You may find that a full screen xterm, with no window manager, actually
runs much faster than the console and looks identical. It is certainly
the case on several of my machines.
This is most pronounced if X can do hardware acceleration on your video
card, although it is true even without acceleration because of xterm's
nice jump scroll capability. (Btw, I prefer gnome-terminal because of
the Linux-console colour emulation :-).
On one 686 class machine, I saw text mode take nearly two seconds to
scroll the screen, when all but one line of the screen was being
scrolled (so it had to copy everything). This was in pure text mode,
not even a framebuffer! In X it was invisibly fast.
Also you may get a better refresh rate and higher resolution fonts out
of X, which is nice on a big display.
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