The guys behind claim that X server 1.3 has many improvements to EXA, however, with every release, EXA gets slower. 7.0 using EXA actually was many times faster than XAA. Then when 7.1 was released, something messed it all up. Most of all, composite SLOWED things down which is what EXA uses.

Someone please explain...

Oh, and I'm using a radeon 9600, and exa was also tested on a radeon 7500 mobility, both open source drivers.

Oh, and here's an old complaint of two guys experiencing exactly what happened --> EXA performance ( XCOMPOSITE and XRENDER ) performance regression from xorg 7.0 to 7.1 ( r200 )