I know this is an old thread but there IS actually a solution to your problem. Ubuntu generally uses less resources than Windows 7 does even with Gamebooster on. Still running games with Wine is way choppier so the problem isn't in the background processes but actually in Wine itself.
Most of the games for Windows are made with DirectX. This DirectX thing runs only on Windows so its wine's job to emulate it. Here lyes your problem. Running DirectX on Wine is choppier because things are not well optimized.
Some games (especially those that run on Mac too) support not only DirectX but OpenGL.
(Because its Mac's alternative to DirectX). The good thing is that OpenGL runs natively on Linux (not like DirectX) and those games that support it can usually be set (in the game's settings or some config files) to use OpenGL instead of DirectX which result's in better performance.
So, let me give you a real world example.
Today I installed World of Warcraft on my Xubuntu 12. The first time I played it, it ran really choppy. It was later when I remembered that WoW runs on DirectX by default so I added the line
SET gxApi "opengl"
to WTF/config.wtf and the next time I ran the game, the
performance was similar to the one I had with Windows before
I switched to Linux (As a head-up I think that it might be
even better but as it was long time ago I am not completely
sure). The only downside I got with this change is that some
of the Video options are not available and automatically set to
lowest. Those are:
Ground clutter (with the exception that the max here is fair,
Everything other is maxed and the game is running smoothly. As
a conclusion switching to OpenGL is worth it!
If switching to OpenGL doesn't bring the performance to
a Windows-like level, then you should check if you have installed
the binary blob for your graphics card (this means - the driver)
Some Linux distros don't install it automatically because the
drivers for all of the famous graphic cards are closed source
which is against Linux's philosophy. You should either check
Additional Drivers on Ubuntu or find and install the compiler
manually from the manufacturer's website.
At last, if all of the above methods can't help you and you are
sure it is the operating system's resource usage, then you should
find a lighter alternative for the applications that your
For example, switching to OpenBox and LXDE can free up some
Thunar is a file manager which is famous for its lightness.
You can also clean up your system with the following tools
Bleachbit - cache and temporary files
GConf Cleaner - unused registry stuff
Reducing the swappiness is also a good practise
Then find the line:
gksudo gedit /etc/sysctl.conf
and change it to
Be free to experiment with values from 0 to 100. The best option
will vary depending on how much RAM you have but 10 is good for
most configurations as written here:
While I was searching for more ways to improve game performance
on Linux I found this old and rusty thread and I thought that
I should give an appropriate answer to it as such there was not.
That's all folks!