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List Archive: gentoo-performance
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To: gentoo-performance@g.o
From: "J. Roeleveld" <joost@...>
Subject: Re: Horrible performance
Date: Wed, 25 Aug 2010 09:21:58 +0200
Hi Alex,

On Wednesday 25 August 2010 03:32:40 Alex Schuster wrote:
> Me again.
> I have an AMD Athlon(tm) Dual Core Processor 4850e CPU, on-board Radeon HD
> 3200 graphics, 4GB of memory, an 1.5 TB drive. Lots of LVM volumes, all
> encrypted, except for /usr/src and portage stuff. The system is ~amd64,
> and I have -march=k8-sse3 in my CFLAGS. Current kernel is 2.6.34-tuxonice,
> but I also tried others. I'm running KDE4 with desktop effects enabled, X
> itself takes about 30-40% of CPU time according to top. After system
> startup and login into KDE, 3.5G of RAM are occupied. This increases after
> a while, and I need swap space. Nothing to worry about I think.

Encrypted filesystems can cause additional with activity, but I would expect 
that to remain the same over a long period.
However, how is the write and read performance on those disks?

You're running KDE4, guess you went for the default and use mysql for "app-

I switched to using "sqlite" for this due to issues getting it to work with 
mysql. I think this might help there?

> Performance does not feel too bad at first. But after a while, I cannot
> even play videos during emerges. The playback stutters, sometimes I have
> pauses for several seconds. As long as there is no swap space occpied,
> it's not so bad I think. Maybe I have a probelm with disk I/O, and things
> get much worse when swapping occurs. When I look at iotop, I see
> various programs like chromium and various KDE applications appear. I
> guess that's normal, but should not be noticeable. Hey, there were times
> when I created a 2G tmpfs for /var/tmp/portage, with only 3G on
> my 32bit system. BTW, I lowered my swappiness to 10. This helps a little I
> think, because the swapping occurs later, the system is more responsive.

Do you also encrypt swap?
Disk I/O is, in my experience, a very common cause for "freeze-ups".
Can you test with unencrypted disks to see if the issue occurs then as well?

> And I have similar problems when copying data between some old PATA
> drives. When I copy stuff and do a mkfs on another partition, mplayer
> sometimes stutters and hangs for ten seconds. No joy. Working with KDE
> sucks, switching dektops sometimes takes ages, and even now I am typing
> faster than kmail can display the characters. That's with am emerge of
> chromium running, with PORTAGE_NICENESS=10 and using ionice -c 3. Load is
> around 8, but sometimes gets even higher. And then, load suddenly drops
> back to lower values, as if somthing was blocking. Some applications
> swapping, maybe.

Very possibly, maybe an idea to check which applications are hogging the 
memory. If it is the swapping of the system, then this will be caused by the 
most memory-hungry processes.

Can you post the result of: "ps axu"?
This will give an indication which processes are running and using a lot of 

> Now I am out of ideas. I really hope someone here has one. I cannot work
> with this system any more when emerges are going on.

Had similar issues with a desktop machine myself, managed to kill some 
"features" that I wasn't using and this solved most of the problems.

> I put my kernel config, make.conf, dmesg and such stuff to
> in case someone wants to have a look at
> it. Any help is GREATLY appreciated.

Lets see where checking for IO-speeds and memory-usage of your apps take us :)


Re: Horrible performance
-- Alex Schuster
Re: Horrible performance
-- Alex Schuster
Hello? Thump-thump?
-- Alex Schuster
Re: Bad desktop performance, I think
-- Alex Schuster
Horrible performance
-- Alex Schuster
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Updated Aug 26, 2010

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