X bandwidth usage

while evaluating X access to linux boxes i've made some stats using different access protocols:
  1. nx client from www.nomachine.com (encapsulate and compress X protocol)
  2. vnc
  3. ssh -X
i've recorded a sample session with wireshark and here are the raw numbers:

Client                       Bytes on the wire
nx (lan quality)             4924556
ssh -X                       4383203
vnc (16 bit high quality)    4256691
nx (adsl quality)             586752
nx (modem quality)            480296
vnc (8 bit low quality)       433575

aside from the naked data, there are some other factors that might weight in:
  • at low data rates, nx feels snappier and looks better than vnc.
  • at high data rates, plain X with ssh tunnelling seems a better choice, but only if you are using a native linux client: the nx viewer can run on windows with less effort than an Xming+putty setup, and it can publish the full Gnome/KDE desktop of the remote machine.

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