Slow KDE / Plasma on Intel Integrated Graphics?

June 25, 2009

Got a laptop with an Intel GMA? Is Alt+Tab slower than you would like? Does Plasma take forever to move or resize an applet? Maybe you didn’t think it could get better?

Try playing with the options in xorg.conf. This is a good starting place.

In my case lspci shows ‘Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:2a42]’, and putting

Option  “AccelMethod”   “UXA”

in /etc/X11/xorg.conf has improved things significantly. UXA acceleration has been disabled by default in Ubuntu because it caused problems for some people, but in my case enabling it has made everything snappier, and also gotten rid of the drawing artifacts I used to see.

It also caused suspend to stop working (assert in X upon waking), but a recent fix to xserver-xorg-video-intel takes care of that. Distros might have released an update by now, but if you’re using Kubuntu and can’t wait, you can grab the packages from this ppa.

Snappy plasma, working suspend, happy user.

Update: Here is a post with another trick, using the -graphicssystem raster option of Qt programs. It makes switching tabs in Konsole faster, and it does wonders for long lines in Kate!