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Ubuntu's Unity/Compiz Gets Even Slower

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  • #11
    Originally posted by bachinchi View Post
    That's about right. Kwin is getting more awesome as time passes. KDE is returning to the beauty of 3.x days.
    I like Compiz but it's a project that doesn't seem to advance and about Mutter, GNOME guys only care in removing features.
    Another nice thing about Kwin-- something Canonical may use once Wayland and KDE 5 hits. Because of how they are restructuring the frameworks and the classes in KDE 5 the idea is that you could use Kwin as your window manager even if you dont have KDE-meta installed. It will use KDElibs if they are available, but otherwise will drop back to pure QT. I know Unity 2D was QT based, and since Kwin supports plugins like Compiz did, Canonical may be wise to go a QT route for Unity 3D and use Kwin as the window manager.

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    • #12
      Although I like compiz, I switched to Gnome Shell. It seems to give me less "glitchiness" than the rest and work fine without any system setting tampering(even on KWin I don't quite agree with the defaults, like "Undirect Fullscreen Windows" not on by default, although it used to be .. :/ )
      Also, it has a good combination of features and customization(extensions are nigh omnipotent it seems) with being lightweight( ~400 megs of total ram isn't bad for me, especially on my loaded Ubuntu with Catalyst[opensource radeon seems to takes much less ram] )

      Of course KWin also seems to run pretty smooth, but I tend to have to tweak it .. Activate anti-aliasing for fonts, undirect fullscreen windows and a couple things to make it "perfect" .. But things seem to actually run very smooth in it other than that(except a few times with fullscreen apps probably).

      But I think that some technical details aren't bad to know. I was reading in a blog of a Gnome developer(at least if I recall correctly) that compiz giving less FPS doesn't mean it has slow code. What I've understood is with xorg applications pretty much send frames and hope for the best, there's no inherent mechanism to time frames with screen refresh and it's a relatively tough thing to implement, with its fair share of traps and difficulties. So timing the frames and reducing delays(often not because something is executed, the wm/compositor might be waiting to see if something will refresh, and this could cause it to miss the refresh and not render the frame, while it could) can be more important than executing fast redraws etc in cases. And I think this is the thing with compiz. Of course it's not an excuse after all those years. But I think with wayland it will indeed be easier to correct all those misbehaviors, as it provides better mechanisms in timing the frames with the screen refresh(again, if I've understood correctly till now .. there's people who know this stuff much better than I do).
      And I hope it does .. It's supposed to actually give real tear free video too(wayland), so it should be able to help with that and general tearing I assume
      (tearing is closely connected to the mentioned timing as far as I know)



      Btw,

      Originally posted by Article
      The removal of Unity 2D is also equally problematic -- or even bigger -- for those Ubuntu ARM users. When there's no 3D hardware acceleration support available for Unity/Compiz, it's falling back to using the Gallium3D LLVMpipe driver.
      Especially all those ARM servers running Ubuntu will really miss all their compiz effects and Unity ..

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      • #13
        The results are surprising, considering some major rework has been done which is supposed to reduce wakeups, CPU usage and improve performance dramatically. Maybe it's another new regression somewhere, or some problems with the driver. Hopefully this shit will get sorted soon, and it's only a minor thing left to do.

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        • #14
          Some games, simply won't unredirect to fullscreen properly with compiz, and that causes a major performance hit.

          One of the best games on Linux, Trine 2, simply runs like crap with compiz.

          Kwin have its flaws with nvidia drivers, because there´ s still window tearing with vsync and moving and resizing windows are slow.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by Ericg View Post
            In a way this kind of shows how important the community is to a project. By the large, no one ever jumped onto Unity (or Gnome 3) developer wise, users sure but not the developers that drive a project, and Compiz was all-but-officially abandoned when Gnome moved to Mutter. Because so few of the developers care about Compiz you run into a problem of "With enough eyes, all bugs are shallow"-- Canonical can't provide enough eyes on their own, and apparently they cant get enough outside help either.

            Mutter is most likely in a similar boat (benchmarks, Michael?) and I can't help but look at Kwin and go "There's a project that's pushing forward with technology, there's a project developers care about." I follow Martin Graesslin's blog about once a week or so, and every time there's an announcement by him about some new feature and the feedback from the community is astounding. People CARE about Kwin. Whenever an announcement comes up for Unity/Compiz or Gnome/Mutter I only seem to hear "Performance regression incoming" or "meh, who uses it anyway?"

            (disclaimer, yes I use KDE (Kubuntu/Fedora KDE/Arch). I also used to run Gnome 2 + Compiz before Ubuntu jumped to Unity, Ive used Fedora Gnome 3, and I've run E17 and Openbox on Arch, so don't just jump at "Try a lighterweight one, they're even faster-- i have used them, Kwin is still my favorite.)

            Just my 2 cents.
            -Eric
            Uh... did you even read Michael's latest test results comparing KDE(Kwin)/Gnome Shell(Mutter)/XFCE/Unity(Compiz)?

