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OpenGL renderer not offering hardware acceleration (Windows, NVidia)

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Ben Mitch
Ben Mitch on 5 Jan 2012
Hi
I am working with some not-all-that-large polygon datasets, and rendering them into a figure. Let's see... 3000 triangles. Rendering with zbuffer, I get about 4 or 5 fps, and a single CPU goes to 100%, as expected. However, when I switch to OpenGL, the frame rate drops to about 1/2 fps (with a single CPU still maxed out). Presumably, then, my gfx card is not being used. Does anyone have any suggestions as to why that might be? BTW, painters gives similar performance to zbuffer (i.e. both are a few times faster than OpenGL).
I found in another question that it might be worth adjusting the "wvisual" setting. My list shows 90 or so, most of which claim to be "hardware accelerated". I've tried several at random, but it takes about 20 seconds to try one with the sluggish response, so I've not tried them all. Is it worth going through them one by one? The recommended one (that returned by opengl info) doesn't work any better than the rest.
In this other question ( http://goo.gl/k9Vxx ) there's some talk of this and that overhead, but they're arguing the toss, really - in the end one guy says he was being limited to 60fps by vsync. Ha. If I was limited to 60fps, I'd not be complaining; that's faster than my eyes :D.
In summary - there seems to be no way that this rendering is going anywhere near my gfx card, so it's presumably happening in a software OpenGL implementation. Has anyone got any experience of this? 8600GT and Matlab? I can't turn much up anything to help on Google, strangely - I thought this would be all over the web.
Appreciate any suggestions, Cheers Mitch
i) I just downloaded the latest NVIDIA driver, replacing the MS WDDM driver, and it made little or no difference.
ii) The card is a GeForce 8600 GT which if i remember right is not fear-inducing by today's standards, but i used to play games on it not so long ago so i'm sure it should be able to render a few thousand polygons at better than 1Hz :O
iii) matlab "bench" scores me 0.7323 on 3D, comparable with the other machines listed.
iv) Matlab R2011b on Windows 7.
>> opengl info
Version = 3.3.0
Vendor = NVIDIA Corporation
Renderer = GeForce 8600 GT/PCI/SSE2
MaxTextureSize = 8192
Visual = 07 (RGB 32 bits(08 08 08 00) zdepth 24, Hardware Accelerated, Opengl, Double Buffered, Window)
Software = false
# of Extensions = 226
Driver Bug Workarounds:
OpenGLBitmapZbufferBug = 0
OpenGLWobbleTesselatorBug = 0
OpenGLLineSmoothingBug = 0
OpenGLDockingBug = 0
OpenGLClippedImageBug = 1
OpenGLEraseModeBug = 1

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