Comparison of Rendering Performance Between Multimedia Libraries Allegro, SDL and SFML
Abstract: In this report the rendering performances of the multimedia libraries Allegro, SDL and SFML have been compared. Highest performance is achieved by writing code directly to the low level graphical APIs, though it requires much more work than using the multimedia libraries graphical functions built on one of these graphical APIs. Thus it is common to use a multimedia library or similar for visualization tasks. The total number of frames rendered in one second was counted for static, alpha blended, rotating, and moving images in each library. Every test was run with few to very many images, and the programs were tested on six different computers: three laptops with integrated GPUs and low power dual core CPUs, and three desktop computers with external GPUs and quad core CPUs with unlocked clock rate. Allegro performed best of the three on laptops when the image load was very high, but fell behind by up to 50% in all other cases. SDL had the strongest performance on desktop computers, especially when rendering very many images, making it a prime candidate for high load graphical applications on desktops. SFML performed best overall, making it the best choice when targeting a wide range of different machines.
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