A Performance Overhaul Of KDE's KWin
Written by Michael Larabel in KDE on 30 August 2011 at 07:37 AM EDT. 36 Comments
Martin Gräßlin has successfully boosted the performance of KDE's KWin for the upcoming 4.7.2 point release and more so for the KDE SC 4.8 release. This is an attempt to make the KWin compositing window manager handle rendering at sixty frames per second, which it hasn't been able to scale to that frame-rate due to deficiencies in the project's code-paths.

Fixed for the KDE SC 4.7.2 point release in one month is a bug in KWin's effect chain that was taking much longer than expected, but greater performance will come out of KDE SC 4.8 by fully addressing an issue in the effects chain with only calling the active effects. From there, Martin made other optimizations in the effect chain. With the effect chain being more optimized, Martin is beginning to look at how to optimize KWin's paint paths so they can achieve 60+ FPS rendering on the KDE desktop.

Martin is also looking at moving the compositor into its own thread so that heavy operations in window management and decorations don't slow down the repainting of the compositor. Texture loading might also be looked at as one of the first steps into moving the process into its own thread.

"Overall very nice improvements, I'm happy with, but not yet satisfied as we do not yet reach the constant 60 frames/second." Read more on Martin's blog.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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