Imagination PowerVR SDK Blog

Graphics card requirements for VFrame have changed?



It looks like the minimum PC graphics card and host OpenGL requirements for VFrame have changed significantly in the last several releases of the PowerVR SDK and I could use some help understanding exactly what they are. I see that Windows7 and MSVC 2010 are now required after SDK 3.2 and 2.10, respectively. But it also seems that one must have a pretty new Nvidia or AMD add-in card with recent drivers as well. Cards that I used to use on WindowsXP no longer work for VFrame on Windows7. The only one I have that stills works is a GeForce GTX 560 that supports OpenGL 4.1.0. Is the host OpenGL version the real issue? I don’t understand why I need OpenGL 4 to emulate OpenGL ES 2.0. I have not found any PC with the Intel Extreme graphics (which is most PCs) that work with VFrame at all, Is this expected?

The VFrame User Guide says nothing about graphics card requirements, but it really should because it looks like the vast majority of PCs are going to need a hardware upgrade to use it.

Thanks, Clay


Hi Clay,

Thanks for the feedback. I’ll discuss the issue with the PVRVFrame lead engineer.

Can you list the specific GPU model, driver and OpenGL versions where you’re seeing issues?




Hi Clay,

I’ve filed a feature request (BRN48576) for PVRVFrameGUI to generate a system report. This will make it easier to collect hardware and driver information when investigating issues like this in the future.




These are the older graphics cards I have that no longer work with VFrame from the current SDK on WindowsXP or Windows7. They did work with earlier releases of VFrame, except for Intel:

Nvidia GeForce 5900XT OpenGL 2.0.1

Nvidia GeForce Go7200 OpenGL 2.1.2

Intel HD3000 OpenGL 3.0.0

I was hoping your developer could give some clues on what the new minimum requirements are? Every card I have tried on Windows7 with less than OpenGL 4 fails to run PVRVFrame.

Regards, Clay


Hi Clay,

Does your application fail at context creation, or earlier? If not, can you pinpoint exactly what GL operation is causing problems? Any EGL or GL error codes would help to understand the problem.


It fails before EGL context creation. Apps don’t launch at all. The problem is not with any specific app. ALL of the examples and demos in the SDK fail to launch on VFrame on WindowsXP or Windows7 with all the graphics cards I have tried with less than OpenGL 4 drivers. Windows simply reports that it has closed the unresponsive app.


Could you generate a report for me using OpenGL Extensions Viewer with one of these cards?

I would be helpful if you could use a debugger to find out exactly which EGL call is failing. The available OpenGL version shouldn’t have any effect on the execution of the program until it starts making OpenGL ES calls, and then it will succeed or fail on a feature-by-feature basis.


It would take days to install MSVC on the various test computers I am using and track this down, but I am available for contract work from time to time. Please leave a message on my website for this:

I don’t know if the OpenGL version is the real issue. But I have observed that it is the easiest way to predict if a particular graphics card will run VFrame or not. Cards with OpenGL 4 work and cards with OpenGL 3 or 2 do not work.

I did find a Windows7 PC with Intel HD4000 graphics that does work with VFrame. It reports OpenGL 4, so again, it is the older HD3000 Intel graphics that don’t work, as well as older Nvidia cards.

It would be great if your VFrame developer could give us some guidance on what the new graphics card requirements are now.

Thanks, Clay


Hi Clay,

The card requirements have not changed, so if something used to work with these cards and doesn’t anymore then it sounds like we introduced a bug. (Windows XP isn’t supported at the moment but we will be bringing back XP support in an update).

There’s not really a concrete “you need at least this card” answer as it depends on what the application is doing. For example the HelloAPI example in the SDK should run on almost anything. In general though, OpenGL 2.0 or higher should be sufficient for ES 2.0.

One thing to check is that you don’t have a hardware profile selected in the PVRVFrame GUI, as this will affect the list of framebuffer configurations which is generated and may cause trouble in app startup during config selection.



I verified that I don’t have a hardware profile selected in PVRVFrame GUI, but still I find that even HelloAPI does not run on the latest VFrame on any Windows PC I have tested with less than OpenGL 4 drivers installed. If anyone can run any of the PowerVR examples with just OpenGL 2 or 3 drivers, please let us know.

Thanks, Clay