Though most Windows gamers will probably think that OpenGL is dead, it would appear that is most definitely NOT the case as we have just recently born witness to Valve’s Steam platform arrive for the Mac.  While Direct X continues to be the dominant API for Windows-based and Xbox 360-based gaming OpenGL is only powerful cross-platform API that allows developers to target Windows, Mac OS X and even Linux.  The problem of course is that OpenGL tends to lag behind Direct X in terms of features but perhaps that will shift with a renewed focus on the open platforms.

Right on queue, Linux-centric website Phoronix.com has posted a comparison of OpenGL performance on the three major platforms: Windows 7, Linux (Ubuntu) and Mac OS X.  They even compare the Intel integrated graphics technology and the discrete NVIDIA options as well. 

OpenGL performance compared across Windows, Linux and Mac OS X - Graphics Cards  2

Phoronix was of course testing on Apple hardware as that is the only legitimate way to evaluate performance on Mac OS X but as you can see here there are noticeable differences in the OpenGL performance between the platforms.  As it turns out, throughout the article, Windows still continues to be the best performer for OpenGL though Linux wasn’t far behind in most cases.  Be sure to check out all of Phoronix.com’s article for the details!

This is good news for gamers across ANY system as we see the progression of PC-gaming to Macs and yes, even Linux.
While it is a pity we were only able to perform this operating system comparison on two Mac Mini setups — and with the older Core 2 Duo Mac Mini bearing Intel graphics it would not support Windows 7 x64 — the results were certainly interesting. With every OpenGL gaming test and at every tested resolution, Microsoft Windows 7 x64 was significantly faster than Mac OS X 10.6.3 on Apple’s very own hardware. In many cases, Windows 7 produced noticeably higher frame-rates than even Ubuntu 10.04 LTS “Lucid Lynx”, which was somewhat surprising considering the competitive performance last week in our Windows vs. Ubuntu Linux performance comparison.