Vertex arrays can greatly improve rendering speed. The primary advantage is decreasing the number of subroutine calls required to transfer non-display listed geometry data to the GL. A secondary advantage is improving the efficiency of the transfer; especially to allow direct memory access (DMA) hardware to be used to effect the transfer.

This program below demonstrates usage of vertex arrays in JOGL. The example is ported from C examples in the OpenGL Programming Guide (known as the "red book").

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 package glredbook11;

import java.awt.*;
import java.awt.event.*;

import javax.swing.*;
import java.io.*;
import java.nio.*;

import javax.media.opengl.*;
import javax.media.opengl.glu.*;

import sun.security.provider.certpath.Vertex;

import com.sun.opengl.util.*;

/**
 * This program demonstrates vertex arrays.
 * 
 * @author Kiet Le (Java conversion)
 */

public class varray
  extends JFrame
    implements GLEventListener, KeyListener, MouseListener
{
  // private GL gl;
  private GLU glu;
  private GLUT glut;
  private GLCapabilities caps;
  private GLCanvas canvas; 
  private static int POINTER = 1;
  private static int INTERLEAVED = 2;

  private static int DRAWARRAY = 1;
  private static int ARRAYELEMENT = 2;
  private static int DRAWELEMENTS = 3;

  private static int setupMethod = POINTER;
  private static int derefMethod = DRAWARRAY;
  private static IntBuffer verticesBuf;
  private static FloatBuffer colorsBuf;
  private static FloatBuffer intertwinedBuf;
  Screenshot capture;

  //
  public varray()
  {
    super("varray");
    //
    caps = new GLCapabilities();
    canvas = new GLCanvas(caps);
    canvas.addGLEventListener(this);
    canvas.addKeyListener(this);
    canvas.addMouseListener(this);
    //
    getContentPane().add(canvas);
  }

  public void run()
  {
    setSize(512, 256);
    setLocationRelativeTo(null);
    setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);
    setVisible(true);
    canvas.requestFocusInWindow();
  }

  public static void main(String[] args)
  {
    new varray().run();
  }

  public void init(GLAutoDrawable drawable)
  {
    GL gl = drawable.getGL();  
    glu = new GLU();
    glut = new GLUT();
    //
    gl.glClearColor(0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f, 0.0f);
    gl.glShadeModel(GL.GL_SMOOTH);
    setupPointers(gl);
  }

  public void display(GLAutoDrawable drawable)
  {
    GL gl = drawable.getGL();
    //
    gl.glClear(GL.GL_COLOR_BUFFER_BIT);

    if (derefMethod == DRAWARRAY)
    {
      gl.glDrawArrays(GL.GL_TRIANGLES, 0, 6);
    }
    else if (derefMethod == ARRAYELEMENT)
    {
      gl.glBegin(GL.GL_TRIANGLES);
      gl.glArrayElement(2);
      gl.glArrayElement(3);
      gl.glArrayElement(5);
      gl.glEnd();
    }
    else if (derefMethod == DRAWELEMENTS)
    {
      int indices[] = new int[]
      { 0, 1, 3, 4 };
      IntBuffer indicesBuf = BufferUtil.newIntBuffer(indices.length);
      for (int i = 0; i < indices.length; i++)
        indicesBuf.put(indices[i]);
      indicesBuf.rewind();
      gl.glDrawElements(GL.GL_POLYGON, 4, GL.GL_UNSIGNED_INT, indicesBuf);
    }
    gl.glFlush();

    // gl calls from C example's mouse routine are moved here
    if (setupMethod == INTERLEAVED) setupInterleave(gl);
    else setupPointers(gl);
  }

  public void reshape(GLAutoDrawable drawable, int x, int y, int w, int h)
  {
    GL gl = drawable.getGL();
    //
    gl.glViewport(0, 0, w, h);
    gl.glMatrixMode(GL.GL_PROJECTION);
    gl.glLoadIdentity();
    glu.gluOrtho2D(0.0, (double) w, 0.0, (double) h);
    gl.glMatrixMode(GL.GL_MODELVIEW);
    gl.glLoadIdentity();
  }

