The Creator accelerator has a hardware cursor. The image of this cursor is directly mixed into the output video signal. A software cursor, on the other hand, must be rendered into the frame buffer and the contents of the previous frame buffer must be temporarily stored. A software cursor incurs more overhead than a hardware cursor. A hardware cursor provides optimal interactive response when moving the cursor.
The maximum size of the Creator hardware cursor is 64 x 64. Cursors with an image whose width or height is less than or equal to 64 use the hardware cursor. Otherwise, they are rendered as software cursors.
The software cursor on the Creator accelerator is rendered in the overlay plane group. Therefore, software cursors interfere with pixels of overlay windows but not with pixels of underlay windows.
An X11 cursor has a foreground and background color that the client application requests. The colors of hardware cursors are rendered exactly as they are requested. However, the colors of software cursors may be approximations of the requested colors.
A bug in existing Solaris Visual graphics libraries means that software cursors are not properly removed. To work around this bug, the cursor will, in the presence of any DGA-grabbed window, be forced to be a hardware cursor, even if this entails truncating the cursor image.