Benchmarks from the Mesa 9.1 stable branch with Intel "Ivy Bridge" graphics were done to look at the OpenGL gaming performance from Unity, KDE, GNOME Shell, Xfce, LXDE, and Razor-qt.
For this quick end-of-month benchmarking, Intel HD 4000 graphics with the Linux 3.8 kernel and Mesa 9.1 led to running OpenGL benchmarks on Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" with the following desktop configurations:
- Unity 6.6.0 with Compiz.
- KDE 4.10.00 with KWin while opting for the option of disabling desktop effects on full-screen windows.
- GNOME Shell 18.104.22.168 with Mutter.
- Xfce 4.10 without compositing.
- LXDE 0.5.12.
- The Razor-qt desktop with OpenBox 3.5.0.
All packages (aside from building Mesa 9.1 from its Mesa Git branch) were obtained from the Ubuntu Raring repository on 27 February. All benchmarking was handled via the Phoronix Test Suite software.
As usual for these quick, one-page benchmarking roundabouts, the full system hardware/software details, system logs, and the complete set of benchmark results are available via OpenBenchmarking.org within the 1302289-FO-INTELIVYB61 result file.
Overall, with the latest desktop environments and latest open-source Intel driver, the impact of the different desktops / compositing window managers has greatly diminished.