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Mutter Can Cause A Gaming/OpenGL Performance Hit Too

Jun 23, 2010, 20:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

[ Thanks to Michael Larabel for this link. ]

"Last month we looked at the cost of running Compiz by means of looking at how the window manager affected the frame-rate of several different games and whether compositing was used. We also tested out several different drivers and pieces of hardware. When Compiz was running rather than GNOME's Metacity it often caused a measurable drop in the OpenGL performance and then we later found this to be the case too with KDE's KWin. Today we are seeing if and how using Mutter, the window manager for the GNOME 3.0 desktop that uses Clutter-based compositing, will affect the performance of several different open-source games.

"Mutter is a key component along with the GNOME Shell for the GNOME 3.0 desktop. Mutter has been in development since even before the GNOME 2.28 release and was originally a fork of the GNOME 2.x Metacity window manager that added in support for using the Clutter tool-kit for providing the compositing support. Clutter in turn uses OpenGL / OpenGL ES for providing hardware-accelerated animations and effects. Metacity meanwhile is no longer being actively developed aside from receiving bug-fixes. Mutter is already available in many distribution repositories (such as Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid) for running as an alternate window manager with a GNOME 2.28/2.30 desktop. To see how Mutter is affecting the system's performance we had installed an Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" daily LiveCD from 2010-06-17 to look at the performance with the latest packages."

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