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C# WinForms theoretical performance question

post #1 of 9
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Say I have a very complex program that displays tons of data on screen: charts, bargraphs, lists, text, animated, transparent and semi-transparent controls, other graphics, fifty of each.
And it needs to show all that in real time, and be responsive.

Say I have enough processing power to be able to display all that, theoretically (Octa-core @4Ghz for example).

How can I make all those controls paint in separate threads in order to actually use all that processing power? Because at certain point I will need to update the data more often than the main thread manages to paint it sequentially. rolleyes.gif Is it even possible? It should be..
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post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post

Say I have a very complex program that displays tons of data on screen: charts, bargraphs, lists, text, animated, transparent and semi-transparent controls, other graphics, fifty of each.
And it needs to show all that in real time, and be responsive.

Say I have enough processing power to be able to display all that, theoretically (Octa-core @4Ghz for example).

How can I make all those controls paint in separate threads in order to actually use all that processing power? Because at certain point I will need to update the data more often than the main thread manages to paint it sequentially. rolleyes.gif Is it even possible? It should be..

You can't. WinForms is built on GDI+ which uses the classical WM_PAINT model, which is inherently single threaded. This is where GPU acceleration and WPF comes into play.

Access to GDI objects is not serialized - this was done for performance reasons, so just about everything in GDI is not thread safe. There's pretty much a lock in GDI+ that prevents an object being used on another thread - if you try to perform an operation on it, the call will fail. Even if you could parallelize GDI (which you can't), you'd need to write every single control from scratch.

If there's lots of flickering going on you need to draw to a memory DC, then blit out to the real display DC (i.e. double buffering).

Perhaps you should flip the scenario around - update/process data using worker threads and leave the UI thread to do what it should be doing... displaying UI and running your message pump smile.gif
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post #3 of 9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

You can't.

frown.gif Even with hackish approaches? smile.gif Oh well, everything becomes outdated sooner or later.. Time to learn WPF smile.gif
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post

frown.gif Even with hackish approaches? smile.gif Oh well, everything becomes outdated sooner or later.. Time to learn WPF smile.gif

There isn't any hackish approaches at all. See my edited post smile.gif

Also WPF + XAML are fast to learn!
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post #5 of 9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

displaying UI and running your message pump smile.gif

That was the original idea, a case where there is so much UI to display, that it just doesn't paint fast enough smile.gif

(I never process data on the UI thread smile.gif )
Edited by ronnin426850 - 4/4/13 at 5:32am
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post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post

That was the original idea, a case where there is so much UI to display, that it just doesn't paint fast enough smile.gif

(I never process data on the UI thread smile.gif )

Double buffering can possibly help there, but it probably won't beat WPF (keeping in mind double buffering needs more CPU time than single buffering).
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post #7 of 9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

Double buffering can possibly help there, but it probably won't beat WPF (keeping in mind double buffering needs more CPU time than single buffering).

Hmm double buffering would possibly reduce flickering, but it won't actually speed up the painting process. So the controls still won't repaint, say, every millisecond. Right?

Imagine you're running 1000 oscilloscopes at once (or precission timers). You can look at only one at a time, but you want them all to run together, so you don't waste time switching between them. You also want them to show actual real-time data.
Single-threaded just won't do for that much painting, regardless of the buffering. In my opinion at least smile.gif
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronnin426850 View Post

Hmm double buffering would possibly reduce flickering, but it won't actually speed up the painting process. So the controls still won't repaint, say, every millisecond. Right?

Imagine you're running 1000 oscilloscopes at once (or precission timers). You can look at only one at a time, but you want them all to run together, so you don't waste time switching between them. You also want them to show actual real-time data.
Single-threaded just won't do for that much painting, regardless of the buffering. In my opinion at least smile.gif

That's right its still single threaded but it can give the appearance of better performance. Out of curiosity have you actually tried this yet or are you just theorizing that its going to be slow painting on a single thread?

In either case WPF is going to be where you need to be.
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tompsonn View Post

That's right its still single threaded but it can give the appearance of better performance. Out of curiosity have you actually tried this yet or are you just theorizing that its going to be slow painting on a single thread?

In either case WPF is going to be where you need to be.

Just theorizing smile.gif
I can't imagine a (Forms) program that would require that much painting. Even stock broker's software just updates 20-30 text fields per half second or so.
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My Rig
(14 items)
 
Ex-wife's Rig
(15 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 4460 AsRock H81M-DG4 Sapphire Rx470 Platinum KVR 1600 16Gb 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
2x Seagate 3Tb Samsung 850 EVO 120 Scythe Ninja 3 Rev.B Windows 10 Pro 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Fujitsu Siemens A17-2A Logitech K280e SuperFlower SF-550K12XP Thermaltake Versa H25 
MouseAudio
Logitech G402 Sony MDR XD150 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 750K 4.0Ghz AsRock FM2A75 Pro4+ Sapphire R9 270X Dual-X Kingston 2x4Gb 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung 850 EVO 120  Western Digital 320Gb LiteON DVD-RW CoolerMaster Hyper Z600 
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