View Poll Results: How well does Unity perform on your machine?

Voters
38. You may not vote on this poll
  • All is great ... glides like an oiled otter on an icerink

    16 42.11%
  • Generally fine ... most things are fine most of the time

    10 26.32%
  • There are some holdups ... things do not feel all in sync/smooth

    6 15.79%
  • Not all that good here ... occasional cuss has passed my lips

    2 5.26%
  • A fiasco ... i have had to bail out to another Desktop Environment/Distro

    4 10.53%
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Thread: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Beans
    5

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    Unity works fine on my machine and I'm happy with the performance of the system.
    Code:
    ubuntu
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  2. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Beans
    16,473

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    Hey shantiq,
    running quite well here on my latest laptop (i7), which is less than a yr. old, vs. my 5+ yr. old one (core2duo), where unity session is starting to get slow.
    The difference is from top to bottom, all apps open in a sec. or less, installing, compiling, ect. is is not even close.

    The laptop has a gtx 660m but I don't bother with it in Ubuntu, the intel 4000 works absolutely fine for everything I'd do on the laptop, plus have enabled vdpau for intel (vaapi) for use with mplayer & hardware accelerated flash.

    (- haven't even bothered to install internally as I have some significant uses of win 7 so am running ubuntu thru high speed/quality external ssd (angelbird

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hippiesoldierstan
    Beans
    2,129
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    thanx mc4man

    this in a way is where i think the whole issue of runs well or doesnt is located
    running quite well here on my latest laptop (i7), which is less than a yr. old, vs. my 5+ yr. old one (core2duo), where unity session is starting to get slow.
    i always wondered with every new version of ubuntu ; how long can i do this until the software has become too slick for my hardware ? [average Packard Bell 2005]

    the answer is a few years back; i realize now usin lxde everything loads shuts downs snaps like a well-trained Alsatian all processes take a fraction of the time they used to [and i use Rosegarden which uses virtually all cpu] that even recent Gnome was too heavy for my specs and Unity off the scales for my machine

    So far in the smooth-running voters only one has less than 4Gig of Ram which means machines are fairly recent mine 2,5 with a maximum of 3

    i wish i had understood that 3 or so years ago; would have saved a lot of hours!

    What you say about your 2 machines here reinforces my understanding of this DE issue

    On Linux you find things out through trial and error ::]] Simple equation is: default newer versions of the distro are really best suited to newer machines; but can work extremely well with a lighter DE [xcfe4; openbox; lxde] ... der!! should have worked it out before but did not .. ::]]
    Linux is Latin for off-the-beaten-track
    what I like MOST about our Ubuntu ... The Community
    Playing with Slackware too now ...
    ShanArt

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Highway to hell
    Beans
    48
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    Quote Originally Posted by shantiq View Post
    i always wondered with every new version of ubuntu ; how long can i do this until the software has become too slick for my hardware ? [average Packard Bell 2005]

    the answer is a few years back; i realize now usin lxde everything loads shuts downs snaps like a well-trained Alsatian all processes take a fraction of the time they used to [and i use Rosegarden which uses virtually all cpu] that even recent Gnome was too heavy for my specs and Unity off the scales for my machine

    So far in the smooth-running voters only one has less than 4Gig of Ram which means machines are fairly recent mine 2,5 with a maximum of 3
    I see you've been mostly fixated on the RAM, but thing is, the RAM alone is not the thing you should be looking at, it's the entire PC.

    The CPU usage on an old processor is high, because the CPU can do less work per cycle. On my FX 8320 @4.2GHz with 8GB DDR3-1333 the total CPU usage is around 2-3% on idle, just the DE and two conky windows. On my wife's i5-3570K @4.1GHz with 32GB DDR3-1600 the CPU usage is nearly the same, even though it has 4 cores, because it can do over 50% more work per cycle. Ye olde AMD Athlon 64 3200+ with 4GB DDR-400 can barely run Unity. On my old Core 2 Duo E4500 @2.86GHz with 2GB DDR2-800 the CPU usage is 8-16%, because those jobs that are spread evenly among 8 cores on my FX, were crammed into two 50% weaker cores than the Piledriver's, which resulted in less CPU power for other programs.

    GPU also gets stressed by Compiz effects, especially with transparency and blur. Those are real-time 3D processes which can bog down low-end cards and chipsets and also stress the CPU, even my overclocked Radeon 7770 has trouble with Compiz once I turn on transparency and blur and my old Radeon 4350 was running it decently with a lot of effects disabled. But the problem for my 7770 are the power states and the slight stutter happens once card switches from it's lowest power state to the highest, I'm already familiar with that and I know it can't be avoided since I can't turn the pstates off like I do on the CPU.

    RAM also plays a role, newer more fancy DEs like Unity tend to be RAM heavy as well as CPU/GPU heavy, meaning that they will sooner reach the point at which the system will begin swapping, which I already said is 40% RAM. On a machine with 2GB RAM the swapping begins one RAM usage hits 800MB (which is more than what Unity and Compiz use on my machine), on a 4GB machine it will begin at 1.8GB and on an 8GB machine that happens at 3.6GB. RAM frequency and latency affect system performance as well, but not by a large margin when compared to faster/slower memory in the same generation.

