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I have just installed ubuntu 12.04 and then replaced unity with xfce the way described here. Now the graphic performance are poor. The main two symptompts I see are
1. The graphics of some program such as emacs update slowly (I need to alt-tab to refresh the display) 2. Pymol complaints there is not enough memory. Another program I use to view memory has slow response.

Note that I used pymol previously on this machine and it functioned properly. I suspect this is an issue with the intel driver, but I don't know how to test this. The machine I use have an intel i3 processor. I think it's type is 310 or 330. From what I gather, this is also the display adapter.

How can I improve the performance?

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Use the latest open source drivers from Oibaf's PPA

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:oibaf/graphics-drivers; sudo apt-get update; sudo aptitude upgrade -y; sudo aptitude dist-upgrade -y; sudo aptitude install xserver-xorg-video-all -y

Honestly, I find Unity on Ubuntu 13.04 and especially Ubuntu 13.10 to be faster than Xfce significantly with graphics performance.

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