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hrafninn
August 23rd, 2009, 04:07 PM
I just installed Ubuntu 9.04 (dual boot with Windows XP) on a Dell Latitude D600.

I notice that Firefox is very slow and that Xorg is very CPU intensive. Running top, I get something like:

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
2591 root 20 0 167m 63m 8128 R 65.8 4.2 0:43.92 Xorg
3504 hrafn 20 0 183m 75m 22m R 32.6 5.0 0:26.61 firefox
3466 hrafn 20 0 32972 14m 9524 R 0.3 0.9 0:00.60 gnome-terminal
3581 hrafn 20 0 2448 1180 916 R 0.3 0.1 0:00.01 top
1 root 20 0 3084 1888 564 S 0.0 0.1 0:01.44 init

Judging by the Ubuntu forum, this is a known problem and presumably has to do with my ATI card.

lspci | grep VGA
gives
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc Radeon RV250 [Mobility FireGL 9000] (rev 01)

I actually followed the procedure described in http://audibadboy.blogspot.com/2009/05/ubuntu-904-jaunty-and-high-cpu-on-xorg.html, but unfortunately without any luck.

My xorg.conf looks like this:

Section "Device"
Identifier "ATI Radeon R250"
Driver "ati"
BusID "PCI:1:0:0"
Option "Accel"
Option "AccelMethod" "XAA"
EndSection

Section "Monitor"
Identifier "Configured Monitor"
EndSection

Section "Screen"
Identifier "Default Screen"
Monitor "Configured Monitor"
Device "ATI Radeon R250"
EndSection

Can anyone help?

tomasrey88
August 23rd, 2009, 05:56 PM
How much RAM do you have? I have a Dell Latitude and it was running unbearably slow with Xubuntu 9.04. Lagging graphics, etc. That was when I had 128 MB RAM. Then, I increased it to 256 MB RAM and it worked a bit faster, it was bearable, but still kinda slow. So, then I used a smaller footprint program than Firefox (Seamonkey in Puppy Linux) and it works just as fast as a new computer, now. You might also want to tweak xorg to work with less colors (I'm using 16 bit colors). Even without going to a different Linux distro, I think you'll do fine if you'll use xorg with less colors and run Seamonkey instead of Firefox as that would put less demand on the system.

My System: 300 mHz Dell Latitude CPi, 256 MB RAM, 6 GB HD.

Shameless self-plug:
I've helped you. Now I invite you to please help me with my problem. I don't know how to format a USB Flash with read/write permissions:
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1247804

Enjoy,
:guitar:

hrafninn
August 23rd, 2009, 07:01 PM
I have 1,5 GB of RAM which I assume is large enough to make Ubuntu run very well on this machine. My disk is 40 GB, partitioned according to:

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/sda1 1 7 56196 de Dell Utility
/dev/sda2 * 8 1831 14651280 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/sda3 1832 2196 2931862+ 5 Extended
/dev/sda4 2197 4864 21430710 83 Linux
/dev/sda5 1832 2196 2931831 82 Linux swap / Solaris

tomasrey88
August 23rd, 2009, 07:25 PM
Seems like your computer has plenty of RAM, so I have no idea what's wrong. Is the graphics smooth or lagging? If graphics are smooth, I wouldn't worry about it.

hrafninn
August 23rd, 2009, 09:44 PM
I just installed the newest version (9.64) of the Opera browser and at first sight it seems to perform much better than Firefox. Xorg CPU usage is still high (is it?) but much lower than when using Firefox:

PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
2591 root 20 0 166m 63m 8936 S 22.5 4.2 20:39.98 Xorg
25485 hrafn 20 0 128m 62m 15m S 3.3 4.1 0:18.86 opera
3324 hrafn 20 0 27488 18m 6740 S 1.0 1.2 0:33.28 compiz.real
3466 hrafn 20 0 33852 15m 9740 S 0.7 1.0 0:23.50 gnome-terminal
2617 root 20 0 16304 2808 2300 S 0.3 0.2 0:09.27 NetworkManager
25475 hrafn 20 0 2448 1180 916 R 0.3 0.1 0:01.12 top

hrafninn
August 24th, 2009, 03:23 PM
I'm afraid I announced victory too early! I was running Opera and suddenly the computer became extremely slow (keyboard input appeared on the screen in 1-2 seconds!).

Top gives:
PID USER PR NI VIRT RES SHR S %CPU %MEM TIME+ COMMAND
2596 root 20 0 187m 84m 8836 R 78.1 5.6 9:22.27 Xorg
11993 hrafn 20 0 110m 51m 15m S 8.5 3.4 1:53.93 opera
14006 root 20 0 2064 508 436 R 3.3 0.0 0:00.10 hal-system-smbi
4547 hrafn 20 0 32588 13m 9360 S 2.3 0.9 0:03.35 gnome-terminal
3315 hrafn 20 0 27356 18m 6728 S 1.6 1.2 0:17.50 compiz.real
13959 hrafn 20 0 2448 1184 916 R 1.6 0.1 0:00.90 top

Notice 78.1% CPU by Xorg! Hence, the problem does not seem to be only related to Firefox. It must be Xorg and the ATI card, or what?

I have another LapTop, Dell Precision M4300 (2GB RAM) with a NVidia card. Ubuntu runs very smoothly on that one.

Any suggestions regarding what to try?

hrafninn
August 24th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Just noticed a new thread: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1247447

Do you think my problem is similar in nature as discussed there, meaning I might have to buy another graphics card?

Mark Phelps
August 25th, 2009, 02:31 PM
... meaning I might have to buy another graphics card?
While the open source drivers ARE getting better all the time, getting a newer card will enable you to use restricted drivers and get either faster frame rates, less CPU usage, or both.

Also, while I used to be a fan of ATI, their acquisition by AMD, and subsequent dropping of support for lots of legacy cards, has lead me to suggest folks consider other suppliers for future cards.

ATI is now jumping into DX-11 cards, ostensibly to get a jump on Windows 7, and while Nividia is doing something similar, I've not seen nearly the number of Nvidia-driver related posts in this forums as ATI-driver related posts. So, it's probably a good time to leave ATI behind and switch to Nvidia.

dE_logics
August 25th, 2009, 03:11 PM
Judging by the Ubuntu forum, this is a known problem and presumably has to do with my ATI card.

You are right...ATI + Linux = disaster.

The same situation is with me, while doing nothing both the CPUs usage fluctuates around 8 - 40%.

Try the proprietary drivers...I think you have to live with it, like I am.

But atleast it's better than windoze....


I don't know how to format a USB Flash with read/write permissions:

Download GParted from the repos...select your device, set the file system, and you're done.

dE_logics
August 25th, 2009, 03:15 PM
While the open source drivers ARE getting better all the time

Man...I'm tired waiting for the new drivers!!...last news was in April...:(

Nvidia is very good...very good support for Linux...it's even gets compiled specifically for your OS.