> The animations (done for free by the GPU) are masking the general setup and teardown of applications running on the main CPU.
I don't think things are quite as simple as you suggest. One, the animations aren't done by the GPU alone, they need support (think loading, preparing, scheduling) from the rest of the system. Two, the GPU draws power to do those animations, which is a cost. And three, perhaps most relevantly, they are not free from a developer time perspective. At least in theory (though this may not apply to software developed by volunteers and/or enthusiasts), that time could have been put into reducing your general setup and teardown time rather than creating animations.