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johngreenwood 02-28-2007 02:06 AM

X server 100% cpu usage on AMD Athlon 1.1GHz
 
I am having a strange problem with a friends computer, I installed Slackware 11 for him and after a while it just freezes. After freezing I can ssh to it and run top, top shows that X is using 100% of the cpu.

System specs
AMD Athlon 1.1GHz
256MB DDR RAM
nVidia GeForce4 MX 440 AGP

I can't think of anything else which may be useful.

This is becoming very annoying for both him and me.

Anyone have any ideas?

MS3FGX 02-28-2007 02:48 AM

That is definitely a strange one.

I assume he isn't running anything that would cause an increase in X CPU usage? Like Composite, or drop shadows?

It could be that an application is actually running X's CPU usage up, by doing something it isn't supposed to be. Do you have the same problem if the machine just sits idle running the WM for awhile? Speaking of that, what WM/DE is it running in the first place?

johngreenwood 02-28-2007 03:12 AM

He is using KDE, the setup is very basic. He is 56 years old and has never used a computer before. So he isn't very interested in composite and drop shadows. All he has running is whatever you get with a default Slackware install. The only thing he really uses it for is looking at the news, but hates it when I change anything because he is getting used to it as it is. I first thought it may be some kind of compatibility issue with Slackware and AMD, but haven't been able to find anything on google to support this.

syg00 02-28-2007 03:33 AM

A default Slack install now includes KDE ???.
Things have changed since I last tried it. Eye candy will be a problem with that amount of RAM - KDE will not help. Perhaps try XFCE.
What does memory/swap look like when you SSH in ???.

MS3FGX 02-28-2007 03:44 AM

Hm, KDE is probably not the best thing to be running with only 256 MB of RAM, but it wouldn't be jacking up to 100% CPU usage either.

What drivers are you using for the card? The open source "nv" driver that comes with Slackware, or the binary driver from Nvidia? If you aren't using Nvidia's driver, I would suggest giving that a shot, it is very good, all software politics aside.

johngreenwood 02-28-2007 04:11 AM

I have the same amount of RAM, but I am using the slower SDRAM and I do not have any problem, and I have all kinds crap on mine. I think I will install the nVidia driver as I was thinking about that yesterday. For the memory/swap numbers I will have to wait until it freezes again.

Thank you.

H_TeXMeX_H 02-28-2007 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MS3FGX
If you aren't using Nvidia's driver, I would suggest giving that a shot, it is very good, all software politics aside.

I disagree ... I would use nv (provides 2D acceleration), unless you need 3D acceleration for some reason.

Basslord1124 02-28-2007 02:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by syg00
A default Slack install now includes KDE ???.
Things have changed since I last tried it. Eye candy will be a problem with that amount of RAM - KDE will not help. Perhaps try XFCE.
What does memory/swap look like when you SSH in ???.

Yup...I was a little surprised too to see KDE as the default GUI in Slack. They dropped GNOME altogether but I heard they may be trying something in later versions of the distro. I'm not complaining though, KDE is fine.

The issue itself is strange, but I had some strange high CPU usages with Slack 11 too. Turns out I think those were caused by not exiting apps gracefully. There are no other hardware issues is there? Memory testing out ok? Enough swap space allocated? One thing I'd suggest is sorting the processes in top (preferably by CPU usage) to see if anything may be causing it.

studioj 03-15-2007 02:28 PM

sometimes in KDE you have to start with the setting OFF
that automatically saves session.
because if you have a process go zombie on you it can get automatically permanently zombied out
on you everytime you start KDE.

masonm 03-15-2007 03:16 PM

How often does this happen? Is it every time he uses the machine?

I doubt that the amount of RAM has anything to do with it at all. I've easily run KDE on 256MB of RAM with no problems at all except for some slow response times.

Do the xorg log files not show any problems?

One thing you could try to determine if it's related to the video driver would be to change it vesa in the xorg.conf file and see if the problem goes away.


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