Ubuntu – Performance with Intel skylake 6500U with integrated graphics HD 520


I just got a new laptop (razer blade stealth) with the following configuration :

  • Intel skylake i7 6500U
  • Intel HD Graphics 520
  • 8Gb of RAM
  • 512Gb SSD
  • 4k Display

I know this question might seem too naive but I've been looking quite a lot and didn't find any definitive answer. Is this hardware supported "fully" By linux (ubuntu gnome) ? I ask because everything seem so sluggish on my laptop. Scrolling webpages, scrolling pdf document are sluggish with a lot of lag, resizing windows is painfully slow, and the experience overall is not really good. In comparison windows feels nice, but I prefer the linux environment. Here is a list of things I tried :

  • Upgrade to ubuntu 16.02 ( was running 15.10 )
  • Installed intel graphics software, ( supposed to update all drivers, the release of this software is pretty recent 16 feb 2016 )
  • Installed the proprietary intel cpu driver

I am really attached to the ubuntu gnome environment but I don't recall having any of this problem before, so my guess is that the hardware is not fully supported at the moment ? I have a few weeks to decide if I want to keep the laptop and I want to be sure to nail the origin of the problem before returning it to regret in the future.

Note : I am wondering if changing the backend to compiz instead of metacity would make things better ( I highly doubt it ).

Thanks for any pointer !

Best Answer

I'd like to share my experience with a similar issue.

I recently bought a laptop with the same processor and I was experiencing problems with graphics. I necessarily have to work with Ubuntu 14.04 but it was not recognizing my laptop's hardware (skylake not supported). I had to install manually kernel 4.4.6 so everything worked properly, however I noticed compiz was taking more than 60% cpu. glxgears showed errors like: "i965_dri.so does not support the 0x1916 PCI ID" "libGL error: pci id for fd 4: 8086:1916, driver (null)", etc.. and framerates above 300.

The reason was the GPU drivers were not properly updated so the CPU has to do the job in its place. To solve it I ran the following commands:

sudo apt-get install --install-recommends linux-generic-lts-wily xserver-xorg-core-lts-wily xserver-xorg-lts-wily xserver-xorg-video-all-lts-wily xserver-xorg-input-all-lts-wily libwayland-egl1-mesa-lts-wily

which are installed along with kernel 4.2.

After reboot with my working kernel 4.4.6 glxgears shows proper framerates (around 60 FPS) and compiz CPU consumption is normal now.

I'm a newbie here but I'm happy to have managed to solve this problem, I hope this is also useful for others.