KDE 4.9 Is Faster & More Responsive
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 19 July 2012 at 10:23 AM EDT. Add A Comment
KDE 4.9 will be released in August and overall it feels more responsive and faster during desktop use than its predecessors.

Aside from Qt Quick support in KDE Plasma Workspaces, improvements to the Dolphin file manager, and other changes, performance was also a focus for this six-month update to the KDE desktop. There's many performance improvements and bug-fixes to improve the user experience.

I've heard good comments about speed improvements of the Plasma desktop within KDE SC 4.9, so I tried it out for the past few days -- comparing Ubuntu 12.04 with KDE 4.8 to the latest KDE 4.8.90 packages. Yes, indeed, KDE 4.9 feels much nicer!

I was also curious to see whether KWin compositing window manager improvements for KDE 4.9 had any benefit to running OpenGL full-screen games. It, however, doesn't appear to be the case at least when using Intel Ivy Bridge graphics with the Mesa 8.0 DRI driver. When using the default settings (i.e. not un-redirecting full-screen windows), there wasn't any major change in performance.

System details, system logs, and more OpenGL benchmarks from the KDE 4.9 development desktop can be found at OpenBenchmarking.org. You can run your own comparative benchmarks via phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1207187-SU-INTELIVYK22 with the Phoronix Test Suite open-source software.

To learn how to speed up your Linux gaming desktop with KDE tweaks, see Tweaking KDE's KWin For Linux Gaming Performance. Look for KDE 4.9 to officially surface around the first of August.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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