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First off, the relevant specs: Slackware 10.1, custom 2.4.29 kernel with lowlatency scheduling P3 450 Mhz, 384 Mb memory Nvidia Geforce2 MX video card I've noticed that starting from recent ...
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  1. #1
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    Question overall X11 performance?


    First off, the relevant specs:

    Slackware 10.1, custom 2.4.29 kernel with lowlatency scheduling
    P3 450 Mhz, 384 Mb memory
    Nvidia Geforce2 MX video card

    I've noticed that starting from recent distros (from 2002 and later), the performance of X11 and graphical apps have steadily gone down, to the point where it can be downright sluggish; i.e., window updates and redraws are not snappy and instant. Raising and lowering windows and switching virtual desktops is even worse.

    Now, i don't really think my box is too underpowered to perform graphical functions smoothly. Sorry for the comparison, but m$ windows on the same box is so snappy graphically, even with many applications visible at once. The low-latency kernel helps very minimally. I'm even using XFCE, which is supposed to be a lightweight desktop environment.

    I'm just trying to figure out what could be the possible culprit. I'm guessing it could be one or more of the following: Gnome2 and co., kernel 2.4.x, XFree 4.x, etc., etc.

    Have you guys ever had to deal with this?

  2. #2
    Linux Engineer spencerf's Avatar
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    It's definetly the wm and your specs. Try running a very minimalist wm like fluxbox or blackbox. Xfce is basically just a little less system intensive then gnome or kde.

    I personally can't comment on your exact specs. But i had an old ibm thinpad i series with a 500 mhz. and 128 mb. of ram. I ran gentoo with fluxbox and it was pretty responsive considering the hardware. But I could surf the web and word process with no problem. Of course the compile times were horendous. But going with a source distro will make your system faster in the end.
    All right, brain. You don't like me and I don't like you, but let's just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer. All New Users Read This!!! If you have a grub problem please look at GRUB MANUAL

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    Quote Originally Posted by spencerf
    It's definetly the wm and your specs. Try running a very minimalist wm like fluxbox or blackbox. Xfce is basically just a little less system intensive then gnome or kde.

    I personally can't comment on your exact specs. But i had an old ibm thinpad i series with a 500 mhz. and 128 mb. of ram. I ran gentoo with fluxbox and it was pretty responsive considering the hardware. But I could surf the web and word process with no problem. Of course the compile times were horendous. But going with a source distro will make your system faster in the end.
    I don't know man; you make it sound like a 500 mhz machine is weak. I think that's still one powerful box. I don't have a problem having many apps running at once, but if i have a terminal with a compile going on, things are going to get a bit less responsive. At any rate, i still find window drawing and updating a bit too sluggish.

    It just occurred to me now that it might be a buffering thing within X or the WM or something; i don't know.

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    Linux Engineer spencerf's Avatar
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    window drawing might be due to the graphic driver you are using in X? Just a possibility.

    Do you have direct rendering enabled?
    All right, brain. You don't like me and I don't like you, but let's just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer. All New Users Read This!!! If you have a grub problem please look at GRUB MANUAL

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    I'm using the official Nvidia drivers. As for direct rendering, yes i do have that enabled, but i don't think that matters for 2D drawing.

    Per your suggestion, i tried fluxbox. It didn't seem any faster than xfce when redrawing/refreshing windows, and i got huge fonts (probably because it doesn't use GTK+/GDK settings?).

  7. #6
    Linux Engineer spencerf's Avatar
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    maybe your right then the new xorg 6.7-7.0 might be more system intensive then old version and Xfree86. I don't know though, but this seems a definite possibility with linux becoming a little more mainstreem and the use of more and more opengl applications and distro's like suse et all,. that have become more user friendly.
    All right, brain. You don't like me and I don't like you, but let's just do this and I can get back to killing you with beer. All New Users Read This!!! If you have a grub problem please look at GRUB MANUAL

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