Comparison of OpenGL and Direct3D - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaIn general, Direct3D is designed to be a 3D hardware interface. The feature set of Direct3D is derived from the feature set of what hardware provides. OpenGL, on the other hand, is designed to be a 3D rendering system that may be hardware accelerated. These two APIs are fundamentally designed under two separate modes of thought. The fact that the two APIs have become so similar in functionality shows how well hardware is converging into user functionality.