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Thread: Skype High CPU Usage

  1. #1
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    Default Skype High CPU Usage

    I'm on openSUSE 11.4, had recently some troubles with Kmix (eating my cpu resources).

    I've installed Skype beta 2.2.0.35 because 2.2.0.25 used 100% of my CPU. Unfortunately the upgrade didn't solve the problem - when I make a call Skype uses more than 100% of CPU. I've posted on the Skype forum, but if you have any useful thoughts or the same problem occurred to you, I'd be glad to know.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Skype High CPU Usage

    On 09/25/2011 11:26 PM, riderplus wrote:

    > if you have any useful thoughts or the same problem occurred to you,
    > I'd be glad to know.


    "useful" i don't know:

    hmmm.. a few weeks ago i would have said "more than 100%, NO WAY!!" but,
    a few days ago i saw Flash taking between 80 and 138%..(but, the video
    was ok....so..)

    so, are you saying that skype taking more than 100% is a problem? or do
    you think it is causing a problem...i mean, is your computer "freezing"
    or "crashing" causing the Skype call to terminate, or making you take
    drastic actions and reboot or . . . ?

    or, you can't talk on Skype and also check your Google calendar, or take
    down notes into KWrite, or or or or or what?

    and, consider that if you making a video call, that takes a lot of horse
    power....maybe you are just expecting more out of your system than it
    can produce...

    well, let me say it this way: is Skype working ok? and considering the
    amount of work required to push video-voice out/in, are the other tasks
    you want to do at the same time being done in a reasonable fashion?

    if so, then don't try to fix what ain't actually broken. it is the
    results that count, not how high the reported percent is..

    if while in a video call i get a microsecond of the mouse jitters or
    sticking instead of moving smoothly, i _know_ what my problem is and it
    is not Skype, instead it is a single 1.6 ghz atom processor and intel
    video trying to keep up!

    btw, i've run the beta a long time, no problems..

    --
    DD
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Skype High CPU Usage

    On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 13:03:07 +0530, DenverD
    <DenverD@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:

    > On 09/25/2011 11:26 PM, riderplus wrote:
    >
    >> if you have any useful thoughts or the same problem occurred to you,
    >> I'd be glad to know.

    >
    > "useful" i don't know:
    >
    > hmmm.. a few weeks ago i would have said "more than 100%, NO WAY!!" but,
    > a few days ago i saw Flash taking between 80 and 138%..(but, the video
    > was ok....so..)
    >
    > so, are you saying that skype taking more than 100% is a problem? or do
    > you think it is causing a problem...i mean, is your computer "freezing"
    > or "crashing" causing the Skype call to terminate, or making you take
    > drastic actions and reboot or . . . ?
    >
    > or, you can't talk on Skype and also check your Google calendar, or take
    > down notes into KWrite, or or or or or what?
    >
    > and, consider that if you making a video call, that takes a lot of horse
    > power....maybe you are just expecting more out of your system than it
    > can produce...
    >
    > well, let me say it this way: is Skype working ok? and considering the
    > amount of work required to push video-voice out/in, are the other tasks
    > you want to do at the same time being done in a reasonable fashion?
    >
    > if so, then don't try to fix what ain't actually broken. it is the
    > results that count, not how high the reported percent is..
    >
    > if while in a video call i get a microsecond of the mouse jitters or
    > sticking instead of moving smoothly, i _know_ what my problem is and it
    > is not Skype, instead it is a single 1.6 ghz atom processor and intel
    > video trying to keep up!
    >
    > btw, i've run the beta a long time, no problems..
    >



    there's another consideration with skype: that the (skype) network chooses
    to use some of the logged in users as some sort of mini-servers,
    super-nodes, or whatever it's called. means if you're chosen, your system
    will be used to tell other skype users where to find the next
    "super-node", how to connect to the rest of the world.

    long time ago i read about that, and have experienced it a few times that
    skype on my machine used much more CPU cycles than normal, and there was
    increased network traffic -- until i shut down skype, when both symptoms
    stopped. i think because i'm located in india, with a broadband connection
    that doesn't really deserve the name (512 KB/s), i'm not often chosen as a
    "super-node." in other, better connected parts of the world, this may
    happen more frequently.

    in your particular case, when you notice skype using 100% CPU, is that
    during a call, or on standby? and if the latter, do you notice increased
    network traffic?

    --
    phani.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Skype High CPU Usage

    Thank you for your replies!

    The truth is, Skype uses above 100% when making a video call (pulseaudio also eats up to 30% simultaneously). On standby, it uses just 1%, so there's no problem with that, as the CPU temperature rests on 55 degrees. But when I'm making a video call, the temperature goes to 71, which is worrying me, even though there's no freeze/ slow-motioned thing, so I can do anything I want during the call. It might be my 1.6 ghz CPU (two cores of 800) - as DD said, there's a lot of activity to be performed, and Flash also goes above 100%. I wouldn't like to kill my CPU before I get married, though
    On the Skype options menu, sound devices, I can't choose alsa instead of Pulseaudio. That's a bit weird. I've also run gstreamer-properties and play with the settings, but finally restored the defaults, as no change occurred. I've managed to solve the Kmix problem with your help, so I'm optimistic about this too.

