Ubuntu? Laptop? Intel Graphics? Speed Boost!

If you’re using the latest version of Ubuntu, Jaunty Jackalope, or version 9.04 and you use a laptop with an Intel graphics chip like I do in my Dell D630 you may have gotten used to to the God awful video performance since you upgraded from the previous release.

I had. I had forgotten that windows aren’t supposed to tear when you drag them, and that yes, the underpowered chipset in my laptop can sort of handle the special effects in Compiz. What changed? The new drivers in 9.04 did. Intel are apparently reshaping how their drivers work but while they do it performance has taken a back seat and is cheerfully swilling on beer while the computer does the heavy lifting up front. (errr)

Anyway, simple way to fix it? Revert to the driver in the previous version of Ubuntu! It’s horribly easy to do. Just follow this guide, update your apt sources, install the old driver and restart X. I did and now I have fancy windows bouncing here, there and everywhere! In fact, my wife used her online O2 account to send a few texts and the confirmation popup window hopped around the screen all on it’s own! Oh how we laughed!

Oh, and for anyone who uses a browser, there’s a really simple way to get a CPU upgrade for free. Download Chrome or Chromium (or for Ubuntu .debs) and give it a whirl. After using Firefox for many years it’s like a breath of fresh air, fast moving air that is as it zips along! OK, it’s not completely bug free. The latest builds have a problem with the “default browser” setting (grab a build from around Sep 4 but the fix will be available soon) but it’s the main browser on my Linux desktop and I love the thing!

Author: Donncha

Donncha Ɠ Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Google+ and Twitter.

5 thoughts on “Ubuntu? Laptop? Intel Graphics? Speed Boost!”

  1. That O2 confirmation window is crazy annoying, U use Tab Mix Plus’s single window mode and that confirmation popup feels the need to un maximize my browser. Thank jesus you can stop javascript from resizing windows through the Options.

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