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Ubuntu 13.04 Desktop Comparison: 6 Desktops, 5 Driver/GPU Combinations

Michael Larabel

Published on 13 December 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 3 of 6 - 37 Comments

When kicking things off with Nexuiz, the desktop comparison came down to:

- The Radeon driver was by far the fastest with the LXDE desktop environment. The slowest desktops were GNOME Shell and KDE. Unity and GNOME Classic ran at about the same speed while Xfce was much faster though still behind LXDE. However, these Radeon driver results for Nexuiz seem to be rather sporadic based upon the large swings in frame-rates and the high standard deviation for some of the results. (Note: for Radeon testing, swap buffers wait was disabled from the xorg.conf.)

- With the Catalyst driver the performance differences between the desktops are much more reasonable and in line with expectations. KDE 4.9.90 and LXDE 0.5.11 were the fastest desktops for the Radeon HD 6870 with the Catalyst binary driver. GNOME Classic and Xfce were the slowest while Unity and GNOME Shell were in the middle of the pact.

- With Intel graphics, there was little performance difference between the different desktops, but the Ivy Bridge graphics performance overall was very low.

- When using the NVIDIA binary graphics driver, there was virtually no change in performance between the desktop environments.

- The Nouveau performance results were quite low so there wasn't too much change in frame-rate when switching out the Linux desktop environments.

The Doom 3 game wasn't running for all of the drivers, but overall it didn't indicate much impact by the different desktop environments on Ubuntu 13.04.

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