When switching to the Qt4-based QGears2 test and using the X Render back-end, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3 continued to suffer. Albeit by a small margin, Ubuntu Karmic lost to Ubuntu Jaunty.
With image scaling using X Render, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3 finally came out on top. Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3 was 12% faster than the current stable release of Ubuntu.
When switching to the OpenGL back-end with QGears2 and running the gears test, Ubuntu 9.10 Alpha 3 swung back to a loss. Karmic Alpha 3 was running with less than 50% the speed of Ubuntu 9.04.