graphicssystem raster

Jonathan Thomas echidnaman at
Tue Jul 14 03:26:19 BST 2009

On Saturday 11 July 2009 2:12:06 pm Scott Kitterman wrote:
> At UDS we had some discussion about switching to raster would make Kubuntu
> a lot faster.

Yes, it would make things faster, however it also greatly increases RAM 
consumption since everything is being rendered in software.
Here's the result of a quick benchmark on my part:

I started plasma-desktop with the native render. (Pristine config, etc) After 
everything settled from plasma-desktop starting, plasma-desktop was using 23.3 

I then wiped the config again and started plasma-desktop passing the -
graphicssystem raster flag. This time after everything had settled, it was 
using 40.2 MB of RAM, or 1.7x more than with the native renderer.
> Did anyone do anything on this?  Faster is important ....

Faster is important, but things are in general fast enough, aside from places 
where crappy graphics drivers slow things down. The increase in RAM 
consumption is also not worth it, imo. 

On lower-end machines this increase in RAM usage can slow things down more 
than it helps. The computer runs out of RAM to use quite quickly and starts 
using swap, and suddenly everything is unbearably slow. A few weeks ago I 
started all my KDE apps in raster mode, and experienced this first hand on my 
640 MB RAM (Almost double the 392 MB K/Ubuntu requires)

If we want to support netbook platforms this would also be a big hindrance.

It would be awesome if we could do this. (performance++) But I suppose there's 
no such thing as a free meal.


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