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Constant UI responsiveness

Constant UI responsiveness

Posted Feb 27, 2009 10:50 UTC (Fri) by epa (subscriber, #39769)
In reply to: Constant UI responsiveness by nlucas
Parent article: CrunchBang Linux 8.10

The Archimedes had anti-aliased, hinted outline fonts in 1989, and it was fast enough running on an 8MHz ARM chip. (Although the anti-aliased fonts were not used for dialogue boxes and widgets, but only for the contents of documents.)

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Constant UI responsiveness

Posted Feb 27, 2009 12:02 UTC (Fri) by k3ninho (subscriber, #50375) [Link]

And in 1994 the Acorn RiscPC had all its UI text displayed from outline fonts on a 30 or 33 MHz Arm610.

Constant UI responsiveness

Posted Feb 27, 2009 13:18 UTC (Fri) by nlucas (subscriber, #33793) [Link]

Far from being an expert on the subject, but I would not be surprised if the RISC instruction set was the reason they could do it. After all they don't need SSE2/SSE3 instructions on RISC CPUs.

MMX instructions appeared on the Pentium Pro (don't remember the model) and on Pentiums at 166MHz (there was two versions, one without MMX). And MMX has that problem of sharing the floating point registers.

Multimedia instructions

Posted Feb 27, 2009 16:21 UTC (Fri) by vonbrand (guest, #4458) [Link]

The MMX and SSE stuff is about doing the same operation on several data in parallel (but working on small inputs, i.e., integers 8 bits wide). Some RISCy architectures have their own set of "multimedia" instructions.

Multimedia instructions

Posted Feb 28, 2009 9:29 UTC (Sat) by nlucas (subscriber, #33793) [Link]

Sure, but alpha blending is just that.

By the nature of the RISC architecture, a lot of simple vector operations coded by hand would always outperform the same thing on earlier x86 CPUs, like the first Pentium.

I suppose there are more complex multimedia cases where it makes sense to have dedicated instructions equivalent to SSE on RISC machines.

Constant UI responsiveness

Posted Feb 27, 2009 17:08 UTC (Fri) by drag (subscriber, #31333) [Link]

The reason they were able to do it was because they were dealing with limited color range and low resolution displays. It's not like they had much computing power left over to drive a Office suite or do any other form of multitasking.

That's all.

Try making that old Risc machine drive a modern LCD display with Alpha blending and see how far you get.

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