Mutter Can Cause A Gaming/OpenGL Performance Hit Too

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 21 June 2010. Page 2 of 2. 25 Comments

The performance when running Mutter on the ATI hardware was close to that when running Compiz, which is a small setback from running Metacity without the compositing effects, but with the Intel Linux driver there again, was a large hit.

With Tremulous, a compositing manager on the open-source Radeon side actually leads to a performance increase (by a shocking 53%) when running either Compiz or Mutter, but on the Intel side there was a performance drop. Running Mutter led to a slightly larger performance drop than running Compiz with the Clarkdale IGP.

Like with Tremulous, running Urban Terror with Compiz and Mutter leads to an improvement in the frame-rate. The frame-rates were close between Mutter and Compiz. Meanwhile, on the Intel side, there again was a performance drop but the Mutter/Compiz numbers were close.

In a few of the gaming tests there was a larger performance drop when using the Mutter window manager rather than Compiz, but for the most part the impact was about the same when these games were running full-screen. The latest open-source Radeon driver stack in the newest Ubuntu 10.10 development packages is also comparatively performing better with Compiz/Mutter than the Intel driver. We will be looking more closely at the performance of the GNOME 3.0 desktop and its components as the release approaches this September.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via TwitterLinkedIn,> or contacted via