen. It’s basically
software that makes that easier for programs.

It’s a standard interface that programs can write to – that (if it’s
supported) can make writing objects, video objects, display objects on the
screen much easier.

You’ll find it’s used very heavily in computer gaming.

Now, I’m surprised actually that Angry Birds requires it – but I guess I
shouldn’t be too surprised because it is a fairly graphics intensive game.

Getting Open GL

So the question is: you don’t have it, where do you get it? Well, that’s a
bit of a problem. Most of the time, Open GL (along with its more or less
equivalent, Direct X) is installed as part of your video card’s drivers. It
actually usually comes with the video card itself.

So, the only thing that I can suggest you do is identify the video hardware
that’s on your system and see if there are updated drivers for that video card
that include Open GL support. If they don’t, then I’m actually not aware of a
way to make this work for you.

Do this

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3 comments on “What’s Open GL, and what do I do if it’s not supported, but needed?”

  1. Google angry birds opengl and there’s a bunch of info, may help you configure your system. Also, depending on laptop model, you may be able to buy an add-in video card from HP. On-line chat with HP Support. (Long shot but you never know.) Also you may be able to get a USB display adaptor that supports OpenGL.

  2. If this HP had W7 installed as an upgrade from XP and is an older model HP, W7 doesn’t “play nice” with the onboard video cards and won’t display certain things properly.
    You say you bought the laptop, but didn’t mention if it was used or brand new so I’m just throwing this out there.
    You could try to run the game in XP mode?
    I know you can play Angry Birds if you download & run Google Chrome. They may have a troubleshooting option that will tell you exactly what your issue is. Good luck. J.

  3. If your graphics card does not support opengl, you might consider getting a different one. Not really better or expensive, just different. Switching a graphics card is a little bit of a hassle if you don’t know what you are doing, so if you really need help with it, ask your local computer-savvy friend.

    If you switch to a different graphics card that supports opengl, this would fix the problem. I know Leo said that he didn’t know where to go from there, but desktop computers are really easy to mix and match parts with.

    If you don’t have one laying around, you can go online and search for an opengl compatible card then get it there. (newegg is my absolute favorite, they have the best customer service available)


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