It's been a while, and I've just completed my yearly system update. This year I decided to upgrade my Dell Precision M6400 (specs: http://gdgt.com/dell/precision/m6400/specs/
I upgraded from 4G to 16G of RAM and replaced my driver-problem-laden bcm4322 wlan with an intel n-6300.
I configured the x64 system with no swap, running KDE.
Should be a pretty sweet system BUT:
I get inexplicable choppiness when, say, watching a youtube video. I plugged in my wacom and was doing some sketching and I began to noticed a lag of several seconds developed between my pen movements in GIMP and what was appearing in the drawing area.
I have my hw monitors in a panel, so I can see that:
- CPU 1 & 2 are not heavily utilized 0-5% - no hidden processes gobbling up time
- ram consumed is 1.5G
- disk activity occasionally spikes, but doesn't seem to align with the slowness
- the wlan activity gets high during video playback, but was low with intermittent traffic when I saw the drawing lag
- all temperature sensors are reporting ~40-45 degress C
My system uses the 512M nvidia Quadro FX 2700M, which requires a custom Nvidia
I tried running top in a terminal, playing the barker video from duckduckgo, and then doing some more drawing. The video played fine until I started drawing in GIMP, then top showed Xorg spiked to CPU% in the mid-90s. The video & audio got choppy.
Last night I noticed bizarre slowdowns and chopiness while watching a youtube video and downloading the android SDK components with their package manager.
Is it possible that some blocking I/O somewhere is bogging the system down? Could Xorg's processing of events be borking my system? Should I be suspicious of the nvidia driver?
I'd like to recompile the kernel, but with no /proc/config.gz it'd be a long, slow trial-and-error process (I just switched away from gentoo WHY DIDN'T I SAVE MY KERNEL CONFIG????) which I want to avoid for now
Looking for suggestions - happy to try any experiments you can conjure up.