How fast is Xfce's composite manager?

Alexander Toresson alexander.toresson at
Wed Mar 16 22:18:34 CET 2005

On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 21:47:38 +0100
Olivier Fourdan <fourdan at> wrote:

> Hi
> 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.
> Cheers,
> Olivier.

Thank you, and what a discussion this became!
This laptop has only got a Neomagic Magicgraphx card that barely accelerates
2d graphics, so I'll not try it out.
Gonna buy a new one, but haven't got the money to do so yet.
Therefore Xfce is perfect for me, and I'll probably use it even after
I've bought a new one!

Regards, Alexander Toresson

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