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#1 2008-01-23 19:59:30

msid
Member
Registered: 2006-09-25
Posts: 8

World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Here are the facts...

* fully updated, almost fresh Arch installation
* Xfce4 as Desktop environment, although I tried with Fluxbox too
* linux kernel 2.6.23
* Xorg 1.4.0.90
* nVidia 100.14.19
* Wine 0.9.53
* fresh WoW installation, fully patched
* working on Sony Vaio VGN-FS215S.

Now for the problem. As the title says, every 15 seconds exactly, not one more, not one less, my FPS drops from XX -> 15-25 for about 0.5-1 second, causing a small, temporary freeze on the game flow, terribly, terribly annoying, and then returns back to normal. This happens no matter what I do, no matter where I am. Rather than that, everything works fine, game wise. Now, a small observation. This FPS drop does NOT happen at the login screen. Once you get to the character selection screen, it is noticeable already. What I have tried from my part is to disable all but the default daemons, the ones that are enabled when Arch first boots. I also tried to disable acpi from grub, see if that makes any difference, no luck. My WoW installation is tested without addons or anything else, Cache deleted etc. everything *brand new*. It is worth mentioning as well, that this *lag* exists for WoW only, in other words, it does not affect the system overall. And yes, I observed `top` for any jumping processes and patterns, nothing. Nevertheless, problem persists. Now, if anyone has ANY idea whatsoever that could possibly help, I might as well try it.

For your info, I recently migrated from Gentoo where, using the same Wine version, 0.9.53, same nVidia drivers, 100.14.19,  same linux kernel, 2.6.23, but not the same Xorg, still 1.3.0 at Gentoo, WoW was doing fine. At least this problem didn't exist there. Now, don't take me wrong, I am not trying to say anything like `gentoo is better than arch` or whatever. I just want to solve this problem. So, if anyone can help, I would really appreciate it.

Last edited by msid (2008-01-23 20:17:17)

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#2 2008-01-23 22:29:54

nico1818
Member
Registered: 2007-06-25
Posts: 7

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Hi msid,

Apparently this is due to the CFS patch to the Archlinux kernel since 2.6.23.9.

On this thread, one fix is to revert to an old kernel or recompile without the patch:

http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=40776

I haven't been able to do it but since my tries, my motherboard died and I upgraded my system to an Athlon X2 system and it's much better!

As a side note, if you have 2 cores, you can try to set the CPU affinity to all process but WoW to the 1st CPU (I haven't tried):

http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=41321


Good luck!
Nico

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#3 2008-01-24 01:36:16

msid
Member
Registered: 2006-09-25
Posts: 8

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

I continue my topic here http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=40776 since problem seems to persist even after recompiling the kernel. Hopefully topic won't get lost or ignored.

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#4 2008-01-24 07:01:38

jacko
Member
Registered: 2007-11-23
Posts: 840

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

msid wrote:

I continue my topic here http://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=40776 since problem seems to persist even after recompiling the kernel. Hopefully topic won't get lost or ignored.

compile using a different scheduler or you could try the zen kernel package in AUR. that uses the most recent RC candidate.

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#5 2008-01-24 07:27:41

msid
Member
Registered: 2006-09-25
Posts: 8

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

How can I define in the package build to use a difference scheduler than CFS? I can try that if you tell me how to do it. Regarding the zen package in AUR, I doubt I want/should get that far to solve my problem.

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#6 2008-01-25 10:46:48

audaly
Member
From: France
Registered: 2004-12-13
Posts: 60

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Same problem...

Recompiling the kernel is the only fix?

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#7 2008-01-28 09:07:38

mif86
Member
Registered: 2008-01-27
Posts: 16

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

I'm having the exact same problem, same software as you except I've also tried Nvidia 169.09.
I've been poking around a little and I've figured out that it seems to have something to do with the networking. As yuo say it does not happen at login screen, because then you're not connected. It happens as long as you're connected, also in the character selection screen.
I've tried using tcpdump and watching the output while watching WoW, and it seems that every 15. seconds WoW recieves a packet from the server, sends one back, and then freezes until it gets another packet back.
I've tried using iptables to drop all packets from WoW after connecting and the periodic freezing stops. I've also tried blocking packets that matches the one WoW first recieves, and it stops. But obviously it gets you disconnected after a little, cus it's probably some keep-alive thing.
It seems WoW calls some function that is blocking, the CPU usage of WoW.exe drops from 100% (normal play) to 0% during the freezes, according to "top".
I've also tried replacing winsock dlls with ones from microsoft, doesn't help.

This stutter started after WoW 2.3.3 patch was released, so I suspect it has something to do with the new networking code they supposedly introduced in that patch.

