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Author Topic: 98% of reported crashes are because of obsolete or faulty graphic card drivers  (Read 2778 times)

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Offline Vyrtuoz

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Tacview crashes on your system?

Look no further! The number one source for crashes are obsolete or faulty graphic card drivers…

Amongst the years, several users have complained about crashes after loading a flight in Tacview. Guess what? The number one source of crashes is most of the time a faulty or outdated graphic card driver.

While it is true that Tacview can be 3D intensive to run (especially VRAM wise), it only requires OpenGL 1.3 to run... Tacview does not use any fancy shader. In fact it runs using the fixed pipeline, which mean that Tacview do not use any shaders at all! It uses 3D technology from 15 years ago...

In that case, how can a graphic card driver be outdated or an issue?

This is simple: Most of the time, any installation of Windows comes with an old driver which - in general - is appropriate to run office applications and games like Minesweeper. However, theses drivers are generally not up to the task of running an intensive 3D application like Tacview. They contain old bugs and often crash as soon as you load a flight in Tacview and start displaying serious things on screen.

Over ten years, I have found and fixed only two bugs in Tacview 3D renderer (which can now be considered as very stable). Also, based on my professional video game developer experience, I have noticed the following in most reported cases:
  • nVidia OpenGL drivers are very reliable. They forgive errors and do not even crash when they should… Which explains why I missed two bugs in my code.
  • AMD (former ATI) OpenGL drivers are unforgiving and sometimes faulty. They crash as soon as you make a simple mistake. Also, sometimes they crash for no real reason, just because of a new fancy future for their control panel or because of a flawed update (as opposed to a fresh install). Which explains why AMD graphic card users are more likely to encounter crashes in video games.
  • Intel default graphic drivers are usually completely outdated and unstable for any serious 3D applications. Simply because most people who are running without a dedicated nVidia or AMD graphic card do not know that they have to install a dedicated driver for their Intel integrated GPU… That plus the fact that Intel never put as much efforts as AMD and nVidia into their graphic drivers.
The moral of this story is that no matter which graphic card you are using: If you have a strange crash in your favorite video game or Tacview, always re-install from scratch the latest official drivers from your graphic card manufacturer. Not only you will see performances improvements, but also improvements in stability.

Feel free to post here your thoughts on that subject.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 05:00:55 PM by Admin »
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