The I/O scheduler depends on the app, noop is faster for some processes. However, deadline is faster for some emus like PPSSPP or uoyabause. Difference is very minimal in XD between I/O schedulers, because all are configured in my kernel in a very aggresive way.
About PPSSPP, skip buffering break graphics in many games. Some work faster though, but pretty much depends on the game. Generally enabling multithread and disable block transfer gives a speed boost. Performance governor is also recommended to play some games fullspeed like Tekken 6.
About the launcher, the AOSP one of the rom is very lightweight (controller can be used too). I personally use Smart Launcher Pro in Android. But that depends on personal preferences. Arc Browser is also very nice for those that use as a frontend.
About governors, for saving battery ragigmolasses included in my kernel is more battery friendly, but only recomended for non demanding emus, like snes, MD, etc... Interactive is more agressive in RK3288 in comparison to another kernels. It ramps cpu speed pretty fast, though for some apps like PPSSPP or uoyabause performance gives better result. Also in Adiutor you can disable cores to increase battery time since most emus just use 1 or 2 cores.
Anyhow, my kernel is in my github (check my rom's thread for the link), so anyone is welcome to improve, add things, etc etc... since I stopped development for XD definetely.