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Old 12-07-2004, 11:42 AM   #1
clergykid
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Canada
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 24

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Performance issues


Hi all,

Over the weekend I swapped motherboards, from a BX chipset to a VIA Apollo Pro 133. I did it so I can finally run my P3 733 (5.5x133) at it's rated speed instead of 550 (5.5x100). Unfortunately, this meant that I was left with only 64meg RAM, as this was the only PC133 I had (and hance the only one that was recognized on boot).

Anyways, I thought that 64meg would be OK since I'm using Linux, but apparently not as XFCE ran way slower than before. I noticed that the hard drive was constantly spinning, so it would appear that perhaps it's a lack of memory. It's even spinning like crazy just switching between windows, and sometimes takes like 5 seconds! But when I look around on the web it seems as though XFCE is pretty lightweight already and shouldn't require large amounts of RAM to run smoothly.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Is the degraded performance "normal" because of the reduced RAM, or is it because I swapped mobo's and have to do something else? I already installed the modules for the VIA chipset. Do I need to recompile the kernel as well? Does the size of the kernel really make a huge difference in performance? I likely do have "junk" compiled in the kernel.

Thanks for your help!

My configuration is this btw:

Debian (test) distro
Kernel 2.6.7
PIII 733MHZ
64MB RAM
6.4gig hard drive
Nvidia 64meg video card
 
Old 12-07-2004, 11:57 AM   #2
jeffreybluml
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Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Minnesota
Distribution: Fedora Core 1, Mandrake 10
Posts: 405

Rep: Reputation: 30
It's the RAM. The constant disk spinning is the swap partition being written to and read from repeatedly. In my opinion, your only option is to go get some more memory.

Sorry, wish I had a better solution for you. Well, I guess you could disable X from starting and just use a command line shell until you get some RAM, but no GUI is no fun...

Good luck,
 
Old 12-07-2004, 02:40 PM   #3
clergykid
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Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Canada
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 24

Original Poster
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Thanks jeffreybluml.

I'm guessing more RAM would make the problems go away as well, but I find it odd that 64meg RAM isn't enough to run a work oriented X desktop. I'm not doing 3D or anything like that.

I am still interested in listening to other opinions and suggestions to help optimize my system. One other thing to note is that I just realized that I had compiled the code for my old BX chipset right into the kernel, but I don't know if that matters or not since the VIA modules are installed and working.
 
Old 12-07-2004, 05:14 PM   #4
masand
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Registered: May 2003
Location: INDIA
Distribution: Ubuntu, Solaris,CentOS
Posts: 5,522

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hi there

i think u should for a custom kernel(i,e comple ur kenrel) wiht minimal options this will greatly reduce ur memory requirements and also try using the ICEWM desktop

regadrs
 
Old 12-07-2004, 05:41 PM   #5
visaris
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Registered: Dec 2004
Distribution: gentoo
Posts: 190

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I agree. Try making a slimmer kernel if you don't want to buy more ram. I was able to trim off a good few hundred k when I first started configuring my own kernels. I'll never do it another way again ; ) Although, pc-133 is so cheap now, I think that would be the easy solution.

Last edited by visaris; 12-08-2004 at 12:31 AM.
 
  


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