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I just upgraded from Precise Pangolin to Quantal Quetzal.

I have a Nvidia Quadro FX 3450 and a Intel Quad Core Q9450 2.66 Ghz , 8 GB RAM , 64 bit CPU

In precise I had to use Unity 2D to have snappy performance.

Now in Quantal the windowing seems around 30% slower ( did not measure , arbitrarily based on feel) . Google chrome seems choppy and at times does not respond to mouse clicks.

Is it possible to enable Unity 2D in Quantal . Alternatively will a GPU upgrade be needed.

I do a lot of opengl molecular visualization and was used to turning off compiz/Unity 3D to have my GPU devoted to the visualization application rather than windowing. If I cannot turn on 2D , I am assuming a new GPU will fix the slowness issue.

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Unity2d is not available for Quantal, which makes it impossible to enable. Instead of paying for a new GPU, go back to 12.04, or use another DE in 12.10 (Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Kubuntu). –  mikewhatever Oct 19 '12 at 12:50
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Under Ubuntu 12.10, Unity 2D has been replaced by Unity 3D running on a software 3D backend. This, as you have discovered, is significanty slower the Unity 2D on the same hardware, because 2D graphics software has had 30 years worth of clever optimizations which don't work when you try to do 2D graphics on a 3D stack.

The Unity 2D software has been completely removed from the Ubuntu repositories, so if you want it you'll have to build it from source. I recommend that if you want a sensible and fast desktop with the minimum of hassle, you use a gnome-panel (aka gnome-classic or gnome-fallback) or Xfce session instead.

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So if QQ is a 3D desktop running on a 3D software backend , is that true for everybody . Does QQ 3D run on hardware accelerated 3D for those hwo have not disabled the composite extension –  harijay Oct 19 '12 at 17:36
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It uses GPU acceleration where available. –  Alistair Buxton Oct 19 '12 at 19:59
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