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Windows 7: regarding Windows 7 2D rendering hardware acceleration

17 Aug 2010   #1

Windows XP
regarding Windows 7 2D rendering hardware acceleration


It has been mentioned in this forum and some other places also that 2D rendering (including user interface) in Windows 7 is hardware accelerated when Aero theme is turned on, and the same rendering is stopped from being hardware accelerated when Aero theme is turned off.

I didn't have a chance to ascertain this relation between Aero and 2D acceleration practically, because when I was using Windows 7, Aero was always turned off. If it is true what was said in the paragraph above, how this acceleration affects application user interface performance if this application is written with GDI (predecessor of Direct2D)? Is its user interface performance difference noticeable (acceleration compared to no acceleration)? Can someone help and make two quick 2D tests on the same machine (that has necessary graphics card and other drivers for Windows 7 installed), for example, using PassMark PerformanceTest benchmarking program, while Aero is turned on and then turned off, and post comparison results in the form of the screenshot of the whole 2D Graphics Mark tab, to make some assessions in this regard?

How application user interface performance is different for two versions (one written with GDI, and the other with Direct2D) of the same application with very basic functionality, with the same controls on the window, etc., when they are run/benchmarked, while 2D rendering hardware acceleration in Windows 7 is turned on and off?

I couldn't find it, but is there an example of two versions of the same application (including source code) that is written only with GDI and only with Direct2D, that can be tested/benchmarked to see its user interface performance on Windows 7? Could you point me where it can be found? Or are there any resources with results of this kind of testing?

Thank you for your answers.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Aug 2010   #2

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)

I don't know anyone who has done any extensive benchmarks comparing GDI and WPF/Direct2D applications. However, the majority of GDI is not hardware accelerated. Also turning Aero off is entirely pointless (unless your Graphics card is a POS). But turning Aero off for "performance" reasons is backwards. You want Aero to be on when running Windows Vista/7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Aug 2010   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I read two pretty good articles regarding this on Tom's hardware a few months ago. I think they should give you good detail and foundation on this:
2D, Acceleration, And Windows: Aren't All Graphics Cards Equal? : Part 1: Laying A Theoretical Background
Part 2: 2D, Acceleration, And Windows: Aren't All Graphics Cards Equal? : Introduction: Why GDI Output For 2D Graphics Remains Relevant

And yes, turning off Aero for performance reasons usually will not help unless either your graphics card is junk or your CPU is junk (and I mean like a Pentium III this day in age).
My System SpecsSystem Spec


 regarding Windows 7 2D rendering hardware acceleration

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