Last week I worked on a shader that mimicked a rain effect. You can see how I did this here. This is a followup about the performance of that shader on a variety of devices. First off I created a similar particle effect, then I placed each in a separate scene and duplicated them 500 times to exaggerate the difference in performance.
|System||Shader FPS||Particle FPS|
The results here show that the Unity’s particles are much more optimised than my shader. However, I’ll stress that you should test your options on your own target system before letting anyone else tell you which route is faster or more efficient.