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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 6:40 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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JOKERSWILD wrote:
I don't have a fix but I thought I'd let you know that I have a 3.06 proc. and a gig of rdram and my computer runs slow with Redhat and Mandrake. I also noticed it takes longer to load pages on the internet and I have cable that runs at 1.5mbps.


I never had the chance to respond to you, so here's the deal:

Your PC runs slow not because Linux is slow, but because of the distros you use. Mandrake, SuSE, and Redhat/Fedora try to maximize their user base by compiling at a lower x86 family. Mandrake and SuSE compile their stuff using the i586 microcode, that is, using the Pentium microcode. Now, Fedora tries to get the most by compiling to i386, so it's literally using the i386 microcode but I think that Fedora uses 586 timings (not sure about this).

Anyhow, distros like Slackware, Gentoo, Vidalinux, or even Arch Linux are optimized using GCC arguments like -mcpu=i686-pc-linux-gnu. However, Gentoo (and its clone Vidalinux) are far more aggressive in that the entire system can be compiled from source, and you can tweak your system to use CPU specific timings (mine uses -march=athlon-xp -O2 -pipe) so that you get the most out of system performances.

Mandrake, SuSE, and Fedora won't have these aggressive timings, at least without having to sacrifice backwards compatibility. Slackware, Gentoo, and Arch Linux are hardcore distros in that you really have to be comfortable with Linux to be able to use them.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:14 am 
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Of course, you can just recompile your kernel and important applications (ie., KDE / Gnome) with support for your specific hardware.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:25 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Jipstyle wrote:
Of course, you can just recompile your kernel and important applications (ie., KDE / Gnome) with support for your specific hardware.


Yeah, but that's a boatload of work and a total pain in the pants. Besides, just use a real distro and you don't have to worry about recompiling the entire system from scratch. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:25 am 
Maximum PC Editor
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It looks like I have two options now... Back everything up, do a complete reinstall, and then restore my data. The other option is to just reformat the /home and /tmp partitions.

I'd rather not reformat, and reinstall everything. It's just now working the way I like it to, and I doubt that I'd be able to get everything back up and running in a reasonable period of time. Pre-holiday season here is always really busy. The question is, do you think reformatting /tmp and /home would give me a performance improvement?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:34 am 
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No, I don't. Neither of those directories contain applications ... those are what you need to speed up in order to have a 'snappier' desktop.

There are so many variables at work here that it is hard to tell which one(s) are slowing down your desktop. I would start with some testing, to see if you can localise the cause of the slowdown.

Fisrt .. has your desktop always been sluggish or is this a recent development. If it is recent, consider what changes you made before the slowdown possible culprits. If not, then it has something to do with the installation / configuration of your system.

You mentioned that you suspect that Xinerama might be the problem ... so I suggest you start by disabling it and your secondary monitor to see whether your desktop remains sluggish. If that doesn't work, I would consider recompiling your OS so that it is optimised for your hardware. You should be able to do this with any distro, and you can script it to run over night while you are away from the office.

If nothing else, this will give you a good paragraph (or even a sidebar) in your article: do hardware optimisations make a difference? :D

(I am excited to read your article ... any idea which issue it will be in?)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:47 am 
Maximum PC Editor
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Good questions Jip... The article is scheduled for the January issue right now, but that's subject to change if something hotter comes along.

The desktop UI has always felt subjectively slower than Windows. I'm talking about UI things, like changing tabs in Firefox, redrawing Windows with lots of graphic content (like images in Gimp), and moving windows around the desktop.

I commented out the second and third display in XFree config yesterday, and disabled Xinerama. Still slow. :(

Because it seemed to be UI related, and accessing stuff out of memory rather than the hard disk (like tabs in Firefox), and because the system has lots of free memory, I didn't even consider the filesystem format.

Here's what I've done so far:
Updated to the latest nvidia driver for my videocard (slight improvement)
Updated to the precompiled 2.6.8-i686-smp kernel (slight improvement)
Made sure the drives are running in DMA mode (they were)
Killed all the unnecessary processes (no change)
switched from KDE to Gnome (slight improvement)

The bottom line is that it's liveable. I'd rather it were faster, but I can deal with it as it is now if I have to. I appreciate all you guys helping me with this. I wanted to make sure that the slowness wasn't something I was doing.

