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Whenever I watch videos, either online of local via Totem and/or open PDF files using evince.

The system gets really, really bogged down. All apps get really slow, menus take forever to display, switching windows gives me time to make a coffee, etc.

I've purged Adobe Flash from the system, but YouTube HTML5 videos still have the issue. A bunch of PDFs saved locally trigger the problem.

And to (temporarily) remove the slowness, I need to shutdown the computer, breath for a few minutes, then restart. A simple reboot does not do the trick.

How can I identify the cause?

This only started on 13.04. I've had Ubuntu on this machine for a year without a problem until "upgrading" to 13.04. I am not a programmer, but I suspect an issue with the Intel video driver.

Is there something I can run which will diagnose this, or are there concrete steps I can follow to find the culprit?

I have run some hw tests (memtest86+, cpuburn, smarttools), they do not give any errors.

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I should (or will anyway) that this is a 32 bit system running on low energy dual core cpu. –  asp Jun 30 '13 at 23:45
    
Could you include the links to the bug reports? Also keep in mind that when it comes to bugs here it's fairly off-topic on this site. See askubuntu.com/help/on-topic –  gertvdijk Jun 30 '13 at 23:47
    
gertvdijk, I was trying to be poetic, please excuse. fundamentally, I am trying to find a way to really troubleshoot this issue. –  asp Jun 30 '13 at 23:48
4  
Troubleshooting step by step is not really fit for this site. That's why bug reports are off-topic here too. A Q&A site is designed for succinct, answerable questions. Remember that we can't see your screen, we don't have your hardware thus we completely rely on all information you provide in your question. Well, currently, I'm afraid it's not answerable. –  gertvdijk Jun 30 '13 at 23:53
1  
Try running top in a terminal. It will show you the top what's using up system resources. There's just a tiny chance that there's something running which shouldn't or needn't be. –  Marc Jul 8 '13 at 3:25
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closed as off-topic by Braiam, guntbert, BuZZ-dEE, blade19899, psusi Dec 19 '13 at 14:48

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Bug reports and problems with the development version of Ubuntu should be reported on Launchpad so that developers can see, track and fix these issues." – Braiam, guntbert, BuZZ-dEE, blade19899, psusi
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

There are a lot of possible reasons for your performance problems, among them:

  1. Dust and debris are clogging the aluminum cooling blocks of the fans. Your performance will suffer if your computer is overheating.
  2. You will get better performance if you install a more stable and lightweight version of Ubuntu such as Xubuntu 12.04 LTS (3 year Long Term Support) or Lubuntu 12.04.
  3. Your graphics card is starting to fail (assuming, of course, that your computer has a graphics card). If your graphics card is starting to go bad it is often accompanied by another problem which is that your mouse cursor and keyboard freeze, and you have to reboot in order to continue to use the computer.
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Problem occurs using Lubuntu as well. –  asp Jul 1 '13 at 1:15
    
re: graphics card/adaptor physical problem. It is a laptop with a built-in graphics card/adaptor. Question: How do I confirm or deny that this is or is not the issue? –  asp Jul 1 '13 at 1:17
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@asp, don't provide information in comments. Edit your question yourself to include useful information and to exclude poeticisms, etc. –  user25656 Jul 1 '13 at 2:31
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