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#8 2008-01-29 17:10:33

Joeman1
Member
Registered: 2006-07-03
Posts: 49

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

mif86 wrote:

I'm having the exact same problem, same software as you except I've also tried Nvidia 169.09.
I've been poking around a little and I've figured out that it seems to have something to do with the networking. As yuo say it does not happen at login screen, because then you're not connected. It happens as long as you're connected, also in the character selection screen.
I've tried using tcpdump and watching the output while watching WoW, and it seems that every 15. seconds WoW recieves a packet from the server, sends one back, and then freezes until it gets another packet back.
I've tried using iptables to drop all packets from WoW after connecting and the periodic freezing stops. I've also tried blocking packets that matches the one WoW first recieves, and it stops. But obviously it gets you disconnected after a little, cus it's probably some keep-alive thing.
It seems WoW calls some function that is blocking, the CPU usage of WoW.exe drops from 100% (normal play) to 0% during the freezes, according to "top".
I've also tried replacing winsock dlls with ones from microsoft, doesn't help.

This stutter started after WoW 2.3.3 patch was released, so I suspect it has something to do with the new networking code they supposedly introduced in that patch.

Problem with this is, when I play WoW on my Kubuntu 7.10 machine with Wine (Current version) I don't have this problem at all. Only happened a while back with Arch when the kernel was upgraded.

Just thought I would mention that it is NOT WoW patch related as it works fine on other distros.

Thanks!!

Last edited by Joeman1 (2008-01-29 17:11:22)

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#9 2008-01-29 17:18:21

pommes_
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2007-12-30
Posts: 30

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

I had the same problem, but I fixed it with the Kernel from the Testing Repos, the newest nvidia Drivers (169.09 + lib32-nvidiautils ver 169.09) and last but not least I switched to win98 at the winecfg.

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#10 2008-01-29 17:23:27

Joeman1
Member
Registered: 2006-07-03
Posts: 49

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

So if you use Testing, you dont have this issue? Cool, I might try it. I love Arch Linux; although, Kubuntu has been nice to use also smile

Thanks for the update!!!

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#11 2008-01-30 18:34:38

Noneus
Member
From: Munich
Registered: 2006-09-26
Posts: 118
Website

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

I have everything pommes describes. I still have it.

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#12 2008-02-01 00:07:12

mif86
Member
Registered: 2008-01-27
Posts: 16

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Yeah, me too. The problem still persists.

Just thought I would mention that it is NOT WoW patch related as it works fine on other distros.

Well it could still be that something in that patch exposed a bug in Arch's kernel or wine build. And for me this did start after i patched WoW to 2.3.3.

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#13 2008-02-01 12:59:13

shazeal
Member
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2007-06-05
Posts: 341

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Ive been running WoW flawlessly since I removed the CFS "update" from the standard Arch kernel. The 2.6.24 kernel should fix this issue since that kernel is actually meant to use the CFS version that was backported for 2.6.23. Anyway, I know this is basic but did you guys add the standard registry hacks for WoW?

REGEDIT4

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\OpenGL]
"DisabledExtensions"="GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object"

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\Direct3D]
"UseGLSL"="enabled"
"OffscreenRenderingMode"="fbo"
"VideoMemorySize"="256"

For reference Im using...
Arch Standard kernel patched to 2.6.23.14, CFS "update" removed.
Nvidia 169.09 drivers
Athlon X2 3800+
Geforce 7600GT
Gnome
Xorg 1.4.90-5
Custom GIT Wine build with custom patch for background sessions.

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#14 2008-02-01 20:16:42

mif86
Member
Registered: 2008-01-27
Posts: 16

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Yeah, using 2.6.24-2 and using the registry hack.

Custom GIT Wine build with custom patch for background sessions.

What do you mean by that?
I've tried both the arch wine and I've tried building newest wine from source manually, didn't fix it.

I've also tried getting my internet connection from my other network interface (eth0, ethernet. I usually use wlan0), in case there was something wrong with the hardware driver. No change.

Guess I should try to download the latest kernel sources and compile the kernel from source, incase there's something wrong with the Arch kernel build.

Edit:
Ok, I found out something really weird!
While I am compiling the kernel I log into WoW to fix something. And then I realize the periodic freezing stops!
I paused the kernel compilation uzing Ctrl-Z and went back into WoW and it came back. Freezes every 15 sec.
I resumed compilation, and it's gone.
I try cat /dev/zero to bring the CPU usage to 100% without any disk I/O, and it also removes the stutter.

Guess I'll have to play WoW with a cat /dev/zero in the background until it's fixed then, it seems to be a temporary fix!

Edit2:
Tried to kernel from kernel.org build from source, didn't fix.

Edit3:
"nice -n 19 cat /dev/zero > /dev/null" in the background fixes the stutter for me, and no performance lost in WoW either.

Last edited by mif86 (2008-02-02 00:38:23)

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#15 2008-02-02 03:20:48

shazeal
Member
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2007-06-05
Posts: 341

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Have you tried a 2.3.23 vanilla kernel from kernel.org? It may well be that something in the tunables for CFS in the newer 2.6.24 kernels is causing this, as it is the same version that was being patched into the Arch kernel. Im not sure where to find out what has actually been changed between CFS versions as far as tunables go.