///Will


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 10:47 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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WillSmith wrote:
Here's what I've done so far:
Updated to the latest nvidia driver for my videocard (slight improvement)
Updated to the precompiled 2.6.8-i686-smp kernel (slight improvement)
Made sure the drives are running in DMA mode (they were)
Killed all the unnecessary processes (no change)
switched from KDE to Gnome (slight improvement)

The bottom line is that it's liveable. I'd rather it were faster, but I can deal with it as it is now if I have to. I appreciate all you guys helping me with this. I wanted to make sure that the slowness wasn't something I was doing.

///Will


From what you've stated, I would really point it to your filesystem of choice. If you can live with it, then stick with it. But if the impending slowness is getting you, then by all means do start over again.

The above changes are good changes, but it won't do you much justice since your filesystem is nothing but ext2 with journaling (i.e., ext3).


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:39 pm 
Forum's 3dfx Zealot
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Will define slow


you talked about running 3 monitors how are you doing this via 2 video cards. if so while I think it might be a ext3 issue the way you make it sound is awful. Only time on my linux installs are slow than the same machine with xp is when I got a bunch of stuff going like compiling 2 or 3 apps at a time with 15 different chat/IM windows open.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:53 pm 
Maximum PC Editor
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Like I said, doing stuff isn't slow. Ripping music, playing games, and stuff like that works fine and is fast.

The problem is common UI tasks. The perfect example is changing tabs on Firefox. It's instantaneous on the Windows install, but there's a noticeable (a few hundred milliseconds maybe?) lag between when you click the tab and when the new tab is drawn.

Does that help?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 3:02 pm 
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Jada Pinket's husband wrote:
The problem is common UI tasks. The perfect example is changing tabs on Firefox. It's instantaneous on the Windows install, but there's a noticeable (a few hundred milliseconds maybe?) lag between when you click the tab and when the new tab is drawn.


Here is an idea. Burn a current Knoppix ISO and use that to boot up. Once everything gets loaded up (into memory) see what the UI performance is. The result should help narrow down some things, like whether its a video card problem specifically or something with the distro you are using.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:15 pm 
Forum's 3dfx Zealot
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Yeah that helps I knew that you ment the ui but I did not know what exactly was up wit hthe UI.... Now for firefox i dont have that problem in linux unless i going between tabs where one has some flash on it.


But i wonder if there might be some tweaks for your xconfig that might help


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:25 pm 
Maximum PC Editor
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Here's the XF86Config-4 file if you want to take a stab at it... It's very possible that I mucked something up.

Code:
# XF86Config-4 (XFree86 X Window System server configuration file)
#
# This file was generated by dexconf, the Debian X Configuration tool, using
# values from the debconf database.
#
# Edit this file with caution, and see the XF86Config-4 manual page.
# (Type "man XF86Config-4" at the shell prompt.)
#
# This file is automatically updated on xserver-xfree86 package upgrades *only*
# if it has not been modified since the last upgrade of the xserver-xfree86
# package.
#
# If you have edited this file but would like it to be automatically updated
# again, run the following commands as root:
#
#   cp /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 /etc/X11/XF86Config-4.custom
#   md5sum /etc/X11/XF86Config-4 > /var/lib/xfree86/XF86Config-4.md5sum
#   dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86
Section "ServerLayout"
   Identifier     "XFree86 Configured"
   Screen      0  "Screen0" 0 0
   Screen      1  "Screen1" LeftOf "Screen0"
   Screen    2  "Screen2" RightOf "Screen0"
   InputDevice    "Mouse0" "CorePointer"
   InputDevice    "Keyboard0" "CoreKeyboard"
EndSection
Section "ServerFlags"
   Option      "Xinerama" "True"
EndSection
Section "Files"
   # if the local font server has problems, we can fall back on these
   FontPath   "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi:unscaled'
    FontPath    "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"
    FontPath    "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/misc"
    FontPath    "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi:unscaled"
    FontPath    "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi:unscaled"
    FontPath    "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo"
    FontPath    "/usr/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
    FontPath    "/usr/local/share/fonts"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts"
    FontPath    "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/truetype"
    FontPath    "/usr/share/fonts/type1"
    FontPath    "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/100dpi"
    FontPath    "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/75dpi"
    FontPath    "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/misc"
    FontPath    "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Speedo"
    FontPath    "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TrueType"
    FontPath    "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
EndSection
Section "Module"
#   Load   "GLcore"
   Load   "bitmap"
   Load   "dbe"
   Load   "ddc"
#   Load   "dri"
   Load   "extmod"
   Load   "freetype"
   Load   "glx"
   Load   "int10"
   Load   "record"
   Load   "speedo"
   Load   "type1"
   Load   "vbe"
EndSection
Section "InputDevice"
   Identifier   "Keyboard0"
   Driver      "keyboard"
   Option      "CoreKeyboard"
   Option      "XkbRules"   "xfree86"
   Option      "XkbModel"   "pc104"
   Option      "XkbLayout"   "us"
EndSection
Section "InputDevice"
   Identifier   "Mouse0"
   Driver      "mouse"
   Option      "CorePointer"
   Option      "Device"      "/dev/psaux"
   Option      "Protocol"      "ImPS/2"
   Option      "Emulate3Buttons"   "true"
   Option      "ZAxisMapping"      "4 5"
EndSection

