Slow performance and high CPU usage on Maverick

Bug #617994 reported by Alex Vaystikh on 2010-08-14
This bug affects 21 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
nvidia-graphics-drivers-180 (Ubuntu)
Declined for Maverick by Sebastien Bacher

Bug Description

Binary package hint: xorg

Opening the Gnome Terminal, and scrolling a large file, e.g. 'dmesg | less' and pushing the DOWN key shoots Xorg to almost 100% CPU and becomes very slow.

This wasn't happening with Ubuntu 10.04. Also, it is not related to Compiz it seems, as it happens with compiz turned off.

Let me know how I can help.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.10
Package: xserver-xorg 1:7.5+6ubuntu3
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.35-15.21-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.35-15-generic x86_64
NonfreeKernelModules: nvidia
 NVRM version: NVIDIA UNIX x86_64 Kernel Module 256.44 Thu Jul 29 01:22:44 PDT 2010
 GCC version: gcc version 4.4.5 20100728 (prerelease) (Ubuntu/Linaro 4.4.4-8ubuntu1)
Architecture: amd64
Date: Sun Aug 15 00:06:10 2010
 nvidia-current, 256.44, 2.6.35-15-generic, x86_64: installed
 nvidia-current, 256.44, 2.6.35-020635-generic, x86_64: installed
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 "Lucid Lynx" - Alpha amd64 (20100224.1)
MachineType: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. X58A-UD3R
ProcCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-2.6.35-15-generic root=UUID=c128c44f-664e-4958-9e74-236ebaef056d ro quiet splash
 PATH=(custom, no user)
SourcePackage: xorg 12/28/2009
dmi.bios.vendor: Award Software International, Inc.
dmi.bios.version: F1 X58A-UD3R
dmi.board.vendor: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
dmi.board.version: x.x
dmi.chassis.type: 3
dmi.chassis.vendor: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnAwardSoftwareInternational,Inc.:bvrF1:bd12/28/2009:svnGigabyteTechnologyCo.,Ltd.:pnX58A-UD3R:pvr:rvnGigabyteTechnologyCo.,Ltd.:rnX58A-UD3R:rvrx.x:cvnGigabyteTechnologyCo.,Ltd.:ct3:cvr: X58A-UD3R
dmi.sys.vendor: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
 distro: Ubuntu
 codename: maverick
 architecture: x86_64
 kernel: 2.6.35-15-generic

Alex Vaystikh (bornio) wrote :
Bryce Harrington (bryce) on 2010-08-15
affects: xorg (Ubuntu) → nvidia-graphics-drivers-180 (Ubuntu)
Alex Vaystikh (bornio) wrote :

Why nVidia?
As far as I remember (I'll have to retest) the problem does not go away when I downgraded.

Same here: No compiz, but nvidia. I encountered the problem while scrolling past long logs.

Zakalwe (elethiomel) wrote :

Upgraded to Maverick today. The difference in responsiveness is startling. I'm also using an NVIDIA card and seeing X CPU spiking. I'm running a GeForce GTX 280

Jason J. Herne (hernejj) wrote :

I have this exact problem. The poor responsiveness It is even noticeable when I'm writing/editing/reading code in Gedit or Geany.

I have an NVidia GeForce GTX 260.

Changed in nvidia-graphics-drivers-180 (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Alex davies (alex-davz) wrote :

I'm seeing this, again on nvidia using both open source and restricted driver. I get 100% CPU all the time if doing anything.

This was not a problem until around alpha 3.

Jacob Peddicord (jpeddicord) wrote :

Should this be set to nvidia-graphics-drivers (sans -180)? It seems to be affecting a lot more than those on the 180 drivers from comments 4, 5, and my own GTS 250. There are times when I feel like I'm in a slow SSH session while trying to use gedit.

