Ubuntu 16.04 Intel Graphics: Unity, Xfce, KDE, LXDE, GNOME, MATE, Openbox
First up, the OpenArena classic:
OpenArena ended up running the slowest on MATE 1.12 while a step ahead was KDE Plasma 5.5. The fastest was Unity 7.4 (the default on 16.04 LTS) followed by Openbox 3.6.
Tesseract was the fastest on Unity while the slowest on KDE Plasma.
With Team Fortress 2, GNOME ended up being the slowest desktop because there was odd behavior with GNOME thinking the game had stalled and asking if it wanted to be force quit even though the game was still clearly running fine and thus plagued by these frequent, incorrect interruptions.
There wasn't much difference in performance for the Xonotic first person shooter.
Well, those are the quick numbers from an Intel Skylake system I was playing with this weekend. More tests -- including from other GPUs/drivers -- are still baking. Again, it's the out-of-the-box experience on each of the desktop environments without any tweaking. There's also some desktop environment developers that recommend running Linux games in their own X.Org Server, etc.
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