I have a pretty beefy graphics card with 4GB of memory etc. But I can see the YouTube videos stutter sometimes and have a poor framerate (although none get dropped).

I feel like with a decent graphics card this shouldn't happen. Is there a way to make sure the gpu I have works properly?

Edit: I'm confident, that the internet connection is not the problem, since the "video stats for nerds" of the videos I am looking at show 0 dropped frames and perfect buffer health.

Edit2: XUbuntu 16.04

$ lshw
             Beschreibung: VGA compatible controller
             Produkt: NVIDIA Corporation
             Hersteller: NVIDIA Corporation
             Physische ID: 0
             Bus-Informationen: pci@0000:65:00.0
             Version: a1
             Breite: 64 bits
             Takt: 33MHz
             Fähigkeiten: pm msi pciexpress vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
             Konfiguration: driver=nouveau latency=0
             Ressourcen: irq:43 memory:d7000000-d7ffffff memory:c0000000-cfffffff memory:d0000000-d1ffffff ioport:b000(Größe=128) memory:c0000-dffff
  • Please add additional informations of your graphic card, ubuntu version, ... – abu_bua Jun 15 '18 at 9:23
  • probably using just the cpu chipset and not the graphics card? – damadam Jun 15 '18 at 10:04
  • @damadam That's what I'm thinking, although I feel like 1080p should be manageable with an i7. – Minix Jun 15 '18 at 10:33
  • @karel: this question conerns GPU benchmarking ant the other benchmark in gerneral – abu_bua Jun 15 '18 at 11:51

Benchmark your GPU

1. Mesa Utils

Install the following package:

sudo apt-get install mesa-utils

And then start a benchmark test from the commandline


With a modern GPU you should achieve frame rates (FPS = Frames per second) of more than 5.000. The is limited to the refresh rate and resolution of the monitor!

Invoking glxgears with vblank_mode=0 tells the graphic card to ignore the refresh rate of your monitor and just try to reach the maximux fps it's capable off.

vblank_mode=0 glxgears

2. Open GL

Run the OpenGL benchmark test with

sudo apt-get install glmark2

and run the test with

glmark2 --fullscreen --show-all-options

The score is adapted for modern and fast GPUs. Note that the fps score depends on the resolution you set during the test!

Afterwards the result can be compared on e.g. this benchmark page.

3. Benchmark Unigine

A 3rd party benchmark tool is Valley. The free basic edition is nice to test your hardware. There are different scenarios you can choose. I recommend the valley benchmark test. Download it and change the execute permission using

chmod +x Unigine_Valley-1.0.run

and run the installation (no root permission necessary)


Start the benchmark engine with

cd ./Unigine_Valley-1.0 && ./valley &

Don't forget to click on the benchmark widget on the top left corner.

Youtube Problems

The most common problem with youtube videos is the lack of a fast internet connection.

  • 2
    glxgears is capped to the refresh rate of the monitor, which I think is easily achievable with any recent cpu. What values should I expect for glmark2? Are there more resources? Please also see my edit. – Minix Jun 15 '18 at 9:22
  • 2
    use vblank_mode=0 glxgears command. – kukulo Jun 15 '18 at 10:53
  • 1
    @kukulo: thanks, i put your comment into my edit – abu_bua Jun 15 '18 at 11:46
  • vblank_mode=0 doesn't change anything for me and glmark2 crashes with a segfault – Minix Mar 29 '19 at 14:59

Visual inspection when running the real application(s)

Play some video with a 'a lot of motion' in it and see with your own eyes, if the quality is good (no tearing, no lagging, no stuttering etc). Run your other programs (if any) that need good performance of the graphics.

Check also the CPU load during the test (for example with htop).

If you are satisfied, fine :-)

Otherwise look for alternatives,

  • tweak the application program (video player or other program)
  • a lighter application program,
  • lower resolution of the screen
  • a better graphics driver
  • another desktop environment with a lighter footprint (LXDE of Lubuntu and XFCE of Xubuntu are lighter than standard Ubuntu)
  • another graphics card
  • another CPU
  • ...

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