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Hello I have a question regarding tweaking Unity performance so that you can actually game using steam with smooth frame rates.

I have a Dell Precision M6300 mobile workstation with a Quadro FX1600M 256MB graphics card,8GB of RAM, an SSD, Core 2 duo 2.5GHZ and use the 313 drivers shipped with Ubuntu.
Now - when I run Windows 7 on the laptop with Aero or standard desktop effects I can play Half Life 2 on 1920x1200 with highest details and get 35FPS (1680x1050 that goes up to 55FPS).

Now on Ubuntu I have ensured that undirect full screen windows is ticked in CCSM, disabled VSYNC and switched that off in the Nvidia X server settings programs. When I run Steam under Unity and launch HL2, the game loads fine but the splash screen is choppy and the new game screen the graphics are slow and jerky.

When looking at the card proprieties in Nvidia X server settings - Unity at idle is consuming 238MB of graphics memory to run the desktop, this doesn"t seem to be available for the game.

The reason I have come to this conclusion is that if I install Gnome session and use the fail back session the amount of video ram used to run the desktop is 50 MB - HL2 is as smooth as butter when launched through this. Also tried KDE and its also smooth , and MATE desktop and LXDE and XFCE and even default GNOME 3 Session I can play HL2 fine.

Does anyone know how I can tweak CCSM or Unity to ensure that when I play full screen games it releases the hold of the VRAM so I can game without switching DEs?

I like Unity and this laptop is still powerful enough to game on and get work done ( it was over 2K a few years ago) - I dont have any of these issues on my Desktop Workstation but that has a 2GB 660Ti Card so the memory overhead of Unity is not an issue.

Can anyone help with this? I want to be able to take my laptop away and game if I need to chill out and really want to do it in Ubuntu to support Steam.

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