While a regression causing the QGears2 text performance with the OpenGL back-end to drop in half is bad, with OpenGL image scaling the regression is simply horrible. Ubuntu 8.10 had an average frame-rate of 394 FPS but with the Ubuntu 9.04 build from January 24 the average frame-rate was a miserable 59 FPS. In other words, these newer packages caused the Intel 4-Series IGP to lose about 85% of its performance.
We continued running QGears2 but switching from using OpenGL rendering to one focusing on the X Render extension. Improving the X Render support in the different X.Org drivers has been a hot topic as of late, so we wanted to see if there was an improvement here, but no there wasn't. The gears test using X Render was about 4.78 times faster when using the older Ubuntu packages.
With the text test of X Render the delta was not quite as huge, but still Ubuntu 8.10 was close to being two and a half times faster than the current packages.