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Old 03-02-2005, 05:05 AM   #1
DonSam
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Registered: Sep 2003
Location: Germany / Stuttgart
Distribution: Debian
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Harddisk Performance Problem - DMA enabled ;-)


Hi everyone!

I experience strange Problems with the performance of my harddisks:

Although I have enabled UDMA mode for every harddrive, the CPU usage goes up to 100% when I copy or move files.

It makes no difference wether I copy data from one disk to an arbitrary other or to itself. Performance is always bad ~3-7MB/s and CPU usage is at 100%

Configuration:
Hardware:
- ASUS A7V333 Mainboard (VIA KT333 Chipset)
- Promise Ultra133TX2 Controller
- 2x Western Digital WD1200JB (120GB IDE)->(Mainboard: Primary Master/Primary Slave)
- 2x Western Digital WD1600JB (160GB IDE)->(Promise: Primary Master/Primary Slave)

Linux:
- Debian Sid
- Kernal 2.6.9 (self compiled)
- Support for PromiseController & VIA Chipset are compiled in the Kernel

What i've done this far:
- Read lots of threads, but found no solution ;-)

- Benchmarks with hdparm -tT (-->always good results !):

Timing cached reads: 732 MB in 2.00 seconds = 365.69 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 128 MB in 3.07 seconds = 41.70 MB/sec

It makes no difference which harddisk i test. Reults are always around the one above.

- Try to understand what consumes CPU-Power with "top"
Here I got some strange results:
There is a CPU-Value called "wa" (but i don't know what it measures). When i transfer files this value goes up to 60-70%. I have no clue what it means, maybe someone can help me here?!?

So far so good. Can someone help me, please?

Sam
 
Old 03-03-2005, 12:32 PM   #2
PMorph
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Hi,

Would you please list all the kernel modules you included from "Device Drivers" => "ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL" (and whether you have them in the kernel or as modules).

Cheers!
 
Old 03-03-2005, 12:58 PM   #3
DonSam
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Distribution: Debian
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Thanks for your reply, PMorph!

Here is my Config:

in "make menuconfig"-style:
<*> or[*] = compiled into kernel
<M> = compiled as module

----begin----
<*> ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support
<*> Enhanced IDE/MFM/RLL disk/cdrom/tape/floppy support
<*> Include IDE/ATA-2 DISK support
<*> Include IDE/ATAPI CDROM support
<M> SCSI emulation support
<*> generic/default IDE chipset support[*] PCI IDE chipset support[*] Sharing PCI IDE interrupts support
<*> Generic PCI IDE Chipset Support[*] Generic PCI bus-master DMA support[*] Use PCI DMA by default when available
<*> PROMISE PDC202{68|69|70|71|75|76|77} support
<*> VIA82CXXX chipset support[*] IGNORE word93 Validation BITS
----end----

in plain .config-Style:
----begin----
#
# ATA/ATAPI/MFM/RLL support
#
CONFIG_IDE=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDE=y

#
# Please see Documentation/ide.txt for help/info on IDE drives
#
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDEDISK=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDECD=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDESCSI=m

#
# IDE chipset support/bugfixes
#
CONFIG_IDE_GENERIC=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDEPCI=y
CONFIG_IDEPCI_SHARE_IRQ=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_GENERIC=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDEDMA_PCI=y
CONFIG_IDEDMA_PCI_AUTO=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_PDC202XX_NEW=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_VIA82CXXX=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_IDEDMA=y
CONFIG_IDEDMA_IVB=y
CONFIG_IDEDMA_AUTO=y
----end----


Any ideas?
Sam
 
Old 03-03-2005, 01:35 PM   #4
PMorph
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Hmm.. not sure, but I would at least try leaving these out:

<*> generic/default IDE chipset support
<*> Generic PCI IDE Chipset Support

Cheers!
 
Old 03-03-2005, 02:36 PM   #5
DonSam
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Quote:
Originally posted by PMorph
Hmm.. not sure, but I would at least try leaving these out:

<*> generic/default IDE chipset support
<*> Generic PCI IDE Chipset Support

Cheers!
Ok, i'll try that. just fired up make-kpkg


By the way: what is considered as "normal" CPU-Usage when doing harddisk intensive stuff?


Will post results later!


Sam
 
Old 03-03-2005, 03:21 PM   #6
DonSam
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Ok, I tried your suggestion, but it didn't get any better.

I found an interesting Thread in Linux Kernel-Archive:

http://www.ussg.iu.edu/hypermail/lin...04.0/0605.html

In short: another user experiences the same Problem : 100% CPU load when copying files, etc. Also with a VIA chipset (KT133). Unfortunately no solution was found...

I also read there, that the wa-Value in "top" means "wait for I/O" - so in my case 60-70 (sometimes even more) percent of the CPU power are wasted when transfering Files. "wa" isn't "idle" it really slows down the System.


Sam
 
Old 03-04-2005, 11:53 AM   #7
PMorph
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Ouch! that doesn't look too promising

Though, I think it's quite normal for these IDE drives to hit CPU hard when working. Still, constant 100% is too much
Just as an experiment I copied my kernel tree over to another directory. That produced a CPU load varying from about 80% up to 92% (I'm using JFS as filesystem, reiserfs etc. are even heavier).

But for me it's really the transfer speeds that suggest there's something odd going on with your comp. With that HW I think you should get about twice the speed for cached reads test, and maybe 50% more for buffered reads.

I hope you'll find a solution eventually.. Good luck!
 
