Maximum PC's blunt no-BS review policy may lead some folks to believe that we're a bunch of hardassed curmudgeons, but actually, we're big softies sometimes. We love cuddling up with a nice, warm graphics card, for example (assuming the proper cooling systems are in place, of course). And everyone enjoys a good open-source project. OpenGL combines the best of both worlds; awesome graphics backed by open-source standards. Today, the Khronos Group, the nonprofit organization in charge of OpenGL, gave the platform a boost with the release of the OpenGL 4.2 standard.
Want some hard details about the new features? The press release provides a quick bullet list:
enabling shaders with atomic counters and load/store/atomic read-modify-write operations to a single level of a texture. These capabilities can be combined, for example, to maintain a counter at each pixel in a buffer object for single-rendering-pass order-independent transparency;
capturing GPU-tessellated geometry and drawing multiple instances of the result of a transform feedback to enable complex objects to be efficiently repositioned and replicated;
modifying an arbitrary subset of a compressed texture, without having to re-download the whole texture to the GPU for significant performance improvements;
packing multiple 8 and 16 bit values into a single 32-bit value for efficient shader processing with significantly reduced memory storage and bandwidth, especially useful when transferring data between shader stages.