[ubuntu-uk] Poor performance with Ubuntu on my laptop

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Thu Oct 4 15:05:06 UTC 2012

On 4 October 2012 15:54, Gareth France <gareth.france at gmail.com> wrote:
> I was thrilled when I recently got a brand new laptop for the 2nd time in my
> life. It's a budget model but I figured with 4Gb DDR3 and a 500Gb HDD it was
> a massive improvement over my ageing dell which had only a 60Gb drive. The
> new machine was a catalogue purchase where they listed it as simply having a
> Pentium processor. I joked at the time that this either means they were too
> lazy to type i3 or that it comes with a processor from 1995! It is a Packard
> Bell EasyNote TK85.
> Little did I know how right I was! The performance is a joke! Playing music
> in Banshee while browsing web pages leads to light skipping. Using certain
> sites firefox greys out and freezes every 30 seconds or so! It's just not
> coping.
> I never ran Windows on it, wiping the drive before it completed the first
> boot was extremely satisfying, however having realised a friend's Acer 5733z
> is literally identical, all bar cosmetic changes to the trackpad, power
> button etc, it got me thinking. They haven't complained about anything on
> their machine. Both have the Pentium P6200 processor.
> I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 32 bit on there at the moment. I was wondering if
> someone could suggest a distro which is less podgy to install and see if
> that works any better.

Unfortunately, Intel is rather addicted to selling cheap, crippled
CPUs which have been hobbled to fit a low price point by disabling
most of their onboard cache memory. This dramatically reduces

It's a false economy - they cost as much to make as upmarket chips, as
they are the same silicon with some features present but disabled.
It's part of a stepped marketing model where sales of lots of cheap
crippled products sold for a tiny profit are balanced by very
overpriced premium products at vastly inflated prices and very high
profit margins.

It's a filthy tactic which is unfair to consumers, but Intel is damned
near a monopoly and what can you do?

It started with the 486SX, which was a 486DX with the floating-point
unit turned off. It's made them billions.

For years, I used AMD or Cyrix kit from preference but they are no
longer really competitive except at the very cheap end - the low-end
AMD chips are not crippled, as Celerons and "Pentium Dual Core" ones

Seriously, your best bet might be to overclock the chip. These cheap
crippled chips often overclock very well.

Or, teach yourself some basic maintenance skills, buy an uncrippled
chip & swap the CPU over. Google to see if this is possible.

As for lighter-weight distros, I am not sure they will help much - you
have lots of RAM and possibly a competent GPU too - but you could try

Liam Proven • Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
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