[rescue] Seeking opinions: change my desktop machine?

Mike Meredith very at zonky.org
Wed Feb 24 13:29:25 CST 2010

On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 14:10:12 -0500, John Floren wrote:
> I should be able to grab another 512 MB from a system I've got sitting
> around in the lab.

That'll probably be the biggest win in terms of performance - 512MB is
a little low for a modern desktop; in fact 1GB isn't exactly overly

> Chrome or OO decide to get retarded (hey guys I'm gonna take 100% of
> cycles OK?) I can't do *anything* because my WM can't get a word in
> edgewise; I was hoping with 2 processors I'd get a little better

Technically that's a bug (or possibly a misfeature) in the scheduler -
a decent scheduler should allow other processes a fair share of the CPU
even with one process trying to hog the CPU. For instance Solaris tends
to remain more responsive than Linux in such situations.

However a 2 CPU system should make things more responsive across
multiple processes even if it makes a single process/thread slower.

If your choice of window manager is something like Gnome or KDE, I'd
have a look at some of the lightweight window managers (Enlightenment
DR16, FVWM, etc.) --- that can make a big difference. If you're already
using a window manager with manually generated menus, you can also try
running heavyweight processes "niced" to lower their priority.

Mike Meredith (http://zonky.org/)
  "Spammers on the Internet are like hula hoops, pet rocks, or subway
   alligators; only incredibly fertile, incontinent, and able to fly.
And it's still illegal to shoot them, so bring an umbrella." SC, on

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