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Unity 2D or gnome-terminal is slow under load and gnome-terminal scrolls slow -- how to speed it up?

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http://askubuntu.com – I am running Unity 2D on a laptop with an integrated graphics card. The terminal is having trouble dealing with lots of text. For example, if i enter the following in a gnome-terminal: while [ 1 ]; do echo 'hi'; done the result is that my system is bogged down so much that it takes a few seconds to switch workspaces to or from the workspace with the offending terminal. My gnome-terminal is set to have a solid color background, not transparent. My scrollback in the offending terminal window is 1000 lines. While the above is running, the top lines in my "top" are: 28031 bshanks 20 0 3081 (HowTos)