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Any tips?

Running Intel Core 2 Quad x64 ubuntu precise 12.04 Dell OptiPlex 760 nvidia graphics driver

UPDATE:
Unfortunately I uninstalled Ubuntu... Just couldn't deal with the incompatibilities and issues and I needed to start being productive again... back to Windows 7 for me. :-\

UPDATE (4/17/2013):
So it sounds like this issue can be caused by a variety of different things and no 1 single answer is correct. Too localized?

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Same problem here... Dell Precision, dual core, NVidia graphics card. –  Matthieu May 17 '12 at 18:37
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@JosuhaRountree I know what you mean. I think you should give Ubuntu another chance. Just don't use anything above 11.04. Get 9.10 or something and if you want to use 11.04 or 11.10 make sure that you get gnome-panel which is the closest thing to gnome 2 and significantly reduces the grief of compiz. I use Ubuntu 11.10 with gnome-panel. I am a mathematical programmer and with this config I end up using only 500MB which is 1/16th of my RAM. –  drN Oct 28 '12 at 13:57
    
Why didn't you just use another distro? –  JMCF125 Sep 11 '13 at 13:38
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3 Answers

I also had compiz was constantly taking around 10-12% CPU. I installed ccsm using

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

launched CCSM and under the OpenGL unticked sync to vblank. Now compiz is only taking up 2-4% CPU.

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works fine for me with an ati 7950 –  unludo Mar 21 '13 at 17:41
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This worked great, thanks! –  Sean Jun 20 '13 at 19:01
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Had the same problem. Compiz constantly at around 40% (AMD CPU, ATI 58xx, 12.04). Then i followed the instructions in this answer and CPU utilization dropped below 10%. Hope it helps.

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For me in 12.10, removing the compiz settings on ~/.compiz and rebooting solved the problem. I just renamed the folder, it might help if you want to recover your settings after all.

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