I have written about this problem of horizontal tearing in text in several of the last few posts and it deserves a section on its own where I can mess with ideas. This is the problem I am talking about.
At Feb 28 2017 this is where I am,
While trying various settings I found 'Synchronise drawing to the vertical blank'. Now I'm not sure what this means and I will need to do some searching, but there seems to be some improvement. Below is a screen shot. It is in Settings, Window Manager Tweaks, and is the third item in the dialog below.
There is still some tearing in text initially, but seems to be disappearing on its own after half a second without my having to move the mouse.
One more setting to play with is under System Settings > Appearance.
There are a few things here like Subpixel Rendering that can improve the display of fonts on LCD displays.
UDDATE a couple of days later. My Mint 18.1 XFCE is now Mint 18.1 Cinnamon for the moment.
Installing Cinnamon into XFCE and logging into Cinnamon, there is so far none of the text tearing that was plaguing XFCE, so it might just be a window manger problem or something to do with compositing, since as far as I know Cinnamon won;t work with Compiz or Compton.
I'm adding this update logged into Cinnamon and the text is still fine. However, that doesn't solve all my problems. I'm back to:
* No mouswheel scrolling to change workspaces
* No separate wallpaper for each desktop
So a little hunting around for something else and I found a setting that adds a desktop scroll area to the left and right edges of the screen. I had just installed Docky so I could use its workspace swithcer applet, but now I can use the green area on the left and right.
That green shaded marker area can be adjusted for width or hidden. It also works even if a window is under it, which means Docky will be staying in place to reserve space. That way the scroll bar will still be accessible in a full screen window.
It lives in System Settings > Extensions
And here's where you set it up. There will be a warning about it not being compatible with Cinnamon. I suppose now I will have to copy this into a new post about the Gigabyte BRiX and Mint 18.1 Cinnamon.