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extreme system lag, perhaps because of NVIDIA 470.74 drivers?
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classl3ss 23 Oct
Hello all!


I have been having some rather extreme system lag over the last several weeks, and I suspect that it might be because of the NVIDIA drivers I am using. I am not sure how to produce the relevant outputs that would be helpful in diagnosing the problem, so I would be really grateful if anyone can help direct me. But also, has anyone else been having system lag issue?

It is most extreme when I am playing games, but it also becomes an issue with even running something like Discord.


Thanks for your time, and I am sorry I cannot be more specific without some initial advice.

Operating System: Kubuntu 20.04
KDE Plasma Version: 5.18.5
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.68.0
Qt Version: 5.12.8
Kernel Version: 5.11.0-40-generic
OS Type: 64-bit
Processors: 8 × Intel® Core™ i7-2600 CPU @ 3.40GHz
Memory: 15.6 GiB of RAM
GeForce GTX 1070
redneckdrow 23 Oct
Huh, haven't had that particular issue. It could be just about anything.


As for information lshw is a good place to start.

 
sudo apt-get install lshw

sudo lshw -sanitize > lshw.txt


and post the output to a pastebin.

inxi is also useful, but is less straightforward to use.
kit89 24 Oct
You might want to checkout kde's compositor settings: System Settings >>> Display and Monitor >> Compositor.

You should see something like so:

link

Try changing the Rendering backend and Latency options, I've found the OpenGL choices can cause stutter on Nvidia (using a 970GTX on 2x 3440x1440 monitors), see if Xrender helps, though it's CPU bound.
Xpander 24 Oct
Quoting: kit89Try changing the Rendering backend and Latency options, I've found the OpenGL choices can cause stutter on Nvidia (using a 970GTX on 2x 3440x1440 monitors), see if Xrender helps, though it's CPU bound.

Just a side note. since you are using KDE and nvidia. Me and kodatarule recently discovered weird thing with nvidia+kwin. Basically open your nvidia-settings, change the openGL quality option to performance or high performance... reboot your system and start the nvidia-settings at startup once to have it super smooth for whatever reason.

so if that makes it smooth for you also like it did for us, then add
nvidia-settings --load-config-only
to the startup

Last edited by Xpander on 24 October 2021 at 9:07 am UTC
classl3ss 24 Oct
Thanks so much for getting this started! Here is the output:
https://pastebin.com/PEURGAHB
classl3ss 24 Oct
Quoting: kit89You might want to checkout kde's compositor settings: System Settings >>> Display and Monitor >> Compositor.

You should see something like so:

link

Try changing the Rendering backend and Latency options, I've found the OpenGL choices can cause stutter on Nvidia (using a 970GTX on 2x 3440x1440 monitors), see if Xrender helps, though it's CPU bound.

Thanks, I tried this yesterday, but it seems like there is something going on that causes system lag, and not only video lag. Programs take painful times to load, days slow down in Stellaris, and turns take forever in Civ 6.

Quoting: Xpanderso if that makes it smooth for you also like it did for us, then add
nvidia-settings --load-config-only
to the startup

On this suggestion, I tried to install nvidia-settings, but when I loaded the program after it simply showed a black box, so I uninstalled it again. In terminal it was saying that it could not retrieve system information. Any recommendations on this front?
redneckdrow 24 Oct
Quoting: classl3ssThanks so much for getting this started! Here is the output:
https://pastebin.com/PEURGAHB

Looking at the output, I can only say that in my experience, the only thing that has ever caused system lag is if one or more storage devices was having trouble or failing.

Your SSD is somewhat middle-of the road, but here's some things you can think about checking to get more mileage:

How full is your SSD? The less that's on it, the faster it will be. 75% full seems to be the point at which performance starts being impacted.

Is its firmware up to date?

Do you have TRIM support enabled? If not, I'd enable it. Running fstrim once a week should help.

Have you set an IO Scheduler such as deadline or bfq? It can speed up traditional SSDs and HDDs. (Don't try it with an NVME SSD though. It can actually make those slower!

Any of these can lower latency and therefore reduce lag.

Setting noatime in the fstab for the SSDs can improve write endurance.

Have you run a S.M.A.R.T. test on the HDD? The last time I had one fail it slowed my mother's computer to a crawl and it wasn't even the main drive! But your WD Blue is fairly reliable, so that might not be it. You could also test the SSD and compare the results with kingston's attribute sheet.

If I think of anything else, I'll post it.
classl3ss 24 Oct
Thanks again for your help! I included answers to your questions below:

Quoting: redneckdrowHow full is your SSD? The less that's on it, the faster it will be. 75% full seems to be the point at which performance starts being impacted.

I am moving a couple of large games off of my SSD to my HDD, so we'll see if making it less full will help. I think this started before I moved a game on there that pushed it above half full, but it's worth a try.

Quoting: redneckdrowIs its firmware up to date?

Yes, I do updates more or less as they come out.

Quoting: redneckdrowDo you have TRIM support enabled? If not, I'd enable it. Running fstrim once a week should help.

I did a trim on the SSD, and I think it helped somewhat. Though, I am still getting slowdown, visual glitches, and slow response to clicks when I have steam, firefox, and Discord open, not to mention a game like Baldur's Gate 3.


Quoting: redneckdrowHave you set an IO Scheduler such as deadline or bfq? It can speed up traditional SSDs and HDDs. (Don't try it with an NVME SSD though. It can actually make those slower!

I am not sure what an IO Scheduler is or does, but I can give it a try!

Quoting: redneckdrowHave you run a S.M.A.R.T. test on the HDD? The last time I had one fail it slowed my mother's computer to a crawl and it wasn't even the main drive! But your WD Blue is fairly reliable, so that might not be it. You could also test the SSD and compare the results with kingston's attribute sheet.

I ran a smart test, but I am not really sure what to make of its output. I included it in a pastebin here:
https://pastebin.com/4VQavQcE
kit89 24 Oct
Quoting: classl3ssOn this suggestion, I tried to install nvidia-settings, but when I loaded the program after it simply showed a black box, so I uninstalled it again. In terminal it was saying that it could not retrieve system information. Any recommendations on this front?

I am pretty sure nvidia-settings should get installed when you install the nvidia-driver, how did you install the driver, did you use a repo?
classl3ss 24 Oct
Quoting: kit89
Quoting: classl3ssOn this suggestion, I tried to install nvidia-settings, but when I loaded the program after it simply showed a black box, so I uninstalled it again. In terminal it was saying that it could not retrieve system information. Any recommendations on this front?

I am pretty sure nvidia-settings should get installed when you install the nvidia-driver, how did you install the driver, did you use a repo?

For some reason it now appears in my application menu, where it did not before. Anyway, I did as you recommended. I will report back!
classl3ss 24 Oct
Okay, so I have done everything so far except use an IO Scheduler, and I am still running into the same issue. Do you think that it might be time to replace my HDD?

Edit: I am also getting audio stuttering when playing BG3. I am not sure if this gives any further hints to potential problems or not, but I thought I would mention it just in case.

Last edited by classl3ss on 24 October 2021 at 7:22 pm UTC
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