[Consortium] Benefit of Compiz to audio work?

Daniel James daniel at 64studio.com
Wed Nov 14 05:38:54 EST 2007

Hi Cory,

> Some have said that moving the drawing of windows off the the GFX card
> would help the load on the CPU and thus keep xruns to a minimum.

I'm sceptical about that, because drawing windows shouldn't be causing 
xruns if the system is set up properly. I believe JACK Meterbridge uses 
libsdl for drawing the meter needles efficiently, but I believe most 
free software audio apps don't do much in the way of graphics 
acceleration (yet).

I can think of a number of drawbacks to using Compiz on audio machines 

1. Reliance on proprietary drivers for systems that otherwise don't 
require them. OpenGL is unusable if you don't have hardware 
acceleration, and not everyone has a Matrox card.

2. Requirement for energy-hungry 3D cards (some of these cards need more 
electricity than CPUs which are perfectly usable for audio work). Apart 
from any environmental or cost considerations, more energy = more waste 
heat = more cooling noise. Which is bad in the studio, of course.

3. Electrical waste mountain. There are millions of machines out there 
which are perfectly (re)usable as audio workstations, but make Compiz a 
*requirement* for using free software, and they'll have to go into landfill.

Y'know, both OS X and Vista have gone down the power-hungry, 
new-hardware-or-forget-it route, and I'm not sure we need to follow them 



More information about the Consortium mailing list