bringing up *any* browser cripples system performance

Matthew Bunt darakus at
Sun Apr 6 13:18:40 UTC 2014

On Sunday, April 06, 2014 06:24:29 AM Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>   (note: i'm starting a new thread for this since my original post
> blaming firefox for system slowdown now seems inaccurate. the problem
> appears to be more widespread.)
>   the system: an asus g74s, quad-core i7 with 16G of RAM, so i'm
> fairly confident that physical limitations aren't the problem. to
> establish a baseline, i'm in gnome 3 with only a couple terminal
> windows open, no browser. performance is snappy -- when i move the USB
> mouse, the cursor moves appropriately, nice and crisp. and "top" shows
> Xorg puttering along, using in the neighbourhood of 5-10%. all in all,
> everything working just fine. oh, using the
> 3.15.0-0.rc0.git9.1.fc21.x86_64 kernel as well.
>   now i start a single instance of epiphany, and i have a single tab
> open on a page of my web site wiki which contains nothing but text --
> that is, no gifs, no video, nothing like that. performance still seems
> fine, but now i go to simply move the epiphany browser window and
> response just plummets. simply dragging the browser window to a
> slightly different location is painfully slow and jerky, and Xorg CPU
> usage jumps to 50%. as soon as the move is over, Xorg CPU usage drops
> back to normal.
>   slightly different experiment -- just try to resize the browser
> window by dragging a corner, again horribly slow and Xorg usage
> briefly jumps to 88%. in fact, just moving the cursor *across* the
> browser window causes it to slow horribly. and i tried this from a
> throwaway guest account, same symptoms. (all of this matches what i
> saw with firefox, which is why i switched browsers, but i see exactly
> the same problems.)
>   and trying to watch a youtube video is practically futile. i opened
> up a second epiphany tab and popped over to
> interestingly, while audio
> seems fine, i'm lucky to get one or two frames per second, the video
> is that erratic. and while the video is playing, Xorg is up around 90%
> CPU usage and keyboard response while typing this has a massive time
> lag.
>   this system has an nvidia chipset, and here's the relevant
> nouveau-related "lsmod" output:
> $ lsmod | grep nouveau
> nouveau              1178761  3
> mxm_wmi                12865  1 nouveau
> i2c_algo_bit           13257  1 nouveau
> drm_kms_helper         50413  1 nouveau
> ttm                    85373  1 nouveau
> drm                   288814  5 ttm,drm_kms_helper,nouveau
> i2c_core               38734  6
> drm,i2c_i801,drm_kms_helper,i2c_algo_bit,nouveau,videodev
> wmi                    18804  3 mxm_wmi,nouveau,asus_wmi
> video                  19456  2 nouveau,asus_wmi
> $
>   i have to think this is something related to nouveau since nothing
> else seems to explain it. is there some kind of gnome setting i can
> play with to see if that helps? i'm open to suggestions.
> rday

Did you ever try the nodebug kernel as was suggested in your previous post? I 
have a computer with similar specs and it runs sluggish with the default debug 
rawhide kernel. I'd suggest trying this one if you have not already:


Matthew Bunt

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