Old 03-04-2005, 12:05 PM   #8
exvor
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Hmmm strange.


I have had similar issues with 100% cpu usage with linux tho but that turned out to be a bad kde installation.



if you run top when this is occuring what app is using all the resources.


Also does it only do this in xwindows or also when in the consol ?
 
Old 03-04-2005, 12:33 PM   #9
DonSam
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Here are the CPU usage results:

copying in KDE (transfer-speed ~7-10MB/s):
~ 5% kio_file
~ 5% XFree86
wa: ~70%

copying in Fluxbox (transfer-speed ~8-11MB/s):
~7% mc
wa: ~80%


copying in console (transfer-speed ~12-13MB/s):
~ 5% mc
wa: ~90%

(mc is midnight commander)


So i don't think it is a KDE related problem. The CPU-Power isn't used by any application. It's just wasted 'I/O waiting' time.


Thanks to all for your interest!

Sam
 
Old 03-04-2005, 05:14 PM   #10
exvor
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Whats wa ?? is that idle


or iowait?
 
Old 03-05-2005, 03:08 AM   #11
DonSam
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I found this information considering wa

Quote:
Yes "wa" is not intuitive, some other operating systems use "wio" for "wait i/o" time.
So it's time the CPU wastes waiting for I/O (whatever that _exactly_ means). You cant compare it to idle - it is really heavy load, the system is awfully slow when wa is high.


Sam
 
Old 03-09-2005, 07:06 AM   #12
DonSam
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No further ideas??


Come on, this problem is a real pain in the youknowwhere.

Well, last thing i did was trying a "original" Debian Kernel: 2.6.10-1-K7. The behaviour is still the same - *sigh*

On the other hand: at least my kernel config seems to be all right.


Please post more suggestions, i really don't know what else i can do.


Sam
 
Old 03-12-2005, 10:20 AM   #13
exvor
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I repeat my question where are you seeing wa is that in the process list or somewhere else.


1. are you using top in the console or some other kde app <-- sounds like a kde app to me


2. if it is in top then i don't have any process called that nor any field in the program that displays wa anywhere.



3. Are you using serial ata / scsi / ide hard drives and if so what is your io controller intel / amd / other


4. try recompiling the kernel with your exact hardware controller for the hard drive. DON'T GUESS LOOK ON THE MOTHERBOARD. If you don't know where to look or you have never changed hardware on the computer then i would recommend having somone who has preform this for you.


ps. Don't trust windows hardware description for this kind of stuff its almost always incorrect or not accurate. Windows uses alot of sound alike hardware descriptors.

Last edited by exvor; 03-12-2005 at 10:22 AM.
 
Old 03-12-2005, 11:07 AM   #14
DonSam
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Hi exvor!
Quote:
1. are you using top in the console or some other kde app <-- sounds like a kde app to me
I'm using top. No KDE stuff or something else. "wa" is not a process. You can find that value in the third line of the top output: example:

Code:
top - 17:47:15 up 1 day, 20:52,  4 users,  load average: 0.32, 0.21, 0.54
Tasks: 114 total,   1 running, 113 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
Cpu(s): 22.6% us,  6.0% sy,  0.0% ni, 69.8% id,  1.0% wa,  0.0% hi,  0.7% si
Mem:   1034916k total,  1023384k used,    11532k free,    33624k buffers
Swap:   498004k total,     4928k used,   493076k free,   576124k cached

  PID USER      PR  NI  VIRT  RES  SHR S %CPU %MEM    TIME+  COMMAND
...
Here in my example wa is at 1.0%. If I start copying files, this value goes up to 70-90%.

Quote:
3. Are you using serial ata / scsi / ide hard drives and if so what is your io controller intel / amd / other
My exact config is al follows:
Motherboard: ASUS A7V333 - VIA KT333 Chipset. (AMD CPU)
Pri Master HDD
Pri Slave HDD
Sec Master DVD-ROM
Sec Slave DVD-ROM

Promise Controller (TX2-133)
Pri Master HDD
Pri Slave HDD
Sec Master HDD
Sec Slave -

Quote:
4. try recompiling the kernel with your exact hardware controller for the hard drive. DON'T GUESS LOOK ON THE MOTHERBOARD. If you don't know where to look or you have never changed hardware on the computer then i would recommend having somone who has preform this for you.
That's what I've done: look at my .config:

Code:
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_PDC202XX_NEW=y
CONFIG_BLK_DEV_VIA82CXXX=y
Quote:
ps. Don't trust windows hardware description for this kind of stuff its almost always incorrect or not accurate. Windows uses alot of sound alike hardware descriptors.
trust windows - that's a good one.

Don't get me wrong: I'm defenitely not a noob! Athough one might expect my stupid question. But this really IS a stupid bug ;-)

If you speak german (or can read ;-) there's also a thread on www.linuxforen.de

Other users experience the same problem. Someone proposed to test another filesystem. At the moment I use ext3, but I'm going to test reiserfs4 from mm Kernel series soon.

Sam
 
Old 03-12-2005, 12:14 PM   #15
exvor
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K sorry to imply your a noob we get alot of noob in the general


Strange my top does not include that for the Cpu maybe its a setting or something.

But anyway its strange you would have so much cpu activity when transfering files.


i will try this at home and see if i have the same issue.

i dont speek germen

also you might have posted it before but what kernel version are you working under ?

Last edited by exvor; 03-12-2005 at 12:15 PM.
 
  


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