Geometric Picking Finally Lands In GNOME/Mutter 3.34 For Lowering CPU Usage

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 2 September 2019 at 06:33 PM EDT. 51 Comments
In addition to Mutter seeing today an important last minute performance fix for the NVIDIA proprietary driver, Mutter also saw a long-standing performance optimization finally land for GNOME 3.34 that benefits all hardware/drivers.

The optimization is another patch series worked on by Canonical's Daniel van Vugt over the past year but finally saw its way into Mutter Git today ahead of next week's GNOME 3.34.

This is about cursor movement and now avoiding OpenGL/GPU usage for the color picking operations. That logic is now being done on the CPU without OpenGL but turns out is more efficiently done this way and is able to cause a measurable drop in CPU usage when moving the mouse cursor and especially when moving around windows.

This is a big performance win and great to see it squeeze into GNOME 3.34. With this code landed, I'm even more excited for GNOME 3.34 with its many Wayland support improvements and especially the number of performance optimizations that landed over the past half-year.

While already good in its current form and developers are confident the patches have been tested enough to land it in the last moments of the GNOME 3.33/3.34 cycle, more geometric picking improvements are planned moving forward.
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