I have seen how much of an improvement openGL makes when used on Android, but is there the same gain to be had on desktop applications? I'm currently under severe time pressure which is why I don't just test it myself! Anyone have any insights?
It really all depends on what you're doing and what devices your app is being run on. For high-dpi displays you may find some improvement.
In my tests I've found the biggest improvements when drawing lots of images, preferably only translated or scaled (rotations are more difficult to render). But again, it all depends on the actual use case.
We have also recently found a lot of graphics card/driver compatibility problems on Windows so I would make sure what ever you do, make sure you can disable the use of OGL. There's also some nasty gotchas such as window z-ordering when in kiosk mode, including popup menus.
Your best bet is to make your drawing code perform as best you can using the software renderers and then try it with OGL to see if there is any performance increases. Turning the renderer on is only a few lines of code.
I was having issues with retina displays with my app. this was fixed using opengl, but at the same time i was having issues with some older computers without retinas crashing from the opengl renderer.
I wrote some code which checks all the displays and uses opengl only if it detects a retina screen attatched the computer. had massive improvements for me, and seems it's been working : )
Thanks for the feedback guys. Definitely seems worth trying out.