Section "InputDevice"
   Identifier   "Generic Mouse"
   Driver      "mouse"
   Option      "SendCoreEvents"   "true"
   Option      "Device"      "/dev/input/mice"
   Option      "Protocol"      "ImPS/2"
   Option      "Emulate3Buttons"   "true"
   Option      "ZAxisMapping"      "4 5"
EndSection
Section "Monitor"
   Identifier       "Monitor2"
   HorizSync    56-81
   VertRefresh    56-85
   Option       "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
   Identifier      "Monitor0"
   HorizSync      30-137
   VertRefresh   48-170
   Option      "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
   Identifier      "Monitor1"
   HorizSync      30-137
   VertRefresh   48-170
   Option      "DPMS"
EndSection

Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Card0"
   Driver      "nvidia"
   VendorName  "nVidia Corporation"
   BoardName   "NV35 [GeForce FX 5900 Ultra]"
   BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
#   Option      "TwinView"
#   Option       "SecondMonitorHorizSync"    "56-81"
#   Option       "SecondMonitorVertRefresh"  "56-85"
#   Option      "MetaModes"   "CRT-0: 1600x1200,DFP-0: 1280x1024"
#   Option      "TwinViewOrientation"  "RightOf"
   Option      "NvAGP" "3"
   Screen       0
EndSection

Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Card2"
   Driver      "nvidia"
   VendorName  "nVidia Corporation"
   BoardName   "NV35 [GeForce FX 5900 Ultra]"
   BusID       "PCI:1:0:0"
#   Option      "TwinView"
#   Option       "SecondMonitorHorizSync"    "56-81"
#   Option       "SecondMonitorVertRefresh"  "56-85"
#   Option      "MetaModes"   "CRT-0: 1600x1200,DFP-0: 1280x1024"
#   Option      "TwinViewOrientation"  "RightOf"
   Option       "NvAGP" "3"
   Option      "SWCursor" "true"
   Option      "HWCursor" "false"
   Screen       1
EndSection

Section "Device"
   Identifier  "Card1"
   Driver      "nvidia"
   VendorName  "nVidia Corporation"
   BoardName   "NV11 [GeForce2 MX/MX 400]"
   BusID       "PCI:2:12:0"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Identifier "Screen0"
   Device     "Card0"
   Monitor    "Monitor0"
   DefaultDepth   24
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     1
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     4
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     8
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     15
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     16
      Modes      "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth      24
      Modes      "1600x1200" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
   EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Identifier "Screen1"
   Device     "Card1"
   Monitor    "Monitor1"
   DefaultDepth   24
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     1
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     4
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     8
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     15
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     16
      Modes      "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth      24
      Modes      "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
   EndSubSection
EndSection

Section "Screen"
   Identifier "Screen2"
   Device     "Card2"
   Monitor    "Monitor2"
   DefaultDepth   24
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     1
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     4
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     8
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     15
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth     16
      Modes      "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
   EndSubSection
   SubSection "Display"
      Depth      24
      Modes      "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600" "640x480"
   EndSubSection
   
EndSection
Section "DRI"
   Mode   0666
EndSection


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:43 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Admited, I'm not Mr. Wizard when it comes to trying to interpret something out of a X config file, however..

