Gaming/Graphics Performance On Unity, GNOME, KDE, Xfce
With the Doom 3 benchmark at the native 1920 x 1080 resolution for the setup we see:
- The Nouveau performance is still really slow without proper re-clocking support so there is not too much to see, but the fastest-performing desktops for this open-source NVIDIA driver were GNOME Shell 220.127.116.11 and Xfce 4.8. The other desktop environments were all within a frame or two of each other.
- With the binary (official) NVIDIA graphics driver, the slowest desktop was interestingly enough the default Unity desktop with Compiz. The Unity desktop was significantly slower than the five other tested Linux desktops while all of the other variables remained the same. The fastest desktops here were again GNOME Shell and Xfce. Granted, if you're using a high-end NVIDIA graphics card with their binary driver you will find 120+ FPS performance throughout so in the grand scheme of things the window manager won't make a huge difference in your gaming experience.
- The Radeon (R600g) performance was similar to the Nouveau driver with the "winners" being GNOME Shell and Xfce, but except for the Compiz-based Unity the other desktops were only a frame or two behind.
- Under the Catalyst driver, the Doom 3 performance was the same across all of the tested desktops with the Radeon HD 5770 graphics card.