I can confirm this for GTX 285 + maverick beta + binary nvidia driver.
Even launching htop causes the Xorg cpu-usage to peak to ~30% on an i7-920. I also noticed some much more serious spikes beyond 100%, which render the system almost unusable (mouse lags, audio playback hangs, etc.). These appear to occur more frequently when utilizing the card's 3d rendering capabilities (i.e. playing sauerbraten in my case).

eZFlow (breakdevize) wrote :

Confirmed on a gtx 260. Moving around windows is also jerky and everything feels slow and sluggish making compiz effects look terrible. I think i should have waited with the upgrade :(

eZFlow (breakdevize) wrote :

Oh and just noticed when clicking on Places and hovering with your mouse over them up and down makes Xorg use up to 55% CPU. A serious showstopper bug.

eZFlow (breakdevize) wrote :

btw it happens with the latest 256.53 drivers

I can confirm this one too, but I can't confirm the X server high CPU usage. But, I do experience the way slow scrolling in f.e. a terminal or Gedit or Geany.

Fully updated Maverick, AMD64, even tried the latest nVidia beta driver (260.19.04) for my GT 240 but no luck.

Hmm, I have to correct myself. After some investigation I also experience the high CPU usage of X while scrolling through some stuff. I have opened a 200 line text file in Geany, and when I scroll through it X peaks at 60% CPU usage (Core i5 760).

Jason J. Herne (hernejj) wrote :

I did a bit of digging and found this thread on Nvidia's forums:

One poster In particular ran gtkperf which was showing extremely slow performance in font related tests. The poster later claims that "It appears to be related to anti-aliasing; if I turn off anti-aliasing the performance problem is gone".

I am unable to test this as I am not at my system with the Nvidia card.

Jason J. Herne (hernejj) wrote :

This bug MAY be a duplicate of 629910

This reporter of 629910 states the following:

"Switching font rendering from 'Subpixel Smoothing (LCD)' to any other setting in 'Preferences -> Appearance' makes the problem go away."

Can someone confirm this fix?

Jacob Peddicord (jpeddicord) wrote :

Interestingly enough, it does.

With subpixel smoothing:
GtkEntry - time: 0.06
GtkComboBox - time: 1.28
GtkComboBoxEntry - time: 0.83
GtkSpinButton - time: 0.15
GtkProgressBar - time: 0.29
GtkToggleButton - time: 0.28
GtkCheckButton - time: 0.10
GtkRadioButton - time: 0.23
GtkTextView - Add text - time: 2.52
GtkTextView - Scroll - time: 3.02
GtkDrawingArea - Lines - time: 0.31
GtkDrawingArea - Circles - time: 0.33
GtkDrawingArea - Text - time: 8.24
GtkDrawingArea - Pixbufs - time: 0.39
Total time: 18.03

With Best contrast (or any other setting):

GtkEntry - time: 0.03
GtkComboBox - time: 1.41
GtkComboBoxEntry - time: 0.99
GtkSpinButton - time: 0.14
GtkProgressBar - time: 0.16
GtkToggleButton - time: 0.25
GtkCheckButton - time: 0.08
GtkRadioButton - time: 0.13
GtkTextView - Add text - time: 0.33
GtkTextView - Scroll - time: 0.17
GtkDrawingArea - Lines - time: 0.30
GtkDrawingArea - Circles - time: 0.32
GtkDrawingArea - Text - time: 0.18
GtkDrawingArea - Pixbufs - time: 0.04
Total time: 4.54

Using other these other font-smoothing options also makes gedit and gnome-terminal monumentally faster.

NoahY (noahy) wrote :

Can confirm the turning off subpixel smoothing fix here as well, though the fonts don't look as good :)

Jason J. Herne (hernejj) wrote :

I'm marking this as a duplicate of #629910. We have been able to prove that the fix suggested in the opening of #629910 does indeed fix this problem. I'm choosing to close this bug over #629910 because #629910 seems to get to the point much faster.

subiet (subiet-rastogi) wrote :

This is true in Ubuntu 10.10 and with ATI. Switching to Anything other than SubPixel Rendering fixed the problem

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