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

Mark Kane mark at
Thu Aug 25 04:52:44 GMT 2005

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

Well while all my drives are PATA, I should mention that I'm not even 
trying to play mp3s/Ogg files from any of my five drives most of the 
time. I run a group of Internet radio stations so most times I am 
listening to them. It's not the server skipping, it's for sure some kind 
of few second freeze of the mouse/display and the sound stutters at the 
same time.

It's also not just audio in XMMS. I could be watching a video clip in 
VLC or mplayer and have some of the same results. The picture would 
freeze for a moment and the audio would stutter for a few seconds, then 
resume normal playback...and that's even with NOTHING else running but 
X, Xfce, and VLC.

I can "manually" make it worse. As I said before, if I untar an archive 
like Mozilla or something it gets almost unlistenable and the mouse is 
constantly freezing as I move it around.

> 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.

DMA is for sure enabled on all the hard drives, but the optical drive 
remains in PIO mode. I haven't attempted to play anything from that yet, 

> Also, staying STABLE for me has been advantageous.

I have not tried STABLE yet, but if it would help this and wouldn't 
introduce any new problems I would be happy to give it a try.


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