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Metaball rendering optimization

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Hi there, I did a metaball rendering app yesterday, and the result was pretty good, but there is one thing that can't be figured out. The rendering speed is very slow, I wonder someone can give me some ideas or references about 2D metaball optimization.
What I am doing now is to simulate fluid with hundreds of particles, but since the rendering is inefficient(about 30fps with 5 metaballs...), I can't do other computations anymore.
I did use some kind of optimization, I splited the screen into uniform grid, and made each metaball only affect a subregion of the screen. But the speed was still slow.
I used glDrawPixels in the app, is glDrawPixels a slow function??? I think it is based on my own experience.
Are there some ways we can avoid using glDrawPixels in per pixel computation like metaball???
thank you.

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I'm no metaballs expert so my suggestions are somewhat high-level. I suggest either shifting the computation into a fragment shader or, if you want to keep it CPU based, you could look at using a 2D voxel grid and the 2D version of marching-cubes to reconstruct the implicit surface.

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