[Xorg] Re: X on OpenGL

Jon Smirl jonsmirl at yahoo.com
Tue Jul 13 13:31:20 PDT 2004

--- Ian Romanick <idr at us.ibm.com> wrote:
> This really *is* a tractable problem.  If our only worry is about
> being able to use some API to access functionality of the hardware,
> the only variable is how much code we want to write to do it.

This is a map of the ATI X800 chip:

Note how much of the chip is labeled 2D versus the rest which is
implementing 3D. 2D is not getting any faster, but 3D is getting much
faster each generation. X on OpenGL takes advantage of this hardware

Cairo has benchmarked 2D drawing on xlib vs glitz/OpenGl (using ATI
proprietary drivers on radeon 9800) as OpenGL being 100 to 1 faster. In
some tests it is 400 to 1. In five years 2D is going to be where VGA is

Also, don't get hung up on a 3D UI. We're not build a 3D UI, we using
the 3D hardware to make a very fast 2D UI. At some point it may do some
3D UI things but that's not the initial goal. Speeding up drawing lets
you do things that weren't possible before like translucency and
complex animations.

Jon Smirl
jonsmirl at yahoo.com

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