How fast is Xfce's composite manager?

Olivier Fourdan fourdan at
Wed Mar 16 21:47:38 CET 2005


The compositing manager relies on XRender extension for rendering. On
NVidia cards, that can be handled in hardware (but that is not enabled
by default, so you need to make sure that you have the RenderAccel
option set in your xorg.conf).

If render is not handled in hardware, then it's regular routines that
are used bu X. That is definitely slower, but on both of my systems (P4
2.6GHZ, and AMD64 3400+), it's perfectly usable even w/out render
performed in hardware.

I'm not surprised to read that it's not usable with Vesa driver, as the
Vesa driver is not even 2D accelerated, the main CPU does all the job
even for basic operations such as moving a window.

The compositing implementation *might* be faster than xcompmgr somehow
because the refresh is performed in an idle GTK callback, which means
that the screen is refreshed only when the xfwm4 process "has time".
However, the rendering is performed by the X process and the idle
functions in xfwm4 won't make any difference for X.

So, in a nutshell, unless you have a card capable of doing render in
hardware, with driver that can make use of that capability, I think it's
not worth the try on a P2 300MHz.



On Wed, 2005-03-16 at 17:27 +0100, Alexander Toresson wrote:
> I've heard Xfce's composite manager should be quite faster than
> xorg's xcompmgr. However, it's not compiled into the packages I got
> from
> I'm on a p2 300 with 64 mb ram, which hasn't got any 3d card.
> Is it worth installing xfce4 with the graphical installer to test
> it out, or will it just be too slow? Xcompmgr ran at less than
> 1 fps.
> Regards, Alexander Toresson
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