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Video Game Optimization by Ben Garney, Eric Preisz

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Chapter 10. Shaders

The secret to great graphics lies with shaders. Good art is always a requirement, but good shaders let good art shine (or glow, shadow, occlude, reflect, refract, or sparkle). You’ll find an abundance of articles and books on writing and integrating shaders into games.

In this chapter, we’ll explore the different factors that control shader performance, as well as explore how to detect and fix bottlenecks in your shaders. In doing this, we build heavily on the preceding two chapters, Chapter 9, “The GPU,” and Chapter 8, “From CPU to GPU.” Make sure that you’ve read them first.

A quick aside on our methodology for the tests in this chapter. Every video card has different performance characteristics, which tend to change with each ...

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