Improve Dash Performance

Brandon Watkins bwat47 at gmail.com
Sat Sep 29 16:42:29 UTC 2012


I have a laptop with pretty "standard" hardware, intel core i5-460m with
intel ironlake graphics and 4 gigs of ram. For the most part unity/compiz
perform acceptably, but the dash is very noticeably laggy due to the active
blur. Doing simple things like dragging an icon from the dash to the
launcher is extremely laggy. In addition, on a cold boot the dash tags ~5
seconds just to open (so does the alt tab switcher). This is experienced in
both 12.04 and the latest 12.10 beta.

For comparison, plasma's active blur effects in KDE 4.9 have absolutely no
effect on my performance, and everything is always smooth. The dash really
needs significant optimization work, as its slow and laggy on common
hardware.

If I disable the blur things are fine, but the dash's heavy use of
transparency makes this unusable (perhaps if blur is disabled the dash
should be a darker color and more opaque  similar to how it was in 11.04?).

Besides this issue unity performs reasonably well, but the dash is such a
large part of the unity experience, that speed issues there really ruin
everything.
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