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I am a Ubuntu fan from a long time (since 7.04), and recently I bought and Asus 1215N with Nvidia Optimus ION (... no comments here ....) with an Atom processor Dual Core to replace my Msi Wind U100 that became old.

But, with the use, I've noticed that Ubuntu, 10.10, 11.04 and even 11.10, is slower on my Asus 1215N that on my Msi Wind U100..

I use Ubuntu like a charm on my Msi Wind U100, I can multitask, an using an operating system like Ubuntu is a very pleasent task, because Windows is extremly slow on this computer. I dind't noticed no lag or something like that on my Msi Wind, even with 10tabs on Google Chrome, Eclipse open, Updating the system and more.

But in my Asus 1215N, with 2GB of ram and an Atom Dual Core 1.8Ghz (the msi wind u100 is an Atom Single Core 1.6Ghz) Ubuntu, is barely unusable, Nautilus, Update Manager, Chrome, Eclipse and others take ages to start, and if I have 2 applications open (like terminal and gedit (I am not kidding)), It becames so slow that I can't used it correctly.

Important Information (Configuration of Booth the Computers) : - Ubuntu 11.10 - Unity 3D - 2GB of Ram

Windows 7 works better in Asus 1215N And Arch Linux with gnome3 or kde4 works better on my Asus 1215N that Ubuntu.

Is this normal (I think not, but maybe there is an explanation, like the dual core of the Atom porely used) ?

And how can I solve this ? (Unity-2D works at the same speed or worse).

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Interesting. What if you run a guest session, does that help or is it just as slow? – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Nov 4 '11 at 20:50
It is just as slow :S... Fresh install with/without tweaks to run fast :S – aliasbody Nov 4 '11 at 22:26
I think I found the source of the problem. It is not the processor (even if it's not being used at 100% because of the poor sandy bride kernel drivers not using correctly (or at all) the L2 chache). The real problem comes from the lack of good intel drivers for, as I said the processor, but also the graphics GMA3150 not been rendering correctly (since xfce,gnome-fallback etc... have (IMHO) excelent performance results for a pc like this. Hope the new drivers and kernel arrive soon on ubuntu. I just don't understant why Unity2D is slower than Unity3D... That is really realy wierd.. – aliasbody Nov 8 '11 at 10:25
Atom processors don't use Sandy bridge drivers in any form, completely different architechtures, i have a netbook in similar specs as yours and indeed was slow, what i did was to reduce the swap usage which was set too high and was causing the slowsdowns. – Uri Herrera Nov 22 '11 at 8:11
Are you talking about reducing the swapiness ? (I think the default value is 60 but I don't know if we are talking about the same thing :S...)... But I really don't understand why Ubuntu is so slow compared to Arch Linux for example... I don't think it is only the number of modules not loaded... and I've tried with gnome-shell, xfce, and kde on both.. – aliasbody Nov 25 '11 at 21:38
up vote 1 down vote accepted

what I can say is that is not the CPU's fault, the system slowdown is because of the HDD that the Netbook came with which is 5200 rpm, I suggest getting an 7200 or above if you want your system to fly as it should. me personally i got a SSD... hope it helps...

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It is a good idea I agree with you, the problem is that the only way I could change the harddrive is to contact Asus and pay a lot more :S... (Stupid Warranty...) – aliasbody Nov 25 '11 at 21:38
This doesn't help. My system (WeTab) has a dual core Atom with a fast SSD. Ubuntu runs at a snail pace. It takes 30-60 seconds between screen taps (clicks). Dash takes a full minute to open. – Kat Amsterdam Dec 15 '12 at 23:43

the real problem is the fact that these kind of machines have a more complicated architecture that have to face a really important aspect in the software, in particular the kernel is affected if there are poor optimized driver or in the worst case there aren't driver at all.

A project that can gain your attention is Bumblebee

that basically add some funcionality to your system ( try to use ION as your only one video card ) but usually this kind of machine works better in a closed and proprietary environment like Windows without a doubt; the problem is always the same: the brands does not love to share usefull specs and really good driver.

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uhm.. bumblebee is for OPTIMUS enabled computers, ION's concept is similar to Optimus but it's not the same. ION is based on a GT 9400 G92(or 94 or 96 not sure which one) core, Optimus uses newer GF 100+ GPUs and are paired with different processors, Atom and i7, i5 Sandy bridge respectively. – Uri Herrera Nov 22 '11 at 8:15
I am using Bumblebee/Ironhide... It is not a really good solution as it is not a "native solution", so we can't use the Nvidia as the only graphic card. And this laptop as Uri Herrera said, is an Optimus base, so you can't just switch off the intel (I wish I could seriously) :S... Thanks for the advice anyway ^^ – aliasbody Nov 25 '11 at 21:36

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