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Thread: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

  1. #1
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    "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    We had some new options showing up in CCSM / OpenGL a few updates before the latest milestone. On my hardware (all Nvidia), I see no visual improvement and a 70% cut in gtkperf results. Disabling them gets my gtkperf results back to normal, a snappier desktop, a faster Dash and a reasonably cooler GPU (and no glitches I can detect).

    I'd like to know if others see improvement using these options.
    (IMO, it would be wise for owners of older / less powerful GPUs) to try disabling them if they experience a significant decrease in performance, a hotter GPU, fans running more than usual, etc).


    CCSM / OpenGL:

    Sync to VBlank (Old setting, of course, but now is enabled by default)
    The switch is apparently not working here. Switching it in nvidia-settings / OpenGL Settings works. Tested by switching in each interface and running glxgears. On or off, I get no visual improvement or problem, only a decrease of about 30% in gtkperf and a much less snappier desktop in general.

    Framebuffer Object (Enabled by Default)
    Here's the official description: "Render all frames indirectly using framebuffer objects (GL_EXT_framebuffer_object), if supported by the driver. Pros: Might be faster than the default buffer swapping method in some cases. Cons: This will come at the cost of (1) usually reduced graphics benchmark performance; (2) increased GPU resource consumption; and (3) possibly higher visible lag. Note: This feature is always on in OpenGL|ES builds such as ARM platforms".

    Vertex Buffer Object (Enabled by Default)
    Official description: "Render all graphics primitives using vertex buffer objects (GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object), if supported by the driver. Pros: This provides higher graphics performance for some drivers. Cons: This is a new feature and may cause graphical problems. Note: This feature is always on in OpenGL|ES builds such as ARM platforms."

    Always use Buffer Swapping (Enabled by Default)
    Official description: "Use glXSwapBuffers to display every frame. This eliminates visible tearing with most drivers and dramatically improves visual smoothness. Automatically enabled when framebuffer_object is on".
    Regards,
    Effenberg

    EDIT: Just for reference, I'm not considering the impact of these options when indirect rendering via llvmpipe is used. I have tested using properly installed Nvidia drivers.
    Last edited by effenberg0x0; September 30th, 2012 at 06:19 PM.

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    Re: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    as long as it is optional it is always worth it
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  3. #3
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    Re: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    It's not optional for ordinary users. It's a technical setting placed inside compizconfig-settings-manager and activated by default.

    It is not worth it for me: My performance is cut in half and I get a significant increase in GPU temperature in exchange for nothing.

    But I'd like to know if other users can detect increase in performance or, maybe, better visuals (eliminate tearing, better transitions, etc) by activating these.

    Regards,
    Effenberg
    Last edited by effenberg0x0; September 30th, 2012 at 04:33 AM.

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    Re: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    I tried your suggestions, gtkperf now takes about ½ second less, 4.44 vs 3.92. I'll check out operations over the next couple of days.
    Last edited by cariboo907; September 30th, 2012 at 04:39 AM.

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    Re: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by cariboo907 View Post
    I tried your suggestions, gtkperf now takes about ½ second less, 4.44 vs 3.92. I'll check out operations over the next couple of days.
    I know glxgears is not a good benchmark but, anyway, enabling those options takes me from aprox. 12000.000FPS to aprox. 5000.000FPS.

    Another test: When enabled, I get a real slow Dash if playing 1080p video content. Disabling them (and restarting the session) allows me to watch HD video and use the Dash normally.

    One other thing I noticed: Disabling those options makes the Dash blur disappear (I can't reactivate it to ON/SMART using any method). Not sure if it's a con or pro to me, I never liked the blur much, but it makes me think if maybe those settings are being used exclusively to fix Dash blur issues (I hope not).

    Here's the screenshot:
    Screenshot from 2012-09-30 01:14:11.jpg

    Regards,
    Effenberg

  6. #6
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    Re: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    Turned off all suggested settings.

    Disabled "Sync to VBlank" in nVidia X server settings, too. Seems like it turns itself on every time I upgrade the drivers.

    Everything is snappier now. Dash is actually usable -- was horribly laggy before -- acted like I hadn't clicked the button.

    Thanks!
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    Re: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    If you guys wanna try some other tweaks to chrome/chromium:

    - I'm back to using a ramdisk and --disk-cache-dir="/tmp/ram/ on /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop. It seems to help a little.

    - I'm also playing with settings in about:flags. Forcing GPU compositing in all pages seems to make things a little faster and lighhter on the CPU.

    Regards,
    Effenberg

    EDIT: I was also considering if it would be viable to use a bash script to scan all icon files and improve them (using ImageMagick or something). I'm under the impression the Dash is slowed down by loading these images if they are not improved in file size.

    EDIT 2: This website slows down chrome/chromium as much as OMBUbuntu here: http://get.webgl.org/ . But it's a WebGL test, I think this is expected, to some degree.

    EDIT 3: With VSync enabled, the Dash is always slow when glxgears is running in parallel. With VSync disabled, I see no diff in speed in the Dash with/without glxgears running in parallel.
    Last edited by effenberg0x0; September 30th, 2012 at 06:38 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by effenberg0x0 View Post
    I know glxgears is not a good benchmark but, anyway, enabling those options takes me from aprox. 12000.000FPS to aprox. 5000.000FPS.
    WoW!

    ( Bear in mind, I'm running a GeForce 7600GT )

    Disabling those settings allowed me to go from 60 FPS => 3,000 FPS
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  9. #9
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    Re: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    Talking about profile mapping, I think profile-sync-daemon already does that.

    Quote Originally Posted by effenberg0x0 View Post
    If you guys wanna try some other tweaks to chrome/chromium:

    - I'm back to using a ramdisk and --disk-cache-dir="/tmp/ram/ on /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop. It seems to help a little.

    - I'm also playing with settings in about:flags. Forcing GPU compositing in all pages seems to make things a little faster and lighhter on the CPU.

    Regards,
    Effenberg

    EDIT: I was also considering if it would be viable to use a bash script to scan all icon files and improve them (using ImageMagick or something). I'm under the impression the Dash is slowed down by loading these images if they are not improved in file size.

  10. #10
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    Re: "New" OpenGL settings: Potential improvement vs. performance decrease - Worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by funicorn View Post
    Talking about profile mapping, I think profile-sync-daemon already does that.
    Is it used in Ubuntu now? I was under the impression this was an Arch feature.

    Regards,
    Effenberg

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