25.4. Early Fragment Test Mode

The depth bounds test, stencil test, depth test, and occlusion query sample counting are performed before fragment shading if and only if early fragment tests are enabled by the fragment shader (see Early Fragment Tests). When early per-fragment operations are enabled, these operations are performed prior to fragment shader execution, and the stencil buffer, depth buffer, and occlusion query sample counts will be updated accordingly; these operations will not be performed again after fragment shader execution.

If a pipeline’s fragment shader has early fragment tests disabled, these operations are performed only after fragment program execution, in the order described below. If a pipeline does not contain a fragment shader, these operations are performed only once.

If early fragment tests are enabled, any depth value computed by the fragment shader has no effect. Additionally, the depth test (including depth writes), stencil test (including stencil writes) and sample counting operations are performed even for fragments or samples that would be discarded after fragment shader execution due to per-fragment operations such as alpha-to-coverage tests, or due to the fragment being discarded by the shader itself.