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Sluggish GNOME/Wayland desktop on 2015 i7 Macbook

asked 2018-10-11 12:59:55 -0500

wirehead gravatar image

updated 2018-10-11 17:05:10 -0500

Hi, folks -

I used to run Fedora on a 2013 i5 Macbook, and performance was good. Recently my company bumped me up to a newer laptop since I was having issues with only having 4GB RAM on my old machine. On the new machine, the desktop just feels sluggish. Moving or resizing windows seems to render at maybe 7 or 8 FPS and feels jerky.

Videos play fine, even fullscreen - it seems to just be GNOME itself that is sluggish.

I am also having issues with the system refusing to stay suspended when I close the lid - it repetitively wakes up and goes back to sleep (and gets quite hot!). I am unsure whether that is related - I mention it because during the suspend/wake cycle this message is logged at each suspend and each wake:

journal[1519]: Failed to set power save mode for output eDP-1: Permission denied

I'm wondering if that might cause the GPU to remain in a throttled state or something?

I've verified that I am using the proprietary Intel driver, and glxgears runs around 10000FPS if I set vblank_mode=0, so performance seems normal, I think?

Additionally, the intelgputop utility only shows about 6% to 10% load at idle, and goes up to perhaps 35% to 40% if I rapidly drag windows all over the screen - but it's still jerky. I have >8GB ram free, htop shows overall about 6% CPU usage and a load average of 0.5 to 1.5 (on an 8-thread machine).

Some info about the system - I am sure more is needed but I'm not terribly experienced troubleshooting GUI issues - I mostly use *nix in an ssh session, so I'm not sure exactly where to look for problems.

 cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep 'model name' | head -n1
model name  : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4870HQ CPU @ 2.50GHz

    lspci -vv -s 00:02.0
    00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Crystal Well Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 08) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
        Subsystem: Apple Inc. Device 0147
        Control: I/O+ Mem+ BusMaster+ SpecCycle- MemWINV- VGASnoop- ParErr- Stepping- SERR- FastB2B- DisINTx+
        Status: Cap+ 66MHz- UDF- FastB2B+ ParErr- DEVSEL=fast >TAbort- <TAbort- <MAbort- >SERR- <PERR- INTx-

glxinfo | grep OpenGL:
    OpenGL vendor string: Intel Open Source Technology Center
    OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Intel(R) Haswell Mobile 
    OpenGL core profile version string: 4.5 (Core Profile) Mesa 18.0.5
    OpenGL core profile shading language version string: 4.50
    OpenGL core profile context flags: (none)
    OpenGL core profile profile mask: core profile
    OpenGL core profile extensions:
    OpenGL version string: 3.0 Mesa 18.0.5
    OpenGL shading language version string: 1.30
    OpenGL context flags: (none)
    OpenGL extensions:
    OpenGL ES profile version string: OpenGL ES 3.1 Mesa 18.0.5
    OpenGL ES profile shading language version string: OpenGL ES GLSL ES 3.10

 uname -a
Linux boss429 4.18.10-200.fc28.x86_64 #1 SMP Wed Sep 26 09:48:36 UTC 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU ...
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Hi, update your question with output of inxi -SMGxxxz.

PS Apple's dream come true: need more ram? Buy newer macbook ;/

ozeszty gravatar imageozeszty ( 2018-10-11 13:59:13 -0500 )edit

I updated it - thanks for the quick reply.

wirehead gravatar imagewirehead ( 2018-10-11 17:06:21 -0500 )edit

Does it also happen without external monitor?

You can try x.Org session instead of wayland (use a gear icon on login screen).

There's an updated firmware for MBP114, but you probably need OS X and App Store for that.

Try booting Fedora 29 beta from a live USB. It has many newer packages with lots of fixes, e.g. mesa (open source GPU driver you're using), Gnome, Wayland etc.

ozeszty gravatar imageozeszty ( 2018-10-12 13:23:56 -0500 )edit

It does happen without an external monitor.

When I was using instead of Wayland, it definitely ran more smoothly, but I had other issues that were more painful to deal with than a slow desktop, so I think going back to X is a non-starter.

I will give Fedora 29 a shot, probably this weekend - although since it's expected to release at the end of the month perhaps I'll just wait until then and upgrade.

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I'll report back if I unearth a fix or more evidence of what the source of the trouble might be.

wirehead gravatar imagewirehead ( 2018-10-16 13:54:26 -0500 )edit

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answered 2018-10-11 19:01:20 -0500

swilson gravatar image

Try checking the CPU speed with

cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep -i mhz

make sure that the CPUs are running at the correct speed or close to the correct speed. One thing I have seen is that the the processor governor sometimes gets stuck at a low speed when doing CPU scaling. I have fixed this in the past with the following:

- Install kernel-tools.
- nano /etc/sysconfig/cpupower and set both both options to performance.
- To set immediately ran ' cpupower frequency-set -g performance'

I also have had to use the kernel parameter processor.ignore_ppc=1 at boot before to allow the processor to properly scale ondemand and mange fan spinup. My issue centered around a Dell laptop and a third party power cord.


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answered 2018-10-18 13:02:24 -0500

wirehead gravatar image

Well, I got impatient and went ahead and performed the upgrade to FC29 - and it appears my issue is solved. I've actually been dealing with this since sometime around FC25 and only now got irritated enough to seek help sorting it out - awfully convenient that it appears to be fixed in the most recent release without my having done anything.

Sometimes laziness does pay.

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Definitely up to you to decide whether it was worth waiting for two years instead of reporting it and possibly getting a fix earlier. Anyway, have fun with new and super-smooth Fedora ;)

ozeszty gravatar imageozeszty ( 2018-10-22 10:15:19 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2018-10-11 12:59:55 -0500

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Last updated: Oct 18 '18