The GNOME View On Compositor Benchmarking
Phoronix: The GNOME View On Compositor Benchmarking
Red Hat's Owen Taylor who is largely responsible for the work on the GNOME Shell and Mutter has written his response to the recent article about How Unity, Compiz, GNOME Shell and KWin Affect Performance...
Interesting read. What i find interesting is that if i use Mutter with 3d-applications or even when watching HD video i experience jerkiness on both my ATI and Nvidia hardware. What is important to note here is that i am not talking about fullscreen apps - im talking about windowed applications.
Originally Posted by phoronix
but when i use compiz i do not experience the lag, or jerkiness.. I was told repeatedly this wasn't a mutter problem, but instead is a problem/bugs in the drivers, and that these problems were being fixed. - but here we are month's later (and a few releases later with Nvidia anyway) and the performance is pretty much the same. (I use Arch and am using the latest drivers).
yet old and new mutter benchmarks done by gnome or redhat say mutter is faster than compiz, and on par with Kwin (pretty much). But none of my day to day usage can agree with that.
Does anyone else find this to be the case??? I have several machines, with different cards and most of my hardware is fairly modern.
(also, to note i am not talking about using Mutter with gnome-shell, as i don't use gnome-shell).
On my machine (intel ironlake graphics) I find mutter to be smoother than both compiz and kwin. On my machine kwin is by far the worst. Pretty much all the animations feel laggy, especially the minimize/unminimize animations. I don't game or use heavy 3d apps on this machine so I can't comment on that.
The gnome developer does have a point. The only reason kwin "won" the phoronix benchmark so handily is kwin has unredirect fullscreen windows on by default. Compiz has this but not on by default, and mutter doesn't have it at all (yet).
Not sure about the issues with non-fullscreen 3d apps.
On my machine I can watch hd videos with vaapi just fine with gnome shell.
I've also used gnome shell on my ati machine (hd2600) performance was a little slow with the oss drivers (kwin was worse though). With catalyst performance was perfect, but I had the infamous rainbow colored activities bar.
What video cards do your machines have?
Last edited by bwat47; 06-14-2011 at 06:37 PM.
Well, I have several Nvidia cards, geforce 9600, 9800 GT, as well as others at work, that i have tested Gnome-Shell and/or Mutter on, but off hand don't know every model.. I recently bought an ATI HD 5000 series (mostly because i haven't used ATI in a long while and am curious), my old dell laptop has an ATI X1300fireGL card.... My dad's machine has a recent ATI card (he had gnome-shell running before he got me to replace it).
Originally Posted by bwat47
I've test-driven Gnome-shell / mutter on quite a few machines now. some were better than others, but overall it's performance hasn't been that good, and on 2 machines was pretty horrible. I also witnessed the rainbow bar on a machine...lol
I do not use any Intel GFX - as historically, they haven't really been considered to be very good, and often somewhat dodgy... although lately this would seem to be changing. I wouldn't have expected Kwin to perform rock-solid on an Intel GPU - it tends to perform best with Nvidia.
I tend to buy Nvidia and use the blob in linux. - as many applications that i run prefer it, or the open-source drivers don't work properly and/or are not unsupported in some apps. People who want/need high-end 3d performance, typically stick to AMD products (ATI/Nvidia), and the proprietary drivers.. Intel graphics biggest selling point is being integrated and not having to buy a separate card... it's typically entry-level, GFX. - it's okay but nothing fantastic. - the integration of CPU/GPU might actually be what's giving to that smoother performance on normal workloads, but if you were to use really 3d-intensive applications, i bet it would quickly fall behind ATI/NVIDIA cards,...
as i have little to no experience with Intel GPUs I cant say too much. But with Nvidia, i am definitely getting better performance out of compiz than mutter, unredirect or not.
but you are correct, i think the gnome-developer does have a point. I didn't think the phoronix benchmarks made much sense, and seemed a little stacked, but in the same way even running the demo's of mutter doing 3d-stuff in lookingglass - i have been less than impressed on my hardware.
Last edited by ninez; 06-14-2011 at 09:04 PM.
As I already wrote about that in the comments section of "How Unity, Compiz, GNOME Shell & KWin Affect Performance" I'll quote myself to avoid recurrence:
I'm using Arch 64 with AMD HD4870 video card.
Originally Posted by rewind
This is quite annoying tbf
desktop all nice and smooth, I go an launch HoN for some games and well... the other desktops lag out (painfully slow ff)
I keep looking to see if there is a patch that can be applied now before this is (hopefully) fixed for gnome3.2 since that is 3months away
Ya, we'll see what happens in 3.2 ~ it should be a good release with the improves to GTK3 alone.(so, even if im not using snome-shell - there should be some pretty good additions).
Originally Posted by Naib
but i also will be excited to see how performance has improve and muuter should be able to do unredirect. by the sound of it.
The situation in kwin should become better in kde 4.7 using the qt raster graphicssystem. Although its kind of subjective, someone reported that even kwin blur becomes useable on a machine with Intel GM45 graphics and the recent SNA improvements.
Originally Posted by bwat47
Depends on hardware and drivers. I had some problems with KWin in Kubuntu 10.10, but with 11.04 or Arch Linux it works very good.
Originally Posted by d1saster
In KWin for 4.6, someone had the extremely bright idea of using MaxFPS=30 as default. This results in extremely poor animations pretty much everywhere. It seems that the usual idiots with the urban myth "more then 24 FPS isn't needed" somehow infiltrated KDE.
Workaround is to add MaxFPS=60 or similar in your kwinrc.