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Old 11-29-2004, 06:24 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Northern Virginia, USA
Distribution: Slackware 13.37
Posts: 9

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Smile IRQ Balancing DISABLED = performance BOOST!

Success story:

I recently installed FC3 with the cookie cutter 2.6.9 kernel. Having become somewhat skilled at building the 2.6 kernel, I went to task immediately at re-compiling with more optimizations.

One thing I noticed is that I had enabled IRQ Balancing. Please note that I run a Pentium-4 with hyperthreading in a dual-channel mode.

After rebooting to runlevel 3 and installing the nVidia 6629 driver for my GeForce 5900, I then tried running Unreal Tournament 2004 with the UT Patches installed.

What crappy performance!!! :-(

I had all kinds of stuttering video, shaky performance, and in one case I had the game seize up my entire PC!

In a separate incident, I tried burning a music CD using K3b. I had compiled cdrtools, cdrdao, and a bunch of others from source (my preferred method).

I ran out of software buffer while burning the CD no fewer than 6 times. Fortunately, K3b and the cdrecord utility avoided giving me a coaster due to the BURN-proof capabilities of my burner.

I had heard conflicting reports of what IRQ balancing does, but sadly the help text associated with this kernel option is vague.

So, I re-compiled the kernel after unchecking the IRQ balancing option.

Now, my PC runs a lot faster, UT2004 is much more smooth and fluid, and I can burn CD's/DVD's much more reliably.

Just curious, does anyone know of a discussion, thread on, Google page, or whatever that discusses what IRQ balancing REALLY does? What can it do or not do for me? Thanks in advance....
Old 02-06-2005, 05:32 PM   #2
LQ Newbie
Registered: Feb 2005
Posts: 1

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Hi, I was encountering problems with 2.6 kernel on SunFire vx65 (dual xeon 3.06GHz) and Intel SRCZCR zero channel raid card. In 2.4.28 it worked quite well, but in 2.6 performance was really poor (disk performance).
Mainly during simultaneos uperation of mysql a apache machine easilly got load 40 and so. First I though, that its caused by encrypted filesystem or GDTH driver for hw raid card. After some testing it looks like yours problem, that it's caused by IRQ balancing.
I will wait one/two days to see hows servers perfoming under stress, to be sure..


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