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I have a Intel Sandy Bridge i5 with the HD 3000 graphics card. I used to be able to play Urban Terror and Nexuiz comfortably with 85 and 60 frames per seconds until mid/end of October 2012, the former even on a full HD display with that many frames.

Now I have around 30 to 45 on the smaller laptop screen and around 20 to 30 on the external monitor. Did something happen to Kubuntu 12.04 so that it has less graphics performance than previously?

Update

I looked into the system monitor and could not detect anything being at the maximum. The four CPU cores were pretty much bored, the 8 GB RAM were filled with maybe 2 GB. And I ran intel_cpu_top and did not notice anything at its limit. See the output.

after Kernel bisecting

I now did a kernel bisect and tried 3.2.0-23, 3.2.0-27, 3.2.0-29 and 3.2.0-30 and all had full graphics power. Interestingly, I then had full power when I just booted back into the regular 3.2.0-32 kernel. This does not make sense to me …

the hardware

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X220
  • Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50GHz
  • Intel HD 3000 Graphics Card (in the CPU)
  • 8 GB RAM
  • Kubuntu 12.04 LTS
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How often do you reboot - everyday? Possibly a security update was applied automatically that may have impacted your laptop that really required a reboot. Does this sound correct? –  fossfreedom Nov 12 '12 at 11:13
    
I reboot at least once a day. And this problem persisted on multiple days. It was a problem until this morning when I tried different kernels. –  queueoverflow Nov 12 '12 at 12:36
    
I realized that My computer have the same issue with your computer.Kernel 3.5.0-18, Ubuntu 12.10, i5-2500k and z77(IvyBridge Chipset),Intel HD Graphics 3000.On the 1920*1080 monitor, Nexuiz gives 28fps. –  Hckr Nov 12 '12 at 20:32
    
Look at this fps values, openbenchmarking.org/… phoronix.com/… I opened Unredirect Fullscreen Windows in CCSM, it raise the fps to 34(res: 1920*1080px). I think we must buy a new graphic card @queueoverflow –  Hckr Nov 12 '12 at 22:21
    
@Hckr: Why buy new hardware when the software is acting up? –  queueoverflow Nov 13 '12 at 16:53
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2 Answers

I know Intel has had a number of issues with the Linux kernel driver, As these articles will show.

Tweaks To Extend The Battery Life Of Intel Linux Notebooks

RC6 power savings Disabled For Linux 3.2

however if you are comfortable with adding kernel command-line parameters you might try using the i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 or the pcie_aspm=force option to get your graphics back up to par. Just be on the lookout for possible overheating and/or lockups.

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I'll try those. If I save battery that way as well, even better. –  queueoverflow Nov 18 '12 at 13:00
    
Okay, they killed the advanced compositing effects of KWin and I cannot bring them back. –  queueoverflow Nov 23 '12 at 10:12
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It happens when your cores are dormant , Sometimes your cores do not know when to wake up so they basicly fall asleep , They ussually wake up when you launch a heavy duty application or restart then launch it , It happens even on windows

On windows , When you launch a application it starts with all cores , Then as it gets used to it being open , It only uses the core it needs and the rest "Hibernate" to save energy and also to not overheat your system , Same logic works in Kubuntu , Ubuntu , and other Linux Distro;s

Question to the asker : Should I upgrade to Kubuntu from Ubuntu?

Note - The Cores are never always on , They are only on when your running a game like World Of Warcraft on a low-end computer exceeding your RAM limit so your cores turn on to try to stabilize the amount , Computers have multile backup plans , When your computer can't stabize , It goes into Core Recovery mode so it either gives you a warning , Dormants your laptop , Or your processor get "errored out" since your processes are causing a chaotic mess of your computer!

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The CPU_Top terminal script is proven not to work at all , It just makes people believe it it working , Don't believe in that fraud –  Ubisoft Terzuz Nov 11 '12 at 19:12
    
To get full 3D Power back , I think that you should restart then you should run something that pushes your graphics card , Since many people with the Intel HD 3000 have errors installing , Probelms with monitors , Problems with drivers and USB ports , So it could be just the compatibility since alot of people have problems with Intel , While allmost no one has a problem with the AMD Chips which are equal as good , I run a AMD with no problems yet , I suggest that you should try to get a new graphics card in the future and that will most likely fix your problem for good (AMD or Nvidia) –  Ubisoft Terzuz Nov 11 '12 at 19:15
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Sorry, but how is your answer supposed to help me? I do not want to buy a discrete nVidia card (let alone an AMD card). The HD 3000 worked like a charm, so there is no point in buying something else. –  queueoverflow Nov 12 '12 at 10:33
    
CPU cores don't redistribute the RAM. They crunch numbers, in a sense. –  hexafraction Dec 27 '12 at 1:56
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