Geek warning: You can skip this post if you’re not familiar with words like Linux, Ubuntu, Unity, and compiz :-)
I’ve long had a problem on my Ubuntu computer that compiz would use a lot of CPU power even when the computer was idle, even when no programs were running. My computer is quite powerful so when compiz uses 20% of all CPU cores, that’s a lot of processing going on. It causes the CPU to heat up which causes the fans to run faster which causes noise which annoys me. Clearly, something needed to happen.
I have finally come across the solution and because it was hard to find, I’ll take this opportunity to share it with the world.
- If you haven’t already, install compizconfig-settings-manager and start it. This is a nifty tool that lets you modify many otherwise hidden settings of compiz.
- Under General, click on OpenGL:
- Uncheck Sync To VBlank and select “Fast” in Texture Filter:
The changes take effect immediately, as you can see from this screenshot of my own CPU monitor before, during, and after I made this change:
Now this is what the same computer looks like when it’s idle after the above changes were done, without even rebooting:
I don’t (want to) know the technical reasons for this problematic behavior, or why the solution works. I’m just happy that it works!