First check is proper graphics driver installed for you system. Goto system setting>System Info>Graphics. If it is Unknown in driver section then ubuntu does not found proper driver for you graphics and running on low VGA mode.
Second, Any processor can run in multiple speed mode. As an example 2.1 GHZ core2Duo can run 1.2GHZ 1.3GZ 1.6GZ ... 2.1GHZ. To save power ubuntu run your processor in slowest mode. So solution is scale your cpu's frequency manually. (Don't worry it is very very very much safe, it is not over-clocking)
To do this install a indicator
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:artfwo/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-cpufreq
After installation, run it (Press Alt+F2, write indicator-cpufreq which will add an icon in your ubuntu's system tray). Select "on-demand" which means cpu will be run in highest frequency it is necessary. If your cpu performance is low then select Performance from indicator which will run your cpu in highest speed all the time. Or you can select any frequency which is listed(supported by your cpu)