  public void displayChanged(GLAutoDrawable drawable, boolean modeChanged,
      boolean deviceChanged)
  {
  }

  private void setupPointers(GL gl)
  {
    int vertices[] = new int[]
    { 25, 25, 100, 325, 175, 25, 175, 325, 250, 25, 325, 325 };
    float colors[] = new float[]
    { 1.0f, 0.2f, 0.2f, 0.2f, 0.2f, 1.0f, 0.8f, 1.0f, 0.2f, 0.75f, 0.75f,
      0.75f, 0.35f, 0.35f, 0.35f, 0.5f, 0.5f, 0.5f };
    IntBuffer tmpVerticesBuf = BufferUtil.newIntBuffer(vertices.length);
    FloatBuffer tmpColorsBuf = BufferUtil.newFloatBuffer(colors.length);
    for (int i = 0; i < vertices.length; i++)
      tmpVerticesBuf.put(vertices[i]);
    for (int j = 0; j < colors.length; j++)
      tmpColorsBuf.put(colors[j]);
    tmpVerticesBuf.rewind();
    tmpColorsBuf.rewind();
    //
    gl.glEnableClientState(GL.GL_VERTEX_ARRAY);
    gl.glEnableClientState(GL.GL_COLOR_ARRAY);
    //
    gl.glVertexPointer(2, GL.GL_INT, 0, tmpVerticesBuf);
    gl.glColorPointer(3, GL.GL_FLOAT, 0, tmpColorsBuf);
    this.verticesBuf = tmpVerticesBuf;
    this.colorsBuf = tmpColorsBuf;

  }

  private void setupInterleave(GL gl)
  {
    float intertwined[] = new float[]
    { 1.0f, 0.2f, 1.0f, 100.0f, 100.0f, 0.0f, 1.0f, 0.2f, 0.2f, 0.0f, 200.0f,
      0.0f, 1.0f, 1.0f, 0.2f, 100.0f, 300.0f, 0.0f, 0.2f, 1.0f, 0.2f, 200.0f,
      300.0f, 0.0f, 0.2f, 1.0f, 1.0f, 300.0f, 200.0f, 0.0f, 0.2f, 0.2f, 1.0f,
      200.0f, 100.0f, 0.0f };
    FloatBuffer tmpIntertwinedBuf = BufferUtil
        .newFloatBuffer(intertwined.length);
    tmpIntertwinedBuf.rewind();
    //
    gl.glInterleavedArrays(GL.GL_C3F_V3F, 0, tmpIntertwinedBuf);
    this.intertwinedBuf = tmpIntertwinedBuf;
  }

  public void keyTyped(KeyEvent key)
  { 
  }

  public void keyPressed(KeyEvent key)
  {
   switch (key.getKeyChar()) {
      case KeyEvent.VK_ESCAPE:
        System.exit(0);
        break;

      default:
        break;
    }
  }

  public void keyReleased(KeyEvent key)
  { 
  }

  public void mouseClicked(MouseEvent mouse)
  {  
  }

  public void mousePressed(MouseEvent mouse)
  {
    if (mouse.getButton() == MouseEvent.BUTTON1)
    {
      if (setupMethod == POINTER)
      {
        setupMethod = INTERLEAVED;
        // setupInterleave(gl);don't call
      }
      else if (setupMethod == INTERLEAVED)
      {
        setupMethod = POINTER;
        // setupPointers(gl);
      }
      // validate();
    }
    if (mouse.getButton() == MouseEvent.BUTTON2
        || mouse.getButton() == MouseEvent.BUTTON3)
    {
      if (derefMethod == DRAWARRAY) derefMethod = ARRAYELEMENT;
      else if (derefMethod == ARRAYELEMENT) derefMethod = DRAWELEMENTS;
      else if (derefMethod == DRAWELEMENTS) derefMethod = DRAWARRAY;
      // validate();
    }
    canvas.display();
  }

  public void mouseReleased(MouseEvent mouse)
  {
  }

  public void mouseEntered(MouseEvent mouse)
  {
  }

  public void mouseExited(MouseEvent mouse)
  {
  }

}

Source: Kiet Le's The Red Book Examples using JOGL