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#1 2013-01-19 13:46:57

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Hi all,
I have a notebook, whose specifications are below in my sig.
I run the latest KDE, systemd and the machine is up to date. My battery life is still very good and the computer is quiet.
However, I noticed that the load averages are unusually high. If left at idle, with Dropbox, Opera (some tabs open, no Flash, no Video etc...), Skype (no conversation) as the only active programs except KDE and Plasma related ones, the average sits between 20% and 24% (I did some long-duration tests). Pretty high.

If I close Opera, the average goes to between 10 and 25%. This is at idle with me not even touching the computer.

As I see it, the values should be much lower. Even my gf's computer and my mother netbook, both running KDE (albeit older versions), which have much weaker processors, archieve lower load averages at idle.

What could be causing this problem? My system is pretty standard, I have preload and some other tweaks but nothing really major which should increase the load average so much.
Plasma is pretty simple, I donpt have lots of plasmoids, only
yaWP,
Icon-only task manager,
mmmm... nothing else

KWin effects are on, the only "strange" effetc is BeClock.

Any ideas?

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: with xx% I mean 0.xx. Since load averages are NOT normalized to the number of cores (two in this case), when I say 40% if means the CPU was in idle 80% of the time, not 60%.
Also "uptime" says that 4 users are logged in. How is that possible? EDIT: I see, Yakuake tabs.

Last edited by OdinEidolon (2013-01-20 14:25:16)


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#2 2013-01-19 13:50:26

graysky
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From: /run/user/1000
Registered: 2008-12-01
Posts: 8,524
Website

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Probably KDE?  Try a lighter DE like xfce4 and report back.


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#3 2013-01-19 14:33:14

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

graysky wrote:

Probably KDE?  Try a lighter DE like xfce4 and report back.

Logged out and left tty7 on KDM. Logged in on tty2 and this sloved the problem, the load average was 0.00 or 0.01.

So KDE (or X, less likely) is the problem. Stopping the effects has no effect (sorry)...


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#4 2013-01-19 14:35:39

Trilby
Forum Moderator
From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,809
Website

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Check what is using the resources in (h)top when it gets high.

Do you use any custom scripts that run in the background - a poorly written dwm status script, for example, launched from xinitrc can lead to such an issue.  Of course you don't have a status  script for KDE, but is there anything else that runs in a loop in the background?

Last edited by Trilby (2013-01-19 14:36:50)


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#5 2013-01-19 14:40:43

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Trilby wrote:

Check what is using the resources in (h)top when it gets high.

Do you use any custom scripts that run in the background - a poorly written dwm status script, for example, launched from xinitrc can lead to such an issue.  Of course you don't have a status  script for KDE, but is there anything else that runs in a loop in the background?

Nothing shows high in top. Max 3.0% and that is usually Skype, but closing Skype does not solve the issue.
Kwin, Kworker, preload, plasma-desktop and X also sometimes pop up, but it's a matter of a few percent in total. Usually lower, but maximum ~5 percent if I sum them all.

As far as I can tell there is no strange script running in the background that I am aware of.


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#6 2013-01-19 14:56:24

litemotiv
Forum Fellow
Registered: 2008-08-01
Posts: 5,026

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Even with the effects disabled you could still be running KDE in composite / opengl mode, which might be inefficient for your slow GMA4500HD videocard. Have you checked this?


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#7 2013-01-19 15:08:41

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

litemotiv wrote:

Even with the effects disabled you could still be running KDE in composite / opengl mode, which might be inefficient for your slow GMA4500HD videocard. Have you checked this?

Sorry, doesn't I disable compositing if I disable effects in the "Desktop effects" menu? Or using the shortcut (stnadard Alt + Shift + F12)?

By the way my system is perfectly OK with compositing enabled (never had a glitch, very fast), but with it disabled (via shortcut) it becomes unusable, laggy, looks like the screen does not refresh after a click. For example, if I select another browser tab nothing happens. If I press F12 two times (Yakuake comes down and goes up) the I can see the right tab. I have never noticed it before since I always keep effects active.
Edit: Actually seems to do so with Opera only...

Last edited by OdinEidolon (2013-01-19 15:16:12)


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#8 2013-01-20 14:18:03

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Bump sad


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#9 2013-01-20 20:45:41

der_joachim
Member
From: the Netherlands
Registered: 2008-12-17
Posts: 136
Website

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

It could be the nepomuk service trying to index stuff. Try disabling it in the settings center.


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#10 2013-01-20 21:06:48

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

der_joachim wrote:

It could be the nepomuk service trying to index stuff. Try disabling it in the settings center.

Unfortunately Nepomuk and Strigi are already disabled.


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#11 2013-01-24 07:46:02

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Bump.


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#12 2013-01-24 13:32:08

kokoko3k
Member
Registered: 2008-11-14
Posts: 1,482

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Try to see if iotop reports something.
powertop could help to identify the problem too.

--edit
...or kill processes one by one (live kdeinit as the last wink ) to find the culprit...

Last edited by kokoko3k (2013-01-24 13:33:30)

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#13 2013-01-24 17:05:47

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

kokoko3k wrote:

Try to see if iotop reports something.
powertop could help to identify the problem too.

--edit
...or kill processes one by one (live kdeinit as the last wink ) to find the culprit...

Thanks for the suggestions.
Unfortunately iotop does not show anything interesting and powertop only tells me I have a somewhat high number of wakeups, around 200-250/s at idle in KDE.

About 80 from Kwin, 100 from [6] tasklet(softirq) (whatever it is...) and then some here and some there.


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#14 2013-01-30 17:55:29

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Bump sad


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#15 2013-01-30 18:07:05

ploub
Member
Registered: 2007-05-16
Posts: 128

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Try mv-ing your .kde4 folder if you haven't done so already.

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#16 2013-05-04 09:05:30

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

Could it be due to this behaviour?

This below is a screenshot taken in 102 minutes of idle. As you can see every 2 minutes there is a CPU spike (above). Somehow this culd be reflected on a longer period on CPU temps spikes (below). Very weird.

test102min51peaks070705.jpg


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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#17 2013-05-04 11:56:38

stressat
Member
From: Romania
Registered: 2010-10-10
Posts: 69
Website

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

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#18 2013-05-04 13:36:11

OdinEidolon
Member
From: Belluno - Italy
Registered: 2011-01-31
Posts: 350

Re: Surprisingly high load average even at idle; EDIT: it's KDE, but why?

A new user did solve the recurring CPU spike issue, but not the high load average, which was still above 0.10 after 1h of idle.

Now I have TWO mysteries!

EDIT: I just checked with patience and the spikes are caused by plasma-desktop. I don't know why. However, I don't think this has anything to do with the highish load average.

Last edited by OdinEidolon (2013-05-04 14:22:04)


Hardware: 2016 Dell XPS15 - FullHD - i5-6300HQ - 8GB DDR4 - Nvidia GTX960M - Samsung 840EVO 250GB SSD - 56Wh
Software: Plasma 5 - rEFInd - linux-ck - preload - prelink - verynice - psd - bumblebee

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