Performance Issues with AMD64 3000+, 1.5GB RAM, FreeBSD 5.4-RELEASE

TRODAT technical at
Thu Aug 25 03:25:28 GMT 2005

On Wed, 24 Aug 2005, Mark Kane wrote:

> Hi everyone. Last night I finally worked out some issues with my AMD64 
> machine and got it up and operational. It's an AMD64 3000+ with 1.5GB RAM, 
> and five 7200RPM hard drives (total of 720 gigs) running FreeBSD 5.4-RELEASE 
> (amd64). When doing testing and initial install/configuration of this machine 
> (compiling apps and such) I didn't notice this too much, but now that I'm 
> actually using it this is starting to be noticeable.
> The issue I'm having is that every minute or two, I will hear some stuttering 
> in any audio/video playback (will see the video freeze if video), and my 
> mouse will freeze for a few seconds as well while this happens. It seems to 
> happen more frequently if I have something doing disk I/O, such as downloads 
> running, untarring files, or torrents. Right now, I have the following 
> applications open:
> Xorg
> Xfce
> X-Chat
> Mozilla Firefox (Only about 10 tabs, as opposed to my normal 40-50 tabs)
> Terminal
> Mozilla Thunderbird
> rtorrent
> I initially noticed it on this machine when untarring a 20MB tar.bz2 file, 
> and I figured with it untarring that a little audio stuttering would be 
> expected. Then today, I started noticing it when doing normal things. All I'm 
> doing now is just light browsing with XMMS and X-Chat open, and maybe one 
> download going.
> While my AMD64 was out of commission, I was using an Athlon XP 2000+ with 1GB 
> of RAM and an old slower hard drive. It ran FreeBSD 5.4-RELEASE as well. I 
> noticed the same stutters in audio/video playback and freezing of the mouse 
> there, although it was much more frequent.
> Here is a top output from just now:
> last pid: 59025;  load averages:  0.07,  0.08,  0.12 
> 59 processes:  1 running, 58 sleeping
> CPU states:  4.3% user,  0.0% nice,  2.3% system,  1.6% interrupt, 91.8% idle
> Mem: 841M Active, 245M Inact, 194M Wired, 72M Cache, 162M Buf, 2300K Free
> Swap: 3045M Total, 96K Used, 3045M Free
> So basically I'm wondering if there are any OS optimizations or anything I am 
> missing to reduce this? I'm not sure why on this type of hardware with not 
> even using half of what I normally would have open (at least Firefox tabs 
> wise) it would cause so many hiccups like this.
> Thanks in advance for any opinions or suggestions.
> -Mark


I to am having similar problems with SATA drives, to the point where the 
audio coming from XMMS sounds just TRIPPING!

One thing that helped me was to INSURE that the dma for the 
hw.ata.atapi_dma and hw.ata.ata_dma where both set to 1.

Also, staying STABLE for me has been advantageous.


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