1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Gaming/Graphics Performance On Unity, GNOME, KDE, Xfce

Michael Larabel

Published on 8 February 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 6 - 43 Comments

It is going on a year since showing how Unity, Compiz, GNOME Shell & KWin affect graphics/gaming performance, so here is an updated 2012 look. In this article are a variety of OpenGL benchmarks run under the current latest desktops as will be found in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS: Unity, Unity 2D, GNOME Shell, GNOME Classic, KDE Plasma, and Xfce. AMD and NVIDIA graphics were tested with both the latest closed and open-source drivers.

This testing is similar to last year's article showing how the desktop environments / (compositing) window managers affected the gaming performance when running a variety of full-screen games. This time around though it is an updated look at things with all of the leading desktops having advanced a great deal in the past year. The operating system, the desktop packages, and drivers were all using the latest packages from the Ubuntu Precise (12.04) repository as of 7 February.

The desktops under test were Unity 5.2.0, Unity 2D 5.2.0, GNOME Shell 3.2.2.1, GNOME Classic 3.2.1, KDE Plasma 4.8, and Xfce 4.8. Each desktop was using its default window manager / settings. A GeForce 9800GTX was used on the NVIDIA side when running the Mesa 8.0-rc2 Gallium3D driver and then the NVIDIA 290.10 binary driver. On the AMD side was a Radeon HD 5770 when running the R600 Gallium3D driver (with swap-buffers-wait disabled in the DDX) from Mesa 8.0-rc2 and then using the Catalyst binary blob. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x86_64 was obviously the operating system in use atop the Intel Core i7 3960X test-bed.

Besides the performance, when it comes to the driver support for all of these distributions it was mostly in good shape. Of the four driver configurations tested, the only issue that remained problematic was the Catalyst driver still producing glitches at times under the GNOME Shell 3.2 with Mutter. The Catalyst driver is still very slow in getting all of the latest desktop environments working well, but at least it's much better than it was one year ago.

Now let's see how the Linux desktops of 2012 affect OpenGL performance across the leading discrete graphics card drivers...

Latest Linux News
  1. Fedora 22 Is Being Released Next Tuesday
  2. OpenWRT 15.05 Preparing Improved Security & Better Networking
  3. Using The New LLVM/Clang OpenMP Support
  4. Zapcc Claims To Be A "Much Faster C++ Compiler"
  5. Godot 1.1 Engine Release Brings New 2D Engine
  6. Intel VA-API Driver 1.6 Is Coming
  7. Canonical Is Reportedly Considering An IPO
  8. GNOME 3.18 - GTK3 Now Supports RandR 1.5
  9. Fedora 22 Risks Being Delayed Beyond Next Week
  10. Systemd 220 Has Finally Been Released
  11. LibreOffice 5.0 Beta 1 Released
  12. Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code
Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. Btrfs RAID 0/1 Benchmarks On The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  2. The State Of Various Firefox Features
  3. Intel Iris Graphics Performance With Mesa 10.6
  4. Fedora Workstation 22 Is Looking Great, Running Fantastic
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. The Linux 4.0 Kernel Currently Has An EXT4 Corruption Issue
  2. AMDGPU Open-Source Driver Code Continues Maturing
  3. Oculus Rift Suspends Linux Development To Focus On Windows
  4. Microsoft Open-Sources The Windows Communication Foundation
  5. LibreOffice 5.0 Open-Source Office Suite Has Been Branched
  6. Another HTTPS Vulnerability Rattles The Internet
  7. Wayland / Weston 1.8 Release Candidate Arrives
  8. Linux 4.1-rc4 Kernel Arrives A Day Late