An innovative multi-mode depth buffer compression algorithm has been developed for 3D graphics system. It adaptively compresses the depth buffer data according to different scene changes by employing 19 compression modes generated from three compression algorithms including DDPCM, HA, and general DDPCM. Furthermore, this novel algorithm supports one-plane and two-plane compression modes and manipulates break points more efficiently. For 8×8 tile size and 16-bit depth values, the proposed multi-mode algorithm can achieve 1.91:1 compression ratio on average and improve 76.9% and 39.4% compared with the HA and the DDPCM compression methods, respectively. The modified efficient depth buffer compression can achieve 10.56:1 and 7.76:1 compression ratio in one-plane mode and two-plane mode, respectively. The modified DDPCM can achieve 6.48:1 and 5.39:1 compression ratio in oneplane mode and two-plane mode, respectively.