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Old 07-17-2008, 09:47 PM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Reno Nevada
Distribution: Slackware, Rocks Cluster, Mandriva
Posts: 27

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CPU idles high

My CPU is idling at about 32 to 33% which makes everything a little slower (movie frame rates is a little jerky and total system response is a little slower than it should be). I notice that X11 is using around 29% cpu time just idling. My computer runs with an ATI Radeon X1950 on the radeonhd driver. I tried using the ATI/Radeon driver and the same cpu idling problem occurred in addition to an annoying virtual terminal bug. Lastly, the fglrx driver completely dies when I want to startx so that option is eliminated. What points me towards the video driver is that when the driver is set to vesa, the cpu idles around 3% which is normal. Does anybody know what is causing this performance problem? Is anybody else having this issue? Is there a fix?
Old 07-18-2008, 04:15 AM   #2
Registered: Jun 2008
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 328

Rep: Reputation: 51
Since I don't have an ATI card at the moment, I can't say, but suggest you hunt around to find some ATI-on-Linux-specific forums or lists and post there: NVidia has such a list, and now that AMD owns ATI they are opening up a lot more there should definitely be such a list for them.

Old 07-18-2008, 10:20 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jan 2005
Location: Reno Nevada
Distribution: Slackware, Rocks Cluster, Mandriva
Posts: 27

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
I've looked around quite a bit. I tried following the howtos that are available to setup these drivers. I also looked at the known bugs but I didn't see anything related to X11 cpu utilization. I think ultimately, the fglrx driver is probably the best one, but I have had such terrible luck with it. I tried following the set up procedures to the letter, but the X11 keeps crashing when I startx. In fact, it crashes so badly that ctrl-alt-backspace or ctrl-alt-del don't work. I need to press the power button to turn of my computer. The open source ati driver has a few bugs but is functional enough for the desktop. But as I was saying in my previous post, X11 uses about 29% of my cpu time when I use this driver as well. My best luck is with the vesa driver or the radeonhd.


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