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#16 2008-02-02 19:53:59

Bestiapeluda
Member
From: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Registered: 2007-10-16
Posts: 180

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

well i had the same problem as you guys, but it all went away when i upgraded my nvidia drivers to 169.07

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#17 2008-02-02 20:31:42

mif86
Member
Registered: 2008-01-27
Posts: 16

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

I might try that shazeal, but it's really playable as it is now.
My biggest problem is the fact that a random key often locks up in any Wine application, and I have to restart X to fix it. And in WoW this happens very often, and it's so frekkin annoying.

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#18 2008-02-02 20:36:16

Dheart
Member
From: Sofia, Bulgaria
Registered: 2006-10-26
Posts: 943

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

mif86 wrote:

I might try that shazeal, but it's really playable as it is now.
My biggest problem is the fact that a random key often locks up in any Wine application, and I have to restart X to fix it. And in WoW this happens very often, and it's so frekkin annoying.

That's xorg-server problem since some versions...


My victim you are meant to be
No, you cannot hide nor flee
You know what I'm looking for
Pleasure your torture, I will endure...

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#19 2008-02-02 21:18:35

mif86
Member
Registered: 2008-01-27
Posts: 16

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Yeah. But it's strange that I can only make it happen with Wine...

Does anyone know any not up-to-date Arch repositories where I can find an older version of xorg-server?

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#20 2008-02-05 08:58:00

audaly
Member
From: France
Registered: 2004-12-13
Posts: 60

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

I tried with wine 0.9.54: same problem.


"nice -n 19 cat /dev/zero > /dev/null" in the background fixes the stutter for me, and no performance lost in WoW either.

It works for me too!

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#21 2008-02-10 10:28:13

shazeal
Member
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2007-06-05
Posts: 341

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

I did some playing around and enabled SCHED_DEBUG in both 2.6.23 and 2.6.24 the problem is with the tunables in 2.6.24.

2.6.23 Tunables

kernel.sched_features=21
kernel.sched_batch_wakeup_granularity_ns=25000000
kernel.sched_min_granularity_ns=4000000

2.6.24 Tunables

kernel.sched_features=7
kernel.sched_batch_wakeup_granularity_ns=20000000
kernel.sched_min_granularity_ns=8000000

Setting the 2.6.24 tunables using sysctl to match the 2.6.23 ones solves the issue.

Last edited by shazeal (2008-02-10 10:32:43)

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#22 2008-02-13 18:05:48

Gon
Member
Registered: 2007-12-25
Posts: 5

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Had the same issue; exactly after exactly 15sec a small freeze, so I think it's a similar bug.

Do you guys use schedtool to avoid this bug?

I added to my WoW starter:

schedtool -a 0x2 -e

and the 15sec freezes began. After I removed the line, everything works fine again. I don't know, if it's connected to your problem.

I might try that shazeal, but it's really playable as it is now.
My biggest problem is the fact that a random key often locks up in any Wine application, and I have to restart X to fix it. And in WoW this happens very often, and it's so frekkin annoying.

Did you disable compiz? It didn't help earlier when I started the "Key hangs ..." thread.
However it completely solved my problem now with keys locking up. (I still don't know, if it was a driver, xorg, wine or compiz error)

The WoW problems really confuse me atm; the solutions aren't logical imo. sad

Last edited by Gon (2008-02-13 18:07:51)

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#23 2008-02-14 19:23:44

mif86
Member
Registered: 2008-01-27
Posts: 16

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Haven't experienced the bug you linked to, and I dunno really what schedtool is, but it seems that command has something to do with multicore processors, and I have a single core.

And about compiz, I don't use it, but I'm still having the problem with key lockups. Sometimes it happens very often (like I have to restart X once every 5 minutes), and sometimes I can play for some hours without any key locking up. neutral

Perhaps it has something to do with the window manager then, and its key handling? I'm using Fluxbox btw. I'll try playing WoW without any window manager and report back.
What is your window manager when you don't use Compiz Gon?
Edit:
Doesn't seem to happen when running without a window manager. So I guess I'll be playing WoW without a window manager then tongue

Last edited by mif86 (2008-02-14 21:50:05)

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#24 2008-02-14 21:42:31

Gon
Member
Registered: 2007-12-25
Posts: 5

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

mif86 wrote:

What is your window manager when you don't use Compiz Gon?

Metacity

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#25 2008-02-15 07:17:53

z0phi3l
Member
From: Waterbury CT
Registered: 2007-11-26
Posts: 278

Re: World of Warcraft FPS drop every 15 seconds.

Using KDE as my WM, basic Wine install, WoW fully patched up, no lockups at all

Followed the wowwiki article on setting up WoW in Linux


Everything up to date as far as Arch is concerned including the kernel

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