    Lighter DEs like LXDE, XFCE, GNOME 3 Classic, MATE, etc. will use less resources because they are built that way. Debian 7.2 LXDE uses some 84MB RAM in a live session on my PC, uses about 0-1% total CPU (some cores are at 1%, some at 0% at nearly all times) and the graphics card is barely even used. That's why LXDE/XFCE and so on are snappy, they deliver almost all CPU cycles and resources to the program you use and a more resource-intensive desktop can't perform the same.

    On a PC like mine (octa-core AMD FX 8320, 8GB DDR3-1333 RAM, Radeon 7770 1GB GDDR5), difference between LXDE/XFCE and Unity/GNOME Shell are minimal due to a lot of spare room in every department, but on an older machine or a newer low-end one, the performance difference will be clear. I see you have a single-core 2.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 3400+ with 2.5GB DDR-333 RAM and Nvidia GeForce 8400 256/512MB DDR2, which is weak in every regard - old single-core CPU, slow RAM, slow low-end card, it was slow 5 years ago and it's not getting any faster.

    Your problem with bad GUI performance is not the RAM size, the entire PC is the problem. A first-gen Athlon 64 is far behind a second-gen Intel Core (even low-end C2Ds are over 200% faster), not to mention a second-gen Bulldozer or a second/third/fourth-gen i7 (which are likely over 1500% faster). 2.5GB DDR-333 and DDR-400 are a lot slower than DDR2-400, DDR2-667 and DDR2-800 (by 50% or more), DDR2-800 is even slower than DDR3-800 and higher (by 50% or more). A GeForce 8400 GS is slower than today's HTPC cards like Radeon 5450 and Radeon 6450 (by 50% or more).

    You can't expect a modern GUI to run the same on a single-core Athlon and octa-core Piledriver, or any of your components compared to modern ones. It's like trying to match the top speed of a Pagani Zonda with a 50$ bicycle - not gonna happen.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    UK
    Beans
    17,058
    Distro
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    My old desktop pc has 2 gig ram. And this 3 year old acer 1410 has 2 gig ram. Both ddr2. Unity runs just fine on both. The system is using less ram now than 2 years ago at startup. (both 64 bit by the way).

    My guess is the devs have tuned up compiz and unity.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Hippiesoldierstan
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    2,129
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    yep Werne i only talk about RAM because that is the only indicator i half understand :::]]] not much of a techy


    thanx for all detailed explanations it really helps to hear from guys who understand those things


    i have now come to the same conclusion
    Your problem with bad GUI performance is not the RAM size, the entire PC is the problem

    it is now too bloody old is the problem [for the default DE] but probably good for 5 more years on a lighter one


    ps would it not be good to say that on the Ubuntu download page? say if your machine is over five years old maybe use LXDE, XFCE, etc... since new guys might install and think well this does not move too well back to windows or wherever
    Linux is Latin for off-the-beaten-track
    what I like MOST about our Ubuntu ... The Community
    Playing with Slackware too now ...
    ShanArt

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Reykjavík, Ísland
    Beans
    12,487
    Distro
    Lubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    Quote Originally Posted by philinux View Post
    My guess is the devs have tuned up compiz and unity.
    They have indeed, Ubuntu 13.10 performs better than 12.04. It's a pity that people asking for advice here are often recommended to install 12.04.
    Bringing old hardware back to life. About problems due to upgrading.
    Please visit Quick Links -> Unanswered Posts
    Don't use this space for a list of your hardware. It only creates false hits in the search engines.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Brussels, Belgium
    Beans
    35
    Distro
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    On my computer, 12.04 works like a charm and 13.10 is so slow I'm considering to remove it. Dual-boot, identical hardware. I guess the latest editions push the graphical performance to the limit. And it's not necessary: a few of us, mostly with relatively older machines live happely without compiz or plasma or wathever.

    In fact, that may be a suggestion for developpers: ask during installation if the user wants features or performance. I know my personal answer.

    And yet, my machine is not the worst: I don't know how to insert code but a few of the lines of lshw are:

    *-cpu
    product: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5400+

    *-memory:
    size: 4GiB

    This problem is not only one of Ubuntu or Unity. All newer distributions share the same filosophy. I'll wait till 14.04 but my guess is that - unless I have to buy new hardware - I'll have to switch to xubuntu. Or simply stay with 12.04...

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York, NY
    Beans
    1,287
    Distro
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    Actually, 13.10 runs with less ram and system resources then even 13.04 did...they keep streamlining unity and make adjustments to compiz to make unity run more efficiently (they HAVE to for the phone/tablet/touch interface so we get the benefit on the desktop as well) strange that 13.10 doesn't run as well for you...

  10. #30
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Sheffield, UK
    Beans
    1,217

    Re: Poll on performance of Unity on your machine

    Quote Originally Posted by craig10x View Post
    Actually, 13.10 runs with less ram and system resources then even 13.04 did...they keep streamlining unity and make adjustments to compiz to make unity run more efficiently (they HAVE to for the phone/tablet/touch interface so we get the benefit on the desktop as well) strange that 13.10 doesn't run as well for you...
    Exactly what I thought about my machine. I fully expected 13.10 to run better after some good reviews but it doesn't for me sadly. 13.04 was stunning. I've moved to Kubuntu 13.10 and that runs great, though it was a little buggy to start with.
    AMD Phenom X4 945, 4Gb Crucial 800Mhz DDR2 RAM, 1Tb SATA III HDD, AMD Radeon R7 250X

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