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Old 08-28-09, 08:59 AM   #1
lmv
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Default High X usage and poor performance with 2D/java applications for drivers > v173

Hi,

We've noticed a significant performance issue with some 2D Geological Applications, particularly java based, when using any NVidia Linux driver after the 173 series.

When using the 180 or 185 drivers, interaction with affected applications has massive latency and causes X CPU usage to leap to 50-90% of a CPU. Really pathalogical cases can prevent even interaction with the KDE desktop for up to 5 or 6 seconds at a time. 3D performance is fine as is normal operation when affected applications are not running. Looks like java maybe tickling a code path that other things tend not to use and there's an, otherwise unnoticed, performance regression lurking there.

We're looking to move to HP Z800 workstations which will require the latest Nvidia driver to function but this bug makes the machine pretty much unusable for certain applications. Plus a population of a couple of hundred Hp XW6200 and XW8600 machines are stuck with a GFX driver 2 generations old.

Attached is the usual bug-report log. The OS (RH4u4 or RH4u5) has remained consistant for a couple of years as has the hardware and xorg.conf. The only variable is the NVidia driver AFAIKS.

Any other useful info can be added if you need it.

Thanks.
Leon
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Old 08-28-09, 10:20 AM   #2
AaronP
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Default Re: High X usage and poor performance with 2D/java applications for drivers > v173

Does running "nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2" help? Please provide detailed instructions on how to reproduce the problem.
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Old 08-28-09, 10:53 AM   #3
lmv
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Default Re: High X usage and poor performance with 2D/java applications for drivers > v173

Does that need an X restart to take effect? It _seems_ that the interaction with the KDE desktop is improved but the application still interacts slowly (high latency on redraws and mouse click interaction). X CPU usage is still higher than it should be...

Reproduction is a bit tricky as I've only seen it with particular Geology apps in use here. Most of which are pretty expensively licenced One example is LithoTect from these guys: http://www.geologicsystems.com/

I can't seem to reproduce it with other freely available Java based apps though.

Leon
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Old 08-28-09, 11:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: High X usage and poor performance with 2D/java applications for drivers > v173

Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronP View Post
Does running "nvidia-settings -a InitialPixmapPlacement=2" help? Please provide detailed instructions on how to reproduce the problem.
I thought this option is set by default for at least all driver versions >=180.xx ???
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Old 08-28-09, 11:31 AM   #5
AaronP
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Default Re: High X usage and poor performance with 2D/java applications for drivers > v173

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemmiwinks View Post
I thought this option is set by default for at least all driver versions >=180.xx ???
Only on GeForce 8 series and higher. lmv has an NV41.

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Originally Posted by lmv View Post
Does that need an X restart to take effect?
No. In fact, restarting X will reset it to the default of 1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lmv View Post
It _seems_ that the interaction with the KDE desktop is improved but the application still interacts slowly (high latency on redraws and mouse click interaction). X CPU usage is still higher than it should be...

Reproduction is a bit tricky as I've only seen it with particular Geology apps in use here. Most of which are pretty expensively licenced One example is LithoTect from these guys: http://www.geologicsystems.com/

I can't seem to reproduce it with other freely available Java based apps though.
Okay. I'll try to get in touch with Geologic Systems and see if we can get a copy of their app. It might help if you contact their support people and ask them to contact us at linux-bugs@nvidia.com. If you have a GeForce 8 series or higher GPU somewhere, it might be worth trying it with that. The driver can accelerate a lot more rendering on those GPUs.
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Old 09-01-09, 10:28 AM   #6
lmv
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Default Re: High X usage and poor performance with 2D/java applications for drivers > v173

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Originally Posted by AaronP View Post
Only on GeForce 8 series and higher. lmv has an NV41.


No. In fact, restarting X will reset it to the default of 1.


Okay. I'll try to get in touch with Geologic Systems and see if we can get a copy of their app. It might help if you contact their support people and ask them to contact us at linux-bugs@nvidia.com. If you have a GeForce 8 series or higher GPU somewhere, it might be worth trying it with that. The driver can accelerate a lot more rendering on those GPUs.
The Z800s have a Quadro 5800 FX and the problems still apparent there so I think it's likely to be all GPUs... I've contacted the Geologic guys to see if anyone else has reported this.

Looks like the settings change was voodoo I'm afraid. Didn't actually affect anything. The desktop interaction can be normal or heavily delayed, probably depending on what code loop the X server's stuck in at the time...

Leon
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Old 09-01-09, 05:49 PM   #7
Linuxhippy
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Default Re: High X usage and poor performance with 2D/java applications for drivers > v173

InitialPixmapPlacement=2 most likely won't help here, the current x11 java2d backend does a lot of horrible things to drivers which store pixmaps in vram

Could you try to run the application with the latest JDK6 update release (JDK6u14?)?
Were you using OpenJDK or one of Suns proprietary builds?

- Clemens
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Old 09-02-09, 04:44 AM   #8
lmv
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Default Re: High X usage and poor performance with 2D/java applications for drivers > v173

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Originally Posted by Linuxhippy View Post
InitialPixmapPlacement=2 most likely won't help here, the current x11 java2d backend does a lot of horrible things to drivers which store pixmaps in vram

Could you try to run the application with the latest JDK6 update release (JDK6u14?)?
Were you using OpenJDK or one of Suns proprietary builds?

- Clemens
Aha! That seems to do the trick. The apps were using a pre-packaged jre (1.6.0_04) or an older rev (02). Looks like rev 16 JRE fixes the regression. Hard to say if it's in the NVIDIA driver or the JRE or a combination of the two.

In conclusion it looks like if you're running an NVIDIA driver > 173 you have to be running the latest 1.6.0 JRE revision to avoid this issue.

Thanks for the pointers guys. Hopefully this'll help others.

Leon
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