This article is from the sci.fractals FAQ, by Michael C. Taylor and Jean-Pierre Louvet with numerous contributions by others.

Fractint's speed (such as it is) is due to a

combination of:

1. Reducing computation by Periodicity checking and guessing

solid areas (especially the "lake" area).

2. Using hand-coded assembler in many places.

3. Using fixed point math rather than floating point where

possible (huge improvement for non-coprocessor machine, small

for 486's, moot for Pentium processors).

4. Exploiting symmetry of the fractal.

5. Detecting nearly repeating orbits, avoid useless iteration

(e.g. repeatedly iterating 02+0 etc. etc.).

6. Obtaining both sin and cos from one 387 math coprocessor

instruction.

7. Using good direct memory graphics writing in 256-color modes.

The first three are probably the most important. Some of these

introduce errors, usually quite acceptable.

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