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Thread: Older CPU out-pacing newer one

  1. #1
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    Question Older CPU out-pacing newer one

    I own two laptops, but one of them has much nicer hardware (bigger screen, touch screen, 10-key, backlit keys, etc).
    Unfortunately, my "nicer" laptop is unbearably slow, even though it supposedly has faster hardware inside as well.

    My supposedly "good" laptop is a Lenovo Flex 3. It has an i7-5500U dual-core 4-thread @ 2.4GHz, 8GB of RAM, and an SSD.
    My "old" laptop, that can run circles around the "good" laptop, is an HP EliteBook 2540p with an i7 L640 dual-core 4-thread @ 2.13GHz, 6GB of RAM, and an SSD.
    They both are running Kubuntu 21.04.

    My HP can open Firefox and have my homepage loaded in under 6 seconds.
    My Lenovo takes between 14 and 23 seconds to reach the same site.
    EVERYTHING on the Lenovo takes longer.
    If I tap the Super key, the Application Dashboard takes five seconds to open. On the HP, it's practically instantaneous.
    The Lenovo doesn't have any stability issues whatsoever, so I don't understand what could be wrong.
    I've tried reinstalling Kubuntu, and even trying other distros, but it's always slow.

    Anybody have an idea why? According to userbenchmarks' website, the 5500U should be 32% faster than the L640, but it's more than the opposite. The L640 is zippy as all get out, and the Lenovo feels like a twenty-five-year old machine.
    If the Lenovo is experiencing hardware issues, why doesn't it ever crash? It's temps never get above 44°C, but the CPU usage on that machine is constantly pegged whenever a single app is open.
    If Discover is updating, and I try to launch another app, it won't even open till Discover's finished.

    Last edited by bradleypariah; 2 Days Ago at 04:16 AM.
    Oh, Linux... if only I had known.

  2. #2
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    Re: Older CPU out-pacing newer one

    My idea is, you need to investigate more, and add a bare minimum of useful tech info for review:

    lscpu
    glxinfo -B
    free -m
    If you don't know which processes peg the CPU, redirect top output to a file, and post its contents:

    top -b -n1 > top-output
    No screenshots please, just copy/paste the outputs.

  3. #3
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    Re: Older CPU out-pacing newer one

    So ... the passmarks on both these systems are pretty low for Core i7 systems. I have a $50 Pentium desktop CPU - G3258 - from 2015 that is between these in performance.

    i7-5500U - 2726
    i7-L640 - 1680
    G3258 - 2057

    A $305 laptop with a Core i5-8258U has 5944 passmarks. Just sayin'. Core i7s from the last 2-3 yrs should be in the 16K passmark area.
    BTW, the passmark guys routinely rework their numbers so any comparisons are only valid within the same search. Last year, the G3258 passmarks was over 3600 - as newer CPUs get faster, they tweak the benchmark and all older CPUs ratings are shifted down. I remember a Celeron 2995U in a chromebook was around 1470 passmarks. Just checked that now and it lists around 800. I ran virtual machines on that chromebook! It worked fine - except the RAM limitations.

    All sorts of things go into what makes a system fast or slow. A failing disk or corrupted file system or slow DNS can impact perceived performance. It is unlikely we will be able to see things by posting commands on a forum. I know the forum moderation team has been working on a "system information" script to help troubleshoot all things Ubuntu, but it isn't quite ready. You could run inxi -Fxxxxz and post that output as a start.

    It won't be able to see any hardware issues. Only you can see that. Check the system log files for errors and warnings. I'd use
    sudo egrep -i 'erro|warn' /var/log/*log
    and look over that output. There really should only be a few lines. If there are more, redirect the output to a file and use your favorite editor to look more closely. The journalctl command can do some searches for system logs too.
    Last edited by TheFu; 1 Day Ago at 04:13 PM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Older CPU out-pacing newer one

    Do you have latest firmware for both UEFI and SSD?
    That can make a difference.

