The Lenovo ThinkPad T450 I’m using at work for this switch to Linux has some pretty decent hardware but was struggling at first with screen tearing and general performance hangups. The 4 CPU cores were maxed out while running my basic workflow (Vim, Grunt, Node, Chrome, Git).
Thanks to @AlphaDaemon for this Xorg tip, setting up intel-gfx drivers to use DRI3.
Create or edit
/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-intel.conf to contain the following:
Section "Device" Identifier "Intel Graphics" Driver "intel" Option "TearFree" "true" Option "AccelMethod" "sna" Option "DRI" "3" EndSection
Performance is amazing now.