I just tried to play Quake3 (QuakeLive) on a new laptop with an i3 core integrated GPU, running Ubuntu 10.10. Strangely, the performance was terrible. I'm running on intel driver, which seems to load correctly. I know it's not a high-end system, but I got used to Q3 being fairly playable on 3 year old built-in i850GM with single core CPU, which was obviously much worse.

After switching to i3, I get barely 5fps, even if I use very low resolutions (640x480 and similar).

What could affect the performance that much? What should I look for? There doesn't seem to be anything obvious in the Xorg logs, or my xsessionerrors.

  • 1
    Not sure why'd they'd migrate this here, this is a perfectly good superuser question Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 21:46
  • 3
    It's probably an even better fit on AskUbuntu. It almost certainly is a problem with the Intel driver. Since the whole KMS stuff that driver got really bad. Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 21:51
  • @BlueRaja - Considering Quake 3/ Quake live is a game, this was migrated here. Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 22:35
  • 1
    @Sath I can see the line of thinking "video game... fps... send it to gaming." Problem is, this question is really asking: "wth is wrong with my graphics card?" Not really a gaming question.
    – tzenes
    Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 23:39
  • @tzen Will keep this in mind for future migrations/question Commented Oct 28, 2010 at 23:40

1 Answer 1


The intel driver was rewritten in a lot of parts when KMS (kernel mode setting) was introduced. Since then it has been very flaky, I've seen a few notebooks with intel graphics that did not even work anymore on newer linux distributions, that did work perfectly fine in older ones.

You should check with glxinfo if you're really using the intel driver.

You could try to use a newer intel driver and see if that fixes the problem, the easiest way would be to use this PPA. This is not an official Ubuntu package, there is a chance that you will not get a graphical interface after the next boot if something goes wrong. You should be comfortable to fix that from the commandline, if you want to try installing the newer driver.

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