WPF: Reducing CPU consumption for animations

Lately I’ve been working on a project at work and the application was performing pretty well. The CPU Usage was below 2% and I was quite happy with it. Then I decided to add a simple animation that continues executing forever… the results 15% CPU consumption … I was amazed at how much CPU was being wasted. Yet I am a stubborn guy and if I want an animation to execute forever, I will do it no matter what….

I started researching and I found out that WPF animations by default try to serve a 60 frames per second… Which is quite a lot!!! After having a chat with my friend ( and role model ) DR.WPF, it was all clear. (Thanks Dr for all the help you give me !!!)

So in order to reduce the frame rate per second (thus reducing CPU usage), all you need to do is to override the property meta data of the Dependency property Timeline.DesiredFrameRateProperty…. So basically all you need is 1 line of code (I usually put this code on startup of the application)

   1: Timeline.DesiredFrameRateProperty.OverrideMetadata(
   2:             typeof(Timeline),
   3:             new FrameworkPropertyMetadata { DefaultValue = 20 }
   4:             );

Yep, that’s it… Amazing but true…. I managed to make an application that was consuming 15% CPU to consume 2% CPU….

With regards to what frame rate should you use, I would leave that to you…. This depends on how smooth you want your animations to perform… Yet for me 20 is working quite fine…

Hope this helps

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