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To see if your application is the bottleneck, remove as much graphics work as possible, while preserving the behavior of the application in terms of the number of instructions executed and the way memory is accessed. Often, changing just a few OpenGL calls is a sufficient test. For example, replacing the vertex and normal calls glVertex3fv() and glNormal3fv() with color subroutine calls (glColor3fv()) preserves the CPU behavior while eliminating all drawing and lighting work in the graphics pipeline. If making these changes does not significantly improve performance, then your application is the bottleneck.

David Blythe