Here are a few points on breakable nCloth:
-If you select verts, edges or faces when making a tearable constraint then it can only tear at those regions, which is more efficient.
-The detach component code internally detachs based on vertices, not edges, so the tearable surface constraint will give "ragged" edges. You can make it more efficient by carefully modelling your own detach edges. Basically initially create your model with all the edges you wish to be breakable being border edges.
-For large rigid chunks you may wish to use separate objects, each with its own nCloth. Constrain the chunks together with a component to component constraint with glueStrength set and the weld method. Then combine, merge vertex, smooth normals and possibly extrude downstream of the nCloth nodes. This allows you to use rigidity on the nCloth nodes(otherwise you need to use high bend/stretch levels which is less efficient). You can also turn off self collision on the nCloth nodes, because they are internally rigid. If instead you were using one cloth node for all the chunks then you would need self collision so that the chunks could intercollide.
-There is bend stiffness on the constraint node, which can be used for glass shatter sorts of effects. However this requires that you have edge nComponents. If you use standard breakable surface setup with edge components it gets extremely slow to use the constraint bend stiffness for a complex surface. We are currently looking at fixing this problem, as it makes it hard to do rigid shatter effects.