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How Unity, Compiz, GNOME Shell & KWin Affect Performance

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  • #16
    Originally posted by damg View Post
    So essentially, gnome-shell in its current form is a step backwards for Linux gaming (and other fullscreen OpenGL apps like Blender)?
    currently, and if you want to output more frames than your display can actually render, then yes. there's nothing implicitly wrong in the architecture or the implementation, though - and using the refresh rate of the monitor is always the right choice to avoid burning through your GPU and battery life. so it's going to require some work, but it's going to get fixed.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by damg View Post
      So essentially, gnome-shell in its current form is a step backwards for Linux gaming (and other fullscreen OpenGL apps like Blender)?
      Why would you wish run Blender at more fps than your monitor can handle?

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      • #18
        And referring to the tests that's why I'm stuck at gnome-shell in forced fallback mode and with compiz running. It's not only games, it's HD videos and flash also. Not always less frames per sec., but sluggish and choppy motion with mutter. That's with the latest catalyst.
        I think the best way to avoid such problems /with display manager/ is to start every fullscreen application like games in new x-server display.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by ebassi View Post
          currently, and if you want to output more frames than your display can actually render, then yes. there's nothing implicitly wrong in the architecture or the implementation, though - and using the refresh rate of the monitor is always the right choice to avoid burning through your GPU and battery life. so it's going to require some work, but it's going to get fixed.
          You're right, it does make sense to sync to vblank if you can consistently generate more FPS than your monitor refresh rate; but at this point I was referring to most games which are struggling to produce those 60 FPS in the first place; the vblank waiting is causing an extra hit in FPS.

          It sounds like this extension that Carmack talked about might be useful; anyone know what that is?

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          • #20
            Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
            Why would you wish run Blender at more fps than your monitor can handle?
            I don't. Your question assumes that Blender can always generate more FPS than the monitor can handle.

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            • #21
              These results just can't be right. Uncomposited Metacity is the slowest one? It's ridiculous.



              Mutter and Metacity comes from GNOME 3.0.2, KWin form KDE SC 4.6.80.

              Hardware: C2D E4500, GTX 275 / 270.41.19

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              • #22
                My nVidia GeForce GTX260 is doing very very fine on KDE 4.6.x. If I would need to, I could switch to LXDE, and remain cool.

                Nice test, BTW!!!

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by torturedutopian View Post
                  You didn't mention, in the test, the use of the Compiz or KWin options that disable compositing for fullscreen apps, thus games !

                  * By default, KWin turns off compositing for fullscreen apps and should be as fast as Metacity (don't know why it turns out to be faster ?!). This option is great but makes the screen flicker a little when switching from windowed to fullscreen mode. In the future, there will be an API, apparently, so that apps can tell if they are more demanding or not, and if compositing should be switched off or not. (way to go, IMHO !)
                  Exactly. This is very valuable comment in this thread.

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                  • #24
                    My Gnome Shell is working just fine - for me

                    I am not a gamer. My comment is more for a normal desktop user.

                    I installed Kubuntu, then added the Gnome3 PPA. I added just the Gnome3 stuff and avoided all the legacy stuff from a standard Ubuntu install. I reconfigured the login to GDM and now have a stable Gnome Shell desktop - with KDE in reserve.

                    I had to remove the fglrx drivers as they were unusable. The screen was corrupted constantly. I installed a 2.6.39 kernel and xorg-edgers and am now running Mesa/Gallium3D.

                    All animations are smooth. Xvid videos play full screen smoothly. Flash via YouTube plays smoothly. I have WebGL running in Chrome and the demos run smoothly. I had to use the --disable-gpu-blacklist flag in Chrome.

                    My family have all had issues with Unity. One of the worst is the launcher being stuck on the screen and overlaying running apps. With Gnome Shell there has not been any issues of that nature. I need KDE installed as well. The new Nautilus cannot handle Samba shares, but by using Dolphin under Gnome it all works nicely. All the KDE networking stuff is installed and usable. My media players happily read my shared folders.

                    So, while all the above benchmarks point to gaming being near to impossible under Gnome Shell, I have no problems with web browsing, video, word processing etc. And my desktop and desktop effects are rock solid.

                    And I do agree with an earlier post that suggested trying the benchmarks with Fedora 15. It will be interesting to see what happens in a dedicated Gnome Shell distro. Using the Gnome3 PPA under Ubuntu is a recipe for dependency hell. Using it with Kubuntu is, so far, a better option for me.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by gedgon View Post
                      These results just can't be right. Uncomposited Metacity is the slowest one? It's ridiculous.



                      Mutter and Metacity comes from GNOME 3.0.2, KWin form KDE SC 4.6.80.

