X performance woes

Hal Burgiss hal at burgiss.net
Sun Apr 19 16:12:22 UTC 2009

On Sun, Apr 19, 2009 at 10:15 AM, Marius Gedminas <marius at pov.lt> wrote:
> On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 04:34:34PM -0400, Hal Burgiss wrote:
>> After upgrading to 8.10 I am still having awful X performance issues.
> What's your hardware?

1G RAM, Celeron 3Ghz processor, onboard video and ethernet. Pretty basic.

> The most relevant bit would be the video card (lspci -nn |grep VGA).

00:02.0 VGA compatible controller [0300]: Intel Corporation 82946GZ/GL
Integrated Graphics Controller[8086:2972] (rev 02)

This is the same chipset that worked fine with 8.04, 7.10, and 7.04.

> Also relevant could be your /etc/X11/xorg.conf and /var/log/Xorg.0.log.


>> The worst is of course in Firefox, but I have very similar problems if
>> I switch to Opera, so its not just Firefox. And its not just my system
>> since most of this is just since the upgrade. Can anyone explain why
>> simply *typing* in a browser text field can consistently spike the CPU
>> to 100%.
> Because the video driver is buggy and is doing much more work than is
> necessary to draw the text you've just typed.

My thoughts exactly.

> What's your uptime?

Well I just rebooted, but it was probably 3 weeks or so at that point.
I am philosophical opposed to rebooting. It should be outlawed in all
civilized nations.

> Sysprof or oprofile could help pinpoint the cause of the problem, but
> first it might be simpler to see if you're using the right X video
> driver with the right options, and for that we need to see your
> xorg.conf and Xorg.0.log.

Please look. Its a bit of a mystery to me trying to decipher all that.

> Also, do you use desktop effects (that is, Compiz)?


> For me, with intel video on a 965GM, performance was OK in Hardy,
> slightly degraded but acceptable in Intrepid, very bad with the default
> settings in Jaunty.  After I switched to a different acceleration method
> (UXA), as described in Jaunty's release notes, the performance is now
> slightly worse than in Intrepid but still acceptable, at the cost of
> some stability issues (which are smaller than the stability issues I had
> in Intrepid when using multiple screens).
> I understand that the intel video developers are very busy laying the
> groundwork for improved features and performance, and that performance
> may temporarily suffer while they're doing that work.  (For values of
> "temporarily" measured in years.)  Ubuntu X.org maintainers are trying
> very hard to bring those advanced features to the users while at the
> same time choosing the right set of default options to make the
> performance still acceptable.  They need useful feedback from their
> users and testers, so if you could attach your xorg.conf and Xorg.0.log,
> I'm sure they'd be grateful.

Very interesting. I am all for helping any open source cause(s).  I'll
attach to two files, but also the previous xorg.conf since I am now
using a different one.

Thanks for the help and insights! Much appreciated.

> Marius Gedminas

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