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The First Benchmarks Of Unity On XMir: There's A Performance Hit

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  • The First Benchmarks Of Unity On XMir: There's A Performance Hit

    Phoronix: The First Benchmarks Of Unity On XMir: There's A Performance Hit

    With Thursday's announcement that Mir will ship by default in Ubuntu 13.10 on the desktop, many Ubuntu users were caught by surprise that this experimental display server will be ready by October. Up to now, Ubuntu 13.10 was expected to continue using an X.Org Server by default on the desktop (with only an experimental option for Mir) while the new Ubuntu Touch project would be using Mir on mobile devices, until next year. With the pressed timeline for the migration to Mir, at Phoronix we have already carried out our first Mir benchmarks. In this article are the first benchmarks of Intel graphics when running on Ubuntu 13.10 with a native X.Org Server (as done now on current Ubuntu Linux releases) and then when deploying the same Unity desktop environment atop XMir with the Mir unity-system-compositor.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=18821

  • #2
    maybe there is a higher cpu usage?

    nexuiz 2.5:

    800x600 17 fps
    1600x900 17 fps

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    • #3
      Still early days. Mir is the future so it can only get better.

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      • #4
        Not bad for "we just got it working".

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        • #5
          That's quite a hit, but for something so early in it's life to perform that well in the grand scheme of things, well that's progress!

          Hopefully it won't be too bad for gaming! Keep them coming Mike

          Liam of GamingOnLinux.com

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          • #6
            Interesting, nothing too bad all things considered really. In theory it can only improve and close the performance gap.

            I'll be interested to see the XWayland tests. As a non-Ubuntu user (on my primary machines, anyway) I'm particularly interested and looking forward to Wayland.

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            • #7
              I believe they are still in the middle of working on composition bypass. Once composition bypass is in, it should increase the performance of full screen applications considerably.

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              • #8
                It will also be interesting to see how Wayland and XWayland perform, since Keith Packard among others have made comments in the past that it should be faster than using an outright X.Org Server.
                So when will they be coming around? Isn't it possible to run it on the development branch if it isn't merged yet? I've forgotten what the state of it is.

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                • #9
                  Any compatibility layer will have a performance hit but 10% is less than I expected. Interesting.

                  Have there been any benchmarks yet comparing X.org vs Mir vs Wayland? Or is there still a problem of finding apps that run natively on Wayland/Mir? Do any apps/toolkits support native Mir/Wayland yet or is everything still running under a Xorg compatibility layer at the moment?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chrisb View Post
                    Any compatibility layer will have a performance hit but 10% is less than I expected. Interesting.

                    Have there been any benchmarks yet comparing X.org vs Mir vs Wayland? Or is there still a problem of finding apps that run natively on Wayland/Mir? Do any apps/toolkits support native Mir/Wayland yet or is everything still running under a Xorg compatibility layer at the moment?
                    I second this, they cannot improve that too much.

                    No app apart of unity supports mir, while kde will support wayland.

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                    • #11
                      So, even Unity will lose performance when running on XMir vs. running on straight Xorg - and Mir was built for Unity. Why should any other distro use XMir again?

                      (also, it's cute how the fanbois are already making excuses... "it's still early days!" "it's not that bad a hit, only 10%!" well, when that 10% hit brings no additional benefit, what reason is there to take that hit...)

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                      • #12
                        Also want to see XWayland for comparison, it should give a good indication of the comparative state of the two technologies. I suspect the fundamental techniques used in both are quite similar so I wouldn't expect there to be a significant performance difference between the two, at least not in the long run. I'd also be interested to see how gnome/kde run under XMir.

                        For X vs Mir vs Wayland it seems that anything QT based would be a good start since there's both QTMir and QTWayland backends (though i don't know what state the wayland one is in these days), and soon enough there should KDE on wayland to do a Unity8 vs KDE comparison (although that said i doubt many people are going to make their DE choice based on raw performance numbers).

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by dee. View Post
                          So, even Unity will lose performance when running on XMir vs. running on straight Xorg - and Mir was built for Unity. Why should any other distro use XMir again?

                          (also, it's cute how the fanbois are already making excuses... "it's still early days!" "it's not that bad a hit, only 10%!" well, when that 10% hit brings no additional benefit, what reason is there to take that hit...)
                          Well considering this is a first release, saying "its early days" is entirely reasonable - ubuntu 13.10 is still in alpha. If performance is poor in the final release then you have a problem.

                          As for "no additional benefit" Canonical were very clear on why they're pushing it - to get Mir out to people so it can be tested in real conditions and improved, which benefits Ubuntu generally. They've also been very clear that if you want the best performance and stability, use the LTS versions - so if you don't want to take the risk of performance regressions you don't have to. Of course if they haven't got it sorted out by the next LTS then that's a valid criticism.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mangecoeur View Post
                            Also want to see XWayland for comparison, it should give a good indication of the comparative state of the two technologies. I suspect the fundamental techniques used in both are quite similar so I wouldn't expect there to be a significant performance difference between the two, at least not in the long run. I'd also be interested to see how gnome/kde run under XMir.

                            For X vs Mir vs Wayland it seems that anything QT based would be a good start since there's both QTMir and QTWayland backends (though i don't know what state the wayland one is in these days), and soon enough there should KDE on wayland to do a Unity8 vs KDE comparison (although that said i doubt many people are going to make their DE choice based on raw performance numbers).
                            The comparaison xWayland vs xMir can be intersting but the comparaison xMir vs futur xMir too.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by dee. View Post
                              So, even Unity will lose performance when running on XMir vs. running on straight Xorg - and Mir was built for Unity. Why should any other distro use XMir again?
                              You misunderstand. Unity will run on Mir. XMir is a compatibility layer that will be used to run old X11 applications that aren't written using a modern toolkit.

                              Originally posted by dee. View Post
                              (also, it's cute how the fanbois are already making excuses... "it's still early days!" "it's not that bad a hit, only 10%!" well, when that 10% hit brings no additional benefit, what reason is there to take that hit...)
                              Applications running under XWayland will also have a performance hit. It is impossible to have a compatibility layer without a performance hit.

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