Dec 1, 2011

If you are a Gamer, you need to have this on your phone - Chainfire3D review

Chainfire3D is an OpenGL driver that sits between your apps and the graphics drivers. So this cool app can intercept and/or change commands between the two. It has some nice  built-in functions, and can be further extended with plugins to provide extra functionality.

Some phones don't support som of the games that are out there. Let's take the Samsung Galaxy S2 for an example. It has a pretty powerful Mali 400 MP GPU, but few 3D games are available for it. So this app emulates (if that is the right word for it) other GPUs. Normally when you install a game that is made for Nvidia Tegra phones you will get eighter a force close or the game will start, but you will see missing shaders, textures, etc.

But with this app (and the plugins installed) you can play them without any problems.
There are 2 versions of this app out there, the Free version and the Pro version. While the free version works as fine as the pro one, the pro has some nice features that make it worth the 5$.

In the free version you can only select 1 plugin at a time (eighter nVidia plugin, Qualcomm or PowerVR). So when you are done playing the game, you need to switch back to default OpenGL driver. But the pro version has the "Per-app" function that allows you to set a separate driver for each game you play. That way you don't need to switch around before and after every game. You just need to set it once in the setting, and the app will remember to switch to nVidia when playing X game, and switch back to default (your phone's driver) when the game exits. Also the pro version allows you to set MSAA (MultiSample Anti-Aliasing). This will greatly improve image quality (PC gamers know this :D ). This way lines/edges become much smoother. The options are automatic (the app decides - but most apps don't enable MSAA themselves at all). The ARM Mali 400 MP (used in the Galaxy S2) can even do 4xMSAA at no performance cost. But if your GPU does not support the level of MSAA requested, the app will likely not start at all.

Setting up Chainfire3D
Very easy to do this. In the free version you can only play around with default openGL driver. First you need the plugins for nVidia, powerVR and Qualcomm drivers. You can download them by clicking HERE.

Plugin installation
Simply put these zip files on your /sdcard (root of your SDcard), and use the "Install Plugin" option in Chainfire3D. Re-open Chainfire and go to "Default OpenGL Settings" and select "Use plugin" with the plugin you need.

After you finished playing (and you use the free version of Chainfire) I strongly recommend to switch back to DEFAULT openGL driver. It will be better for system performance.

Setting up the PRO version is the same as above, except you don't use default openGL but PER APP settings. Like I said before, this will let you set up a driver for each game individually, and will switch back to default driver when you are done playing.

Requirements to run Chainfire 3D:
- OpenGL ES 2.0 (every 1ghz+ phone has this)
- SuperUser / Root
- Writable /system (it will try to remount system as read/write when needed, but the changes need to stick between reboots)

This is another app I highly recommend. Not only to Galaxy S2 users, but to all Android gamers (because you have the ability to reduce textures to speed up the game, to enable AA, and so on). This app is very good, and it will keep getting better and better.


Anonymous said...

I need this! Facebook Twitter

Adam said...

I so need my own droid. I should get one next year...I hope

Anonymous said...

thanks nice review

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