    Some settings also can help, not just boot.
    Slow Boot --------------------------------
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2450783
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread....9#post13932499
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2417453
    UEFI boot install & repair info - Regularly Updated :
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  5. #5
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    Re: Older CPU out-pacing newer one

    Quote Originally Posted by bradleypariah View Post
    Unfortunately, my "nicer" laptop is unbearably slow, even though it supposedly has faster hardware inside as well....
    It's temps never get above 44°C, but the CPU usage on that machine is constantly pegged whenever a single app is open.
    "pegged" doesn't tell the whole story, as we would need to also know the CPU frequency. I wonder if your computer is throttling for some reason. I would suggest to run turbostat (linux-tools-common package, I think). I pretty much always have this command running in a terminal:

    Code:
    doug@s19:~/tmp/support-info$ sudo turbostat --Summary --quiet --show Busy%,Bzy_MHz,IRQ,PkgWatt,PkgTmp,RAMWatt,GFXWatt,CorWatt --interval 6
    Busy%   Bzy_MHz IRQ     PkgTmp  PkgWatt CorWatt GFXWatt RAMWatt
    0.02    1840    368     32      1.36    0.70    0.00    0.89
    0.02    809     273     32      1.34    0.67    0.00    0.89
    0.01    991     233     32      1.34    0.67    0.00    0.89
    0.02    806     234     32      1.33    0.67    0.00    0.89
    0.02    867     267     32      1.33    0.67    0.00    0.89
    52.43   4528    45869   65      71.43   70.78   0.00    0.89
    98.69   4530    85636   65      133.62  132.97  0.00    0.89 <<< Power limit 2 throttling
    98.69   4530    85614   66      133.76  133.11  0.00    0.89
    98.69   4530    85615   67      133.81  133.15  0.00    0.89
    99.56   4487    86012   66      125.61  124.96  0.00    0.89
    99.60   4479    86587   66      124.93  124.26  0.00    0.89  <<< Power limit 1 throttling
    99.60   4479    86089   67      124.91  124.25  0.00    0.89
    99.59   4477    86017   66      124.90  124.25  0.00    0.89
    99.58   4475    86011   69      124.91  124.26  0.00    0.89
    45.53   4474    39860   39      57.90   57.23   0.00    0.89
    0.02    838     331     39      1.33    0.67    0.00    0.89
    I can get the power limits by also running turbostat, but without the --quiet option:
    Code:
    ...
    cpu0: PKG Limit #1: ENabled (125.000000 Watts, 8.000000 sec, clamp ENabled)
    cpu0: PKG Limit #2: ENabled (136.000000 Watts, 0.002441* sec, clamp DISabled)...
    Any follow-up information on your issue would be appreciated. Please have the courtesy to report back.

  6. #6
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    Re: Older CPU out-pacing newer one

    Any thermal throttling will show up in the system log files.

    I had a 1st gen Core i7 that would throttle 2 cores. I put up with it for a few months, then cleaned out the case from all the dust, cleaned the CPU cooling fan blades and copper heatsink, then cleaned and replaced the thermal grease between the CPU and the heatsink. After all that, no more throttling.

    If you have pets, more gunk will get inside there. Even without pets, in a filtered house, dust and gunk gets into computers.

  7. #7
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    Re: Older CPU out-pacing newer one

    Thank you everyone for the suggestions. Unfortunately I am about to jump on a plane, and I'm not going to take the Lenovo with me on this trip, since I won't have any time to mess with it. I'll dig into this next week. I appreciate everyone's guidance.
    Oh, Linux... if only I had known.

  8. #8
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    Re: Older CPU out-pacing newer one

    Quote Originally Posted by bradleypariah View Post
    Thank you everyone for the suggestions. Unfortunately I am about to jump on a plane, and I'm not going to take the Lenovo with me on this trip, since I won't have any time to mess with it. I'll dig into this next week. I appreciate everyone's guidance.
    An easy troubleshooting technique is to create a Live-Boot environment, boot off that and see how fast things are. Obviously, the media used for the ISO will matter, but USB3 flash and USB3-SSD storage should be pretty good. Then compare the performance of each laptop. This will tell us if it is something in YOUR installed setup on computer-A or computer-B or not.

    If both laptops perform acceptable, then it is just settings.

    Next, create a new userids on both systems and do the same tests with the new users. If those are fast and the older userids are slow, now you've narrowed down the problem to be just settings for 1 userid on 1 computer. You can rename a few key directories in your HOME for each userid to see which impacts performance.

    But it all starts by figuring out if this is OS, OS-settings, userid or userid-settings related. Need to narrow those aspects down first.

    I'd recommend having a watch near and some paper, so you can create a table of action--> time for each different configuration. Facts, not "it feels slow". That's important too. You already did that with 5s and 24s posts, but you'll need to compare many other launches. Try boot, different applications, note which sort of package they were installed from - is it a .deb package, snap, flatpak, appimage or something else? That all matters too. There were complaints about snaps loading slowly last year. The fix for that could make some systems boot slower and use more RAM.

    Also, not all SSDs are created equal, so the interface type and nominal performance you typically see would be important to know. There is theory and there are real-world numbers.

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