lower graphics setting in ubuntu

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http://askubuntu.com – First off, I am new to Ubuntu. I come from a Windows background (DOS before that) and am loving it so far. I installed it on an older Dell laptop that I wanted to get another year out of. I set this machine up primarily as a LAMP development machine for a project I am working on. The machine is a Vostro 1500 and it has 4GB RAM (maxed) and an upgraded hard drive. I can't watch YouTube videos for long before it starts to overheat and start acting sporadic. I can live without YouTube but every so often the application switching (alt-tab) gets slower and begins not showing all applications a (HowTos)