4.1.99 slow

Brian J. Tarricone bjt23 at cornell.edu
Thu Dec 16 19:50:26 CET 2004

On 12/16/04 18:02, Mark Houlder wrote:
> >yep, as you've guessed, it's composite that's causing the slowness.  
> >frankly, i'm not too pleased that the compositor is enabled by default 
> >in xfwm4 in the gentoo ebuilds.  then again, composite is disabled by 
> >default in the x.org config, so if you're enabling it, you should know 
> >what you're doing (hint, hint ^_~).  the real bottleneck here is 
> >actually the video drivers' implementation of the X render extension, 
> >which often isn't all that great.  from what i understand, the nvidia 
> >binary drivers are the only ones that have a half-decent render 
> >implementation, and it only really helps on the mid- to upper-range 
> >geforce cards (at least, it sucks on my ancient tnt2 ultra).
> yes, you're right, i enabled the compositor in my xorg config, to play 
> around with it when i upgraded to the latest xorg. at that time there 
> was no point turning it off (from my point of view) as i still had to 
> explicitly use transset etc to make use of it. now that it's starting to 
> be used inside apps i may as well turn it off in my xorg.conf.
> am i right in understanding that my being able to use it (without it 
> being sluggish) will be down to new versions of the ati kernel drivers 
> (i have a radeon card and use the kernel drivers for it rather than the 
> ati ones)? or is it likely to always be slow on my hardware (radeon 9000 
> mobile w/ 32mb). it's no biggie, but the drop shadows look so nice ... :)

i really don't know, as i have no experience wih that hardware.  likely
the fact that it's a mobile chipset means that you're going to have some
bottlenecks related to that.  the 9000 is a relatively new chipset, so
i'd expect it to perform pretty well.  i have a radeon 8500 mobility in
my laptop, and it performs unacceptably with the stock radeon driver
that comes with x.org.  unfortunately the binary ATI drivers don't support
the 8500, so i have no point of comparison.

frankly, with the state of video driver support on linux (and BSD), having
to use a full-blown compositor just to do drop shadows really sucks
(performance-wise).  i honestly don't expect any of this stuff to be fast
enough to be usable for a reasonable number of people for *at least*
another year.


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