Intro

I have NVIDIA Geforce2 MX display card and wanted to test how much Xserver driver/settings affect to performance.

Setup

These results are with count set to '1000' using my main PC:

  • Hardware: AMD64 3500+, 1GB RAM, Geforce2 MX
  • Software: Ubuntu warty, GTK+ 2.4.10, Xserver XFree 4.3.0, nvidia-kernel-common: 1.0.6111+1ubuntu1, nvidia-glx: 1.0.6111-1ubuntu9. Using Xserver "vesa", "nv" and "nvidia" drivers.

The different settings used in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 are:

  1. Using Xserver "vesa" driver
  2. Using Xserver "nv" driver
  3. Using Xserver "nvidia" driver without extra options
  4. Using Xserver "nvidia" driver with: Option "RenderAccel" "true"
  5. Using Xserver "nvidia" driver with: Option "NvAGP" "1"
  6. Using Xserver "nvidia" driver with: Option "NvAGP" "1" and "RenderAccel" "true"

Results

Table below lists the total times, for more detailed results see whole output from here.

SettingTotal time
1197.28
2209.24
3195.13
4153.88
5217.43
6181.73

Conclusions

  • "vesa" and "nv" are both slower than "nvidia" when used right.
  • I had enabled "NvAGP" "1" as there was a tip in the net that it increases perfomance. But it does the opposite, at least with my Asus A8V Deluxe motherboard using VIA K8T800Pro. Difference is quite big, so you should check how your platform behaves!
  • Enabling "RenderAccel" (RENDER Xserver extension) gives notable performance boost. Pango speed is increased a lot as GtkTextView scrolling and PangoLayout rendering get biggest improvements.