Expected frame rates for a full-screen blur

ngalarneau at ABINITIO.COM ngalarneau at ABINITIO.COM
Wed Apr 2 17:01:40 UTC 2014

On a Windows 7 machine, Process Explorer reports that the colored circles 
demo consumes almost no CPU & ~80% of the GPU (pushing total GPU usage to 
The "front page" of Ensemble consumes < 8% of GPU (the window manager is 
at ~12%).

How does the OS "tank"?

From:   Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net>
To:     John Smith <John_Smith at symantec.com>
Cc:     "openjfx-dev at openjdk.java.net" <openjfx-dev at openjdk.java.net>
Date:   04/02/2014 08:44 AM
Subject:        Re: Expected frame rates for a full-screen blur
Sent by:        "openjfx-dev" <openjfx-dev-bounces at openjdk.java.net>

Right. My issue appears to be far more general - any large window has poor
framerates no matter how simple the contents seem to be. What's more it
doesn't seem to be a pure CPU time issue because *all* graphics 
even things like opening mission control, also end up lagged. So I feel
it's more likely to be something to do with the GPU, as that is a shared
resource that perhaps isn't being timesliced very well. I can't offer a
better explanation of why an app would be able to drag down the
responsiveness of the entire OS.

I tried changing the blue type, adding cache hints and so on. No
difference. I also found someone else complaining about this:


The issue very specifically seems to be large windows. I tried changing 
display resolution as well, but unsurprisingly the only thing that made it
faster was changing the scaling so all windows were smaller. Modifying the
display settings to give me more space just made things worse (larger
window again).

I'm not sure how to go about diagnosing this. Again - does anyone else see
their entire OS tank when the Ensemble coloured circles demo is run?

On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 11:16 PM, John Smith <John_Smith at symantec.com> 

> Sounds like your issue isn't in fact the blur, but, if it were, some
> things suggestions are:
>   1. BoxBlurs are more efficient than GaussianBlurs:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Box_blur
>   2. Apply some of the suggestions from the openjfx Performance Tips and
> Tricks page:
> Anecdotally, applying the Performance Tips and Tricks allowed smooth
> animations on a 2012 MacBook Air with a full-screen blur.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: openjfx-dev [mailto:openjfx-dev-bounces at openjdk.java.net] On 
> Of Jeff Martin
> Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2014 11:17 AM
> To: Mike Hearn
> Cc: openjfx-dev at openjdk.java.net
> Subject: Re: Expected frame rates for a full-screen blur
> I assume retina optimization was added for JFX 8 (or is on the short
> list). I think there is a Jira for it.
> You can choose a non-retina resolution by going to display preferences 
> clicking the "Scaled" radio button and selecting something to the right 
> "Best Resolution (Retina)". It used to be that you could option-click 
> "Scaled" radio button to get a real list of choices, but now you can 
> get that with a 3rd party resolution tool (I think).
> jeff
> On Apr 1, 2014, at 12:49 PM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:
> > How do I do that? And won't that make everything blurry? Retina 
> is one reason why I chose JFX. Swing on Retina Macs is pretty much
> unusable, it's like looking through thick plastic.
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 7:26 PM, Jeff Martin <jeff at reportmill.com> 
> > If it's a MacBook Pro Retina, you might try it with and without retina
> level resolution. I haven't tested JavaFX 8 with retina, but JFX 7 had
> serious problems that would go away when I changed the display to
> non-retina.
> >
> > jeff
> >
> >
> > On Apr 1, 2014, at 11:41 AM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:
> >
> > > Actually, playing some more, it seems like the poor frame rates I'm
> > > seeing are not blur related, but rather affect any animation (i.e.
> > > all rendering) when my main window is maximized. Shrinking the
> > > window so it's smaller results in smooth animations of any kind.
> > > This seems to be true no matter how I try and simplify my scene 
> turning off a tiled background image).
> > >
> > > I grabbed Ensemble and tried the circle blur demo. It actually made
> > > my entire laptop unusable. The entire OS crawled to a halt and fps
> > > was maybe
> > > 0.3 for everything, not just the Java app. Going back to the main
> > > menu made things snappy again.
> > >
> > > This is a bit disconcerting. Does anyone else see such appalling
> > > performance impact from the blurred circles demo on their Mac? Is
> > > this a driver issue, perhaps? Are there any platforms where this
> > > demo hits a good fps?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Apr 1, 2014 at 6:10 PM, Mike Hearn <mike at plan99.net> wrote:
> > >
> > >> Hi there,
> > >>
> > >> On a MacBook Pro with OS X 10.9.2, does anyone have any estimates
> > >> for anticipated frame rates of a full-screen animated blur? I
> > >> noticed that when my window is not maximized, the blur is smooth
> > >> and high frame-rate. When maximized the blur is somewhat choppy.
> > >> Unfortunately I have no clue how much work is really involved in
> > >> GPU blurring and whether I'm being unreasonable to expect that many
> > >> pixels to be blurred per second (this is on a retina display).
> > >>
> > >> Can anyone let me know if it's worth me trying to optimise this or
> > >> whether hardware limitations will mean that realistically I am
> expecting too much.
> > >>
> > >> thanks!
> > >>
> >
> >

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