...looking through that, the one thought I have is what happens if you run the 5900 as a single head with the 400MX ni there??

I'm would wonder if that dual head setting is causing some headaches here.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:04 pm 
Maximum PC Editor
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I've commented out all of the stuff for the MX card and the second head of the 5900 card, and saw virtually no performance difference.

I guess the next step is to pull the second card and see what happens.

It would be hard to go back to a single or even dual display now though. I think I'd rather stick with the slowdown instead...


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:46 pm 
Forum's 3dfx Zealot
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I know some are saying filesystem.... and to a degree it might be....

Your Xconfig looks fine. refresh rates and settings look fine.

Part of it is the fact that nix was not put around a gui. it not even a vital part of any *nix based os (with a few expections like BeOS) it the oposite of they took a text based os and trying to wrap it around this a virtual emulated tty , or atleast that is what i said about X.


Have your upgrade to KDE 3.3 yet. Lot of people noticed 3.3 to be faster and snapier than 3.2


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:48 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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I'm not sure that's all you have to do.

eh..thinking about this, I'm surprised no one has said, what do you expect by using precompiled binaries with linux :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:08 pm 
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furball146 wrote:
eh..thinking about this, I'm surprised no one has said, what do you expect by using precompiled binaries with linux :)


It has been mentioned, actually. :p

Will, I'm stumped. At least we know that running multiple monitors doesn't adversely affect performance. :D

You could try running a lighter GUI ... something like blackbox or enlightenment. Real geeks have use different window managers for different things. I do development / research / write in Gnome ('cause of all the nifty desklets .... love gDesklets) .. I game with enlightenment 'cause it is lighter than Gnome (and kinda fun ... I also play with media using enlightenment).

You don't have to reboot to dramatically change your environment. ;)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:26 pm 
Maximum PC Editor
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Jawa78 wrote:
Have your upgrade to KDE 3.3 yet. Lot of people noticed 3.3 to be faster and snapier than 3.2


I haven't done that yet. I'll give it a swirl tomorrow. I'm also going to try nVidia's special Dualhead mode. I've also heard Coyle say that X.org is faster. I'll try that when there's an easier upgrade path.

furball146 wrote:
I'm surprised no one has said, what do you expect by using precompiled binaries with linux :)


You gotta walk before you run!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:34 pm 
Maximum PC Editor
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Jipstyle wrote:
Will, I'm stumped. At least we know that running multiple monitors doesn't adversely affect performance. :D

You could try running a lighter GUI ... something like blackbox or enlightenment. Real geeks have use different window managers for different things. I do development / research / write in Gnome ('cause of all the nifty desklets .... love gDesklets) .. I game with enlightenment 'cause it is lighter than Gnome (and kinda fun ... I also play with media using enlightenment).

You don't have to reboot to dramatically change your environment. ;)


I went back and tried the single display again, and pulled the MX card entirely. It's faster without the MX card, but still not quite as fast as Windows. It's a slight, but definite improvement. I'm wondering if there's a problem with the pre-compiled linux driver when there's more than one card installed... I'll try the second head on the 5900 card tomorrow and see how that goes.

I'm not sure whether I'd rather have a fast dual-monitor config, or a slower tri-monitor config. It would be nice to see Gordo again occasionally on the other side of the desk :)

The gDesklets are the reason I switched back from KDE to Gnome. The only thing I really miss is the RSS ticker that ran across the top of all three monitors in a Kicker tray. I can't find an analogous app that does that in Gnome2, but I haven't spent a lot of time looking.

All of you guys, thanks again for all of your help!

///Will


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:05 am 
Forum's 3dfx Zealot
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Will your never used SuperKarmba for KDE....

While I like gdesklets.... I found that super Karmba has alot more toys for it.

Here is a just a quick screenshot i took a while ago before 3.3

ttp://www.slackwaregallery.com/displayi ... os=23#body


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