NVIDIA ate up my CPU

Posted: December 5, 2006 in linux

i seem to be having weird problems with the 2 latest NVIDIA drivers for Linux released last November 7 and December 4, 2006. last Saturday i upgraded to 1.0-9629 from 1.0-8774. the upgrade went fine. the nvidia-settings works again too.

yesterday, Monday, everything was still ok. used my computer for more than 8 hours.

today, Tuesday, when i logged in i noticed that the desktop was feeling kind of sluggish. loading was slow. the fonts and icons were like refreshing all the time. i ran top to see what app was eating up my resources and didn’t expect the culprit to be X server. it was eating up, at most, 98% of the CPU. i wasn’t even running anything yet, except for the background apps/applets that are loaded on startup. i observed it for a while thinking that it might be due to the recent log-in which eats up a lot of resource. minutes passed and still the CPU usage remained the same – erratic. it would go down to as low as 50% then up again to 98%!

a restart of the X server didn’t do anything. restarting the machine itself didn’t do anything. it was still the same. i took out all the eye candy (i only have a transparent kicker. i don’t use the XGL/Compiz desktop effects, or any of those fancy Karamba widgets.) and closed the applications sitting idly on my system tray just to be sure. nope! X server was still eating up CPU like a famished pig.

ok, so i didn’t upgrade my X.Org files. it’s been version 6.9.0-50.14 since i’ve installed SLED 10 months ago.

i had a bad feeling that this was due to the driver upgrade. i quickly went to the NVIDIA driver download page and found the newest version – 1.0-9631. it didn’t do any good. X was still topping off at 98% on CPU usage.

normalcy was restored, at last, went i downgraded to version 1.0-8776.

i have yet to look further into this recent weird behavior.. . by the way my graphics card is a GeForce4 MX 4000, 128 MB.

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