            Gnome Shell (Mutter) was faster than Kwin in almost every test, sometimes by a significant margin too! Sure Kwin is faster than Unity, but so is everything else... The conclusion was, that Gnome-Shell and XFCE were the best performing desktops across all gfx driver platforms.

            Also, implying that all the developers jumped in to support Kwin is quite misleading.. I seriously doubt KDE has more users/developers than Gnome or Unity.
            Last edited by gururise; 09-04-2012, 05:49 PM.

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            • #16
              This crap is the only reason I don't use unity. I really like unity's interface, but goddamn is unity/compiz slow as hell on my intel ironlake card. Just bringing up the dash over a video playing will bring things to a crawl.

              Gnome-shell has just as much eye candy and runs fast as hell on this card, and is also FAR less buggy. I get random crashes and bad performance with unity/compiz, while gnome-shell/mutter is always smooth and stable. I really wish Canonical had stuck with mutter for unity instead of making the poor decision to scrap it for compiz. Say what you want about gnome-shell but they have done a great job giving an absolutely smooth composited desktop. No graphical glitches, no tearing, stable, and animations are always smooth, good all around performance, which is all I really want from a 3d desktop.

              Kwin also runs great on this card since kde 4.8, compiz is the only one that runs so poorly.
              Last edited by bwat47; 09-04-2012, 05:45 PM.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by bwat47 View Post
                This crap is the only reason I don't use unity. I really like unity's interface, but goddamn is unity/compiz slow as hell on my intel ironlake card. Just bringing up the dash over a video playing will bring things to a crawl.

                Gnome-shell has just as much eye candy and runs fast as hell on this card, and is also FAR less buggy. I get random crashes and bad performance with unity/compiz, while gnome-shell/mutter is always smooth and stable. I really wish Canonical had stuck with mutter for unity instead of making the poor decision to scrap it for compiz. Say what you want about gnome-shell but they have done a great job giving an absolutely smooth composited desktop. No graphical glitches, no tearing, stable, and animations are always smooth, good all around performance, which is all I really want from a 3d desktop.

                Kwin also runs great on this card since kde 4.8, compiz is the only one that runs so poorly.
                compiz ran great with gnome-panel. throw unity on there and it's a turd.

                granted compiz has undergone significant rework since the gnome-panel days.

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by gururise View Post
                  Uh... did you even read Michael's latest test results comparing KDE(Kwin)/Gnome Shell(Mutter)/XFCE/Unity(Compiz)?

                  Gnome Shell (Mutter) was faster than Kwin in almost every test, sometimes by a significant margin too! Sure Kwin is faster than Unity, but so is everything else... The conclusion was, that Gnome-Shell and XFCE were the best performing desktops across all gfx driver platforms.

                  Also, implying that all the developers jumped in to support Kwin is quite misleading.. I seriously doubt KDE has more users/developers than Gnome or Unity.
                  And did you read Martin's response? The performance difference is because of a changed default (unredirection of full screen windows).

                  Yeah, I know. Most users will only ever use the defaults. And (currently) Kwin is out-of-the-box less performant that Mutter. I don't really know the reasoning of this change. Anyone have an idea?
                  Last edited by bachinchi; 09-04-2012, 06:20 PM. Reason: typo

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by Ericg View Post
                    In a way this kind of shows how important the community is to a project. By the large, no one ever jumped onto Unity (or Gnome 3) developer wise, users sure but not the developers that drive a project, and Compiz was all-but-officially abandoned when Gnome moved to Mutter. Because so few of the developers care about Compiz you run into a problem of "With enough eyes, all bugs are shallow"-- Canonical can't provide enough eyes on their own, and apparently they cant get enough outside help either.

                    Mutter is most likely in a similar boat (benchmarks, Michael?) and I can't help but look at Kwin and go "There's a project that's pushing forward with technology, there's a project developers care about." I follow Martin Graesslin's blog about once a week or so, and every time there's an announcement by him about some new feature and the feedback from the community is astounding. People CARE about Kwin. Whenever an announcement comes up for Unity/Compiz or Gnome/Mutter I only seem to hear "Performance regression incoming" or "meh, who uses it anyway?"

                    (disclaimer, yes I use KDE (Kubuntu/Fedora KDE/Arch). I also used to run Gnome 2 + Compiz before Ubuntu jumped to Unity, Ive used Fedora Gnome 3, and I've run E17 and Openbox on Arch, so don't just jump at "Try a lighterweight one, they're even faster-- i have used them, Kwin is still my favorite.)

                    Just my 2 cents.
                    -Eric

                    Mutter, at last check,was the best perfoming of the modern (excluding enlightenment's which I have no idea of the performance, though I expect it to be excellent).compositing WMs. Kwin was also very close to mutter's performance.
                    Perhaps Phoronix will do a roundup soon.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by narciso View Post
                      Some games, simply won't unredirect to fullscreen properly with compiz, and that causes a major performance hit.

                      One of the best games on Linux, Trine 2, simply runs like crap with compiz.
                      Try to not use fullscreen, but windowed, and set the game resolution to the screen's resolution. Not.sure if that will really help, but it works with some games.

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