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Before I begin, here is a little info on my system that may prove useful. I'm using Slackware 9 with Dropline GNOME 2.2.4 and XFree86 4.3 on an 800Mhz AMD Duron with an elderly 16MB nVidia RivaTNT video card.
And now for the dillema...
I recently compiled kernel 2.4.21 on my Slackware 9 installation. I had previously been using the precompiled bare.i kernel from the installation CD, and wanted to start using a kernel optimized for my processor. I followed the steps from the thread at the top of this forum to compile the new kernel, setting the CPU family to "Athlon/Duron/K7" and changing other settings relevant to my hardware.
The kernel installation ran and finished smoothly, and I was able to boot and use Dropline GNOME and all the apps I had previously compiled without problem.
Now here's the quirk: though the kernel is now technically optimized for my hardware, I've actually noticed a drop in performance. This is especially noticeable when X redraws the desktop after closing apps or windows. The performance degredation isn't monumental, not by any means, but it's still dissappointing since I had hoped to gain a little from it.
One thought has crossed my mind. Though everything still runs, the apps are nolonger optimized for my architecture. I read up on the Dropline documentation, which said that all their packages are optimized for i686, which, they say, includes the Athlon/Duron family.
So I'm stumped. If their software is still "theoretically" optimized for my CPU, then why the drop in performance? Am I correct in my assumptions, or is this as simple as an option I forgot to turn on in the kernel's menuconfig?
This is especially noticeable when X redraws the desktop after closing apps or windows. The performance degredation isn't monumental, not by any means, but it's still dissappointing since I had hoped to gain a little from it.
Probably disabled some of the advanced
features required by your graphics card,
like for instance forgot to enable MTRR's? :)
agpgart, DRI, ...
Thanks for the advice, guys. I have since gone back to the kernel's menuconfig and checked for the advanced AGP and DRI options. To my surprise, they were all already selected.
I figured out that the kernel is in fact faster than the bare.i, except when redrawing the desktop. I suppose the next thing I'll try is compiling nVidia's drivers for my card (I'm currently using the generic nv drivers with XFree86.