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Index buffers are used to render geometry by building triangles out of vertices indirectly by reference to their position in the buffer, rather than just building triangles by sequentially reading vertices. Index buffers are simpler than vertex buffers, since they are just a list of indexes at the end of the day, however they can be held on the hardware and shared between multiple pieces of geometry in the same way vertex buffers can, so the rules on creation and locking are the same. See section Hardware Buffers for information.
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