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xsrc/40509: X11 performance is very poor
>Synopsis: X11 performance is very poor after upgrading
>Arrival-Date: Wed Jan 28 20:45:00 +0000 2009
>Originator: Tero Kivinen
>Release: NetBSD 5.0_BETA
System: NetBSD haste.i.kivinen.iki.fi 5.0_BETA NetBSD 5.0_BETA (GENERIC) #0:
Sat Jan 24 19:01:52 EET 2009 root@:/usr/obj/sys/arch/i386/compile/GENERIC i386
Graphics card: Matrox Graphics, Inc. MGA G400/G450 rev 130
Graphics card memory: 32 MB
Graphics resolution: 2048x1536 @ 71Hz
I upgraded my NetBSD 3.99.15 version using XFree86 Version
4.5.0 to NetBSD 5.0 Beta using X.Org X Server 1.4.2 and
immediately noticed that X11 performance was very poor. The
xterm scrolling speed was so slow, that it was almost
impossible to use.
x11perf -scroll500 returned 4.6 operations / second with X.org
It seems the DRI cannot be enabled at the given resolution as
there was not enough graphics memory, but even when I lowered
resolution to 1920x1440, the DRI could not be enabled (I
assume there is no kernel support for the mga drivers). After
playing around with few options I noticed that if I enable
ShadowFB which will cause acceleration to be disabled, I
suddenly get 28x boost to the performance and x11perf
-scroll500 will now return 131 operations / second. This also
make xterm and so on usable.
I think this is related to the xorg X server, as I seem to
have seen very poor performance on every platform where I had
been forced to use xorg X server.
Perhaps switching back to XFree86 X server would help, or at
least provide documentation that
Option "ShadowFB" "on"
can have huge performance boosts on some platforms.
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