Animated icon consumes a lot of GPU

I am running KDE Plasma on a Lenovo G70-80 Laptop with an Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-4005U CPU @ 1.70GHz CPU which has an integrated Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics Controller (Intel(R) HD Graphics 4400) using the i915 driver.

The display resolution is 1600x900 with a refresh rate of 60Hz. Using KDE Plasma 5.25.5, KDE Frameworks 5.98, Qt Version 5.15.6, kernel 6.0.0-1-MANJARO, X-Server 21.1.4, Mesa 22.1.7 with Wayland compositor.

The following approximations are observed via intel_gpu_top:

  • when the system is idle it shows Render/3D as 0.00% and IMC reads and IMC writes with 396 MiB/s and 5 MiB/s with 2 Mhz.
  • when I move the mouse pointer on the desktop it is 0.00% - 530/16 - 2 MHz
  • when I move the mouse pointer across the taskbar part without any icons - 0.00% - 530/16 - 2 MHz
  • when I just move the mouse pointer fast across the taskbar icons (application icons or the status ones) so nothing additionally being drawn - 50% - 950/339 - 200 MHz
  • when an UI element with an animated icon (e.g. notification with “countdown” animation on close or “in progress” animation for network icon) - 80% - 1440/900 - 250 MHz
  • when I play a video in VLC which doesn’t use Video (old MPEG-4 640x480p 30 FPS .avi) with VLC - 30% - 690/215 - 200 MHz
  • when I play a video in VLC which doesn’t use Video (current HEVC 1092x1024 24 FPS 10bit .mkv) with VLC - 30% - 1650/850 - 380 MHz

What makes this worth mentioning to me is that the “simple” refresh drawing of a UI element seems to stress the GPU more than rendering a “simple” 30 FPS video and almost as much then an advanced video.

It might not seems like an issue either since those animations might be short but that laptop has a really bad networking card which might try to connect for a long time sometimes so that animation might be visible for a long time. It might also apply to lots of more animations in application which want to be visually appealing. This would affect the power consumption/battery life.