Ubuntu 23.04 & Debian Prepare For Updated GNOME Triple Buffering Optimization

Written by Michael Larabel in GNOME on 15 February 2023 at 12:55 PM EST. 38 Comments
For the past few years Ubuntu developer Daniel van Vugt at Canonical has been working on dynamic triple buffering support for the GNOME desktop so that it will switch from double to triple buffering when the GPU is running behind in order to ultimately ramp up the GPU clock speeds / performance state in order to get back to delivering a fluid desktop experience. These triple buffering patches still haven't been upstreamed as of the GNOME 44 release due out next month, but the patches continue to be carried within Debian and Ubuntu among other distributions. An updated version of the code is now on the way to Debian and for April's Ubuntu 23.04 release.

Daniel van Vugt recently worked out another fix to the triple buffering code where now he's seeing around a 10% reduction in the CPU usage during cursor movements. There are also lower latency by moving back from triple to double buffering sooner and is doing that task more reliably too. That's in addition to the improvements from the dynamic triple buffering itself that have led to a much better experience in cases of integrated graphics, Raspberry Pi graphics, etc.

Ubuntu 23.04 GNOME desktop

We are now into the feature freeze for GNOME 44 without the triple buffering code having been merged. But at least the updated patches are on their way to Debian as well as Ubuntu 23.04. This MR opened last week is for updating the dynamic triple buffering code within Debian. This bug report addresses the latency issue resolved with the updated patches.

The GNOME Mutter upstream code review and discussion around this triple buffering work continues to happen in this merge request. Here's to hoping the dynamic triple buffering is finally ready for upstream by GNOME 43 this autumn...
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