                      Hardware: C2D E4500, GTX 275 / 270.41.19
                      Theoretically, composited may be faster than uncomposited (display from VRAM vs display using CPU; more CPU used by WM = less performance). The strangest thing is: why KWin on NVIDIA gives such a beating to anything else. The explanation definitely isn't some NVIDIA blob bug; Nouveau exhibits the same behaviour.

                      TFA uses KDE SC 4.6.2, not KDE SC 4.6.80.

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                      • #26
                        Why Benchmark Gnome-shell and not Mutter specifically?????

                        Mutter is a compositor, Kwin is a compositor and Compiz is a compositor (i don't need to mention Unity, because it is based on Compiz, of course).

                        at the end of the article it is mentioned that gnome-shell is a mess right now (agreed), but wouldn't it have been more appropriate to test Mutter itself, to see how it performs against other compositors???

                        gnome-shell could be the cause of performance loss, or mutter could be...or even clutter might be causing the crappy performance.

                        from my perspective it''s almost pointless to benchmark 2 somewhat dis-similar things (gnome-shell vs. compiz or kwin?!?! - ie: gnome-shell is a DE not a compositor).

                        it would be interesting to see actual current mutter benchmarks vs. compiz/kwin.

                        cheerz

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                        • #27
                          So... to paraphrase.... GNOME 3 is a murderer of puppies. Got it.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by grege View Post
                            I am not a gamer. My comment is more for a normal desktop user.

                            I installed Kubuntu, then added the Gnome3 PPA. I added just the Gnome3 stuff and avoided all the legacy stuff from a standard Ubuntu install. I reconfigured the login to GDM and now have a stable Gnome Shell desktop - with KDE in reserve.

                            I had to remove the fglrx drivers as they were unusable. The screen was corrupted constantly. I installed a 2.6.39 kernel and xorg-edgers and am now running Mesa/Gallium3D.

                            All animations are smooth. Xvid videos play full screen smoothly. Flash via YouTube plays smoothly. I have WebGL running in Chrome and the demos run smoothly. I had to use the --disable-gpu-blacklist flag in Chrome.

                            My family have all had issues with Unity. One of the worst is the launcher being stuck on the screen and overlaying running apps. With Gnome Shell there has not been any issues of that nature. I need KDE installed as well. The new Nautilus cannot handle Samba shares, but by using Dolphin under Gnome it all works nicely. All the KDE networking stuff is installed and usable. My media players happily read my shared folders.

                            So, while all the above benchmarks point to gaming being near to impossible under Gnome Shell, I have no problems with web browsing, video, word processing etc. And my desktop and desktop effects are rock solid.

                            And I do agree with an earlier post that suggested trying the benchmarks with Fedora 15. It will be interesting to see what happens in a dedicated Gnome Shell distro. Using the Gnome3 PPA under Ubuntu is a recipe for dependency hell. Using it with Kubuntu is, so far, a better option for me.
                            Why are you running Ubuntu at all? Fedora delivers a great KDE and GS experience without any hassle for most.
                            I'm not trying to be argumentative just curious.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by liam View Post
                              Why are you running Ubuntu at all? Fedora delivers a great KDE and GS experience without any hassle for most.
                              I'm not trying to be argumentative just curious.
                              Probably because i have been using Debian based distros for more than ten years - a merry go round of Debian testing and sid, Aptosid, Mint, LMDE, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu. I am comfortable with every corner of the ecosystem. I tried SUSE and did not care for it. I have had Fedora running a few times, no problems but I always stick with what I know fairly well.

                              Since I wrote that post I have added an Nvidia G210 and loaded the Nvidia drivers. I have added several extensions from GitHub, and even modified them for my own preferences. I now have an Applications menu back on the top tool bar, a weather app and quick launch icons. I have a bottom toolbar with a task switcher and a desktop pager. I can shut down without pressing ALT. Extensions make Gnome-shell infinitely configurable and extendible. My desktop looks like Gnome 2.x, but it is pure Gnome3 and Gnome-shell. The only thing missing is the simple Samba folder sharing that Ubuntu usually supplies via Nautilus-Share. The Gnome3 version of nautilus no longer supports nautilus-share. But because I built on Kubuntu, Dolphin and the KDE sharing programs are all there to use as replacements.

                              Tip for anyone interested. If you find an extension you want, but it is packaged for another distro do not despair. Extensions are just javascript and kept in /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions so download the source code version and just copy them in. Or open the rpm or deb with an archive manager and extract to the extension folder. Once you have done one it becomes simple. Restart the Shell and they are active.

                              The desktop is fun again.

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                              • #30
                                please make another benchmark because gnome-shell and unity are more mature

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