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Old 01-24-2013, 12:11 AM   #1
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Registered: Sep 2006
Distribution: Mint64 w/KDE
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Linux Mint Nadia on Dell Precision M6400 - wierd slowness, choppy video

Hello all.

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:

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.

Old 01-24-2013, 10:42 PM   #2
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I found this thread:

Where a guy has exactly the same setup with the same problem as far as the wacom and gimp.

It wasn't resolved, but it sure sounds like the nvidia driver is not playing nicely.

I ordered a 1G ati m7740 card today. I'll report back after it arrives and I install it.
Old 02-05-2013, 11:40 PM   #3
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Problem solved

OK, installed a new ati firepro m7740 graphics card last night and PRESTO all weirdness went away!

Even though I didn't dig into the details of why it was having issues, it looks very much like the non-open source nvidia driver was not behaving nicely with the rest of the system.

on a related note, KDE4 sleep function was getting stuck on wakeup, that also went away when I changed the card.



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