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System Slowdowns With Linux 5.10.x
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Description

After updating my sister's laptop (which is on the stable update channel), with the latest update sync, and rebooting (after all, there are updates, especially kernel updates, that require rebooting), the OS has been rendered almost unusable, due to the GUI being utterly slow (~3 seconds before it would register that I had pressed the delete button when deleting a file, and Firefox complaining on every page that the page is slowing down the browser).

dmesg showed nothing of interest, and the only GUI-related thing that was unaffected was the cursor (anything nonGUI was also unaffected).

Installing the 5.6.19 .eopkg restored GUI performance.

I had a similar issue last week on my desktop (unstable update channel) with 5.10, however before I had the chance to notify about it, 5.10.1 was rolled out, and fixed all performance issue, so I had thought that it was a temporary regression that was already fixed.

My desktop utilizes an i5-4570 and a Radeon HD 6950 (still running, I had managed to partially conquer the temperature issues). with both iGPU and dGPU enabled (planning on passing through the iGPU to VMs when I have the chance.
My sister's laptop features a BayTrail Celeron (I forget the exact model), obviously with no dGPU).

Event Timeline

moriel5 created this task.Dec 19 2020, 5:58 PM
moriel5 added a comment.EditedDec 20 2020, 4:47 AM

Additional testing shows a ~50-66% graphical performance hit on my desktop with 5.10, depending on usecase.
My desktop is simply powerful enough, with me mainly relying on nongraphical performance, that I did not notice the eventual hit there.

This hit is both with iGPU+dGPU and with dGPU only.

Do you have TLP installed on your desktop or your sister's laptop?

Aye, on both. However as of yet, it has only aided performance' which is why it has not crossed my mind.
I'll test without it, and return with results.

Aye, on both. However as of yet, it has only aided performance' which is why it has not crossed my mind.
I'll test without it, and return with results.

You need to change its default governor from powersave to schedutil, that should restore performance.

moriel5 added a comment.EditedDec 21 2020, 9:22 PM

My sister's laptop:
Removing TLP had absolutely no effect on performance, still as sluggish as ever.
However I had remembered schedutil, after following it's progress for the past year or two (I forget how long), so I reinstalled TLP and set schedutil, and the performance issues are gone.

My desktop:
Here things are more complicated.
After removing TLP (and rebooting, of course), the entire session just froze as soon as I had placed a load upon the GPU for testing, forcing me to kill LightDM from another TTY, and reinstalling TLP and reconfiguring it (and rebooting again).
schedutil changed nothing for or against the performance.

With the acceptance of D10238, once the update makes it into stable, your sister's laptop should be good to go. Default CPU governor in TLP was erroneously set to powersave for AC, and also for battery. New default config is performance for AC and schedutil for battery.

DataDrake triaged this task as Needs More Info priority.Jan 10 2021, 4:45 PM
DataDrake edited projects, added Software; removed Lacks Project.
DataDrake moved this task from Backlog to Package Fixes on the Software board.
DataDrake added a subscriber: DataDrake.

Waiting for feedback from @moriel5 to confirm if this is resolved.

moriel5 added a comment.EditedJan 10 2021, 7:21 PM

I'm sorry about how late I am returning to this issue, I got my hands injured last week carrying bricks.

So the results, schedutil on both battery and AC is doing wonders for my sister's laptop (I will test performance on AC, however I am not sure whether it will be worth it, due to cooling constraints (this is an ultra-budget dechromified Chromebook, so it is passively cooled)).

On my desktop, I will also test performance, however I can already say that schedutil messes with both sleep mode and hibernation, leading to reduced performance after waking up, so I have switched to ondemand, which is working almost as good as powersave used to work in prior kernels.

Note: schedutil's sleep issues have to due with "variance" instabilities (I forget the correct term that I saw via dmesg shortly before my injuries, so I'll test again just to post them).
The same "instabilities" did not appear in the system logs on my sister's laptop.

@moriel5 performance on AC shouldn't make *much* of a difference in actual perf vs schedutil, though it will increase power draw and thus heat in scenarios where the laptop is only partially loaded (see above).

Hope your hands are okay!

I'm really sorry about my utterly long disappearance. My hands have long since recovered (thank you for your comment @serebit), however I had no access to my desktop (and I still have not gotten the heatsink I was supposed to get together with my laptop's new motherboard (iGPU to iGPU+dGPU), so still no working laptop) until now.

I shall test the different governors (I know, kernel 4.11.x now), however it shall not be immediate, since I need to do things such as updating Skype on my desktop and my sister's laptop, as well as chores at home.

Also, if anyone knows anywhere (shipping globally) I can get my hands on a 2nd hand ASUS H97/Z97 Pro Gamer that is cheaper than AliExpress (I am currently saving up, as well as towards a ThinkPad L15 Gen1 (AMD) from JD.com), I'll be very grateful, my AsRock H97M is slowly dying (in addition to the power and RAM issues I have, now the onboard audio has died (static noises only, regardless of what is or is not, and where, connected)).