While the new 177.xx drivers and their new options have made life in KDE 4 that much more enjoyable already, one long-standing issue continues to persist for me: The rendering of bitmap fonts such as the highly-popular Terminus
is significantly slower than rendering scalable TrueType/OpenType fonts in KDE/Qt 4 applications.
While 177.xx has
improved on this over older drivers, the difference is still quite noticable when using a bitmap font in Konsole (terminal emulator) or Kate (advanced text editor) and performing operations such as tab switching or page-wise scrolling. In Konsole, when using a bitmap font on a Core 2 E6600 at 3.2 Ghz with a GeForce 8800 GTX, switching tabs full of text can take more than second at large window sizes, while it feels instantaneous when using a scalable font. Resizing a Konsole window with bitmap font text is also rather sluggish, compared to the scalable font case.
While I realize that bitmap fonts are not the technological state of the art today, I personally prefer not to use anti-aliasing at smaller font sizes, and the inherently hand-hinted
nature of bitmap fonts produces excellent, sharp-looking results in that scenario. Many coders I know feel the same. With the recent rampage of KDE/Qt 4-related performance fixes in the drivers (yay!), it'd be very cool if the bitmap font problem could get some attention as well.