Let me add some context: I am currently using Ubuntu 9.10 64-bit (Desktop) on a relatively powerful stationary PC (Intel Core i7 920, 12GB ram). My purpose is highspeed imaging with a pointgrey Grashopper machine-vision camera (for research, PhD project). This camera is capable of 200 fps at full VGA (640x480) resolution. The camera is connected using Firewire (1394b) and the drivers and software from Pointgrey works great. I have developed a console C++ application that can grap a certain number of frames to preallocated memory and after this also save the grapped frames to harddrive. Currently it works fine but sometimes I am observing a few framedrops (1-3). When this happens I reset the experiment and repeat the recording and usually i am lucky the second time with no framedrops (the camera-driver has a internal framecounter that I am using).
Question: I usually go to tty1 and use "sudo service gdm stop" to disable the graphical frontend. It seems to release some memory though that is not my main concern. My concern is CPU resources. Are there other system hungry modules that can be disabled temporarily such that the CPU gets less busy on Ubuntu 9.10?
At some point in the future I will update to 10.10. Should I perhaps option for the server edition instead?