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I just spent the past two days Googling this and trying to find an answer before I posted.

Here's the problem: I installed 13.10 64-bit fresh from a DVD and the various desktop animations in unity are slow and choppy. This includes the dashboard, the launcher tooltips, switching workspaces, switching apps etc.

The whole desktop interface appears to be slow. Graphical performance within apps is totally fine.

Here's the results of my unity support test:

$ /usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p
OpenGL vendor string:   Intel Open Source Technology Center
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Q35 
OpenGL version string:  1.4 Mesa 9.2.1

Not software rendered:    yes
Not blacklisted:          yes
GLX fbconfig:             yes
GLX texture from pixmap:  yes
GL npot or rect textures: yes
GL vertex program:        yes
GL fragment program:      yes
GL vertex buffer object:  yes
GL framebuffer object:    yes
GL version is 1.4+:       yes

Unity 3D supported:       yes

Is there any more information I should check that might help me find a solution?

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Did you fully update all packages on your system (and reboot after that)? What graphics card do you have exactly (Q35?)? And what screen layout/resolution are we talking about? Did you run a previous Ubuntu release before without issues or not? Please also note that the Intel Q35 is over 6 years old now and is really not powerful at all. Please include more specs of your system in your question. If it's 6 years old without a discrete GPU it's simply too slow to run Unity 3D. – gertvdijk Dec 24 '13 at 18:52
Yes. I fully updated all my packages and rebooted. I have the Intel 82Q35 Express Integrated Graphics Controller. I realize it's old and not super powerful, but I assumed it would at least be enough to run the desktop. I'm running at a screen resolution of 1920x1080. The processor is an Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 2.33Ghz. I have 4GB of RAM. I'm not seeing any slowdowns in any of the apps I use. – Suncho Dec 24 '13 at 19:26
I suggest to use an alternative Desktop Environment like KDE, LXDE, etc. or Unity 2D. Also make sure to raise the amount of memory assigned for the GPU. – gertvdijk Dec 24 '13 at 19:29
Thanks. I will. I guess I was just surprised that the performance of the default desktop environment wasn't competitive with Windows 7. – Suncho Dec 24 '13 at 20:07
Oh, well, this site is full of that. I personally dislike Unity for being a performance hog. – gertvdijk Dec 24 '13 at 20:08

It is said that Zeitgeist is slowing unity animations and increse cpu usage.

Zeitgeist is a service which logs the users's activities and events, anywhere from files opened to websites visited and conversations. It makes this information readily available for other applications to use in the form of timelines and statistics.

You can remove zeitgeist easily, but don't remove libzeitgeist-XXX as you use unity :

sudo apt-get purge zeitgeist zeitgest-core zeitgeist-datahub

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