Opengl and older graphics cards


Sometime time back I started getting crashes when trying to run KiCad in Opengl mode on an older laptop with an Intel graphics card on Windows. My card’s driver did not support Opengl 2.1

I have successfully been running the Mesa library and have not had any issues with the Opengl canvas.

The library can be downloaded from this git page.

The quick deploy process is not the easiest, just make sure you type in the full path to your Kicad’s bin directory when prompted.

It also works on the latest nightly builds.


How do you find that Mesa SW rendering performance compares to the Cairo mode in KiCad?


May I ask out of curiosity - how old is this older laptop?


I have a mid-range Toshiba Satellite, circa 2011, that may have problems with OpenGL. At least, it’s stuck on the Cairo canvas and I can’t get it into OpenGL I seem to recall that at one time, OpenGL worked. I won’t put any effort into correcting the problem right now - it’s not a main work computer, and I’m running a Nightly build from last February, so I’ll wait until I upgrade to Version 5 before I worry about it.



I don’t really notice if the Mesa SW rendering is any slower than the Cairo mode. To my eye they appear to be similar in performance on my laptop.


Most likely using one of the old Intel mobile graphics chipsets


Yeah, but I’m specifically curious about age, because I’ve seen some people acting like there’s no need to support systems that unfathomably old and I have a hunch they’re not actually that old…


In my case the laptop is about 6-7 years old and uses the series 4 chipset.


Yeah, that’s about what I was thinking. Okay, thanks.


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