    Cheers,
    rp
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Skype High CPU Usage

    On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 13:46:03 +0530, riderplus
    <riderplus@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:

    > On the Skype options menu, sound devices, I can't choose alsa instead
    > of Pulseaudio. That's a bit weird.


    if you really want to do w/o pulse, you can do that. just uninstall all
    the pulse stuff (except one or two lib's which are dependencies for
    something else, if i remember correctly), which should leave your sound
    system working via ALSA. then delete (or rename) ~/.Skype, after which
    skype should reconfigure itself using ALSA -- at least it did so for me
    when i followed the above procedure a while ago, when pulse gave me lots
    of trouble. if pulse is present, skype won't accept anything else for some
    reason.

    --
    phani.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Skype High CPU Usage

    Quote Originally Posted by phanisvara View Post
    On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 13:46:03 +0530, riderplus
    <riderplus@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:

    > On the Skype options menu, sound devices, I can't choose alsa instead
    > of Pulseaudio. That's a bit weird.


    if you really want to do w/o pulse, you can do that. just uninstall all
    the pulse stuff (except one or two lib's which are dependencies for
    something else, if i remember correctly), which should leave your sound
    system working via ALSA. then delete (or rename) ~/.Skype, after which
    skype should reconfigure itself using ALSA -- at least it did so for me
    when i followed the above procedure a while ago, when pulse gave me lots
    of trouble. if pulse is present, skype won't accept anything else for some
    reason.

    --
    phani.
    I don't want to get rid of pulseaudio, especially because it does its job with many applications. How does your CPU work along Skype and pulseaudio? Does it get to 100% (for Skype alone)? Maybe it's normal, but, if so, why are there so many complaints about high cpu usage of skype...
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  7. Default Re: Skype High CPU Usage

    I do not have 100% cpu with skype video conference, but 80%... but even that is too much for my old laptop which easily arrived to 90ºC.
    What I did (and do) is to scale down the cpu frequency using cpufreq tools. Now, changing the cpu governor to "powersave" the cpu goes to its minimum speed and the temperature during skype video conferences do not pass 48ºC. As far as I can see, video performance is not affected.
    I wrote this small script:
    Code:
    #!/bin/sh
    cpufreq-set -c 0 -g powersave  
    cpufreq-set -c 1 -g powersave
    (you need one cpufreq-set command for each core: -c 0 for the first core and -c 1 for the second) and run it, through a desktop file, with kdesu. You may need to check with cpufreq-info which are the available governors on your system. To return to normal, I have a second script with "ondemand" instead of "powersave".

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Skype High CPU Usage

    On 09/26/2011 10:16 AM, riderplus wrote:

    > when I'm making a video call, the temperature goes to 71, which is worrying me, even though there's no freeze/ slow-motioned thing


    i'd recommend you go to the web site of the maker of your CPU and find
    the temperature limits it is built to support..

    for example i just took a stroll around intel and learned my Atom 450
    has temperature sensing and _actions_ built in

    Thermal Trip: The processor protects itself from
    catastrophic overheating by use of an internal thermal
    sensor. This sensor is set well above the normal
    operating temperature to ensure that there are no false
    trips. The processor will stop all execution when the
    junction temperature exceeds approximately 125°C.
    This is signaled to the system by the THERMTRIP# pin.
    cite: Intel(r) Atom [tm] Prcessor N400 Series, Datasheet Volume 1, April
    2010, Revison 002, Document Number: 322847-002

    so, your observed 71 is far below the trip wire set to 125, which is
    *below* the limit where damage will occur on MY Atom, don't know about
    yours...is it a 4xx series?..

    slappe af

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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Skype High CPU Usage

    On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:26:02 +0530, riderplus
    <riderplus@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:

    > I don't want to get rid of pulseaudio, especially because it does its
    > job with many applications.



    yeah, me neither. pulseaudio did give me trouble a while ago, but it's ok
    now. and most applications these days are meant to use pulse, so not using
    it would be a continuous effort.


    > How does your CPU work along Skype and
    > pulseaudio? Does it get to 100% (for Skype alone)?



    not sure really, i'm not using skype often. i have "system load viewer"
    widget on my desktop, and i notice some increase, spread over all 4 CPUs,
    when using skype; that might well come close to 100% of one CPU.


    > Maybe it's normal,
    > but, if so, why are there so many complaints about high cpu usage of
    > skype...



    i'm afraid it is indeed 'normal.' people probably complain when that CPU
    usage affects their system, i.e., if they have only one or two not very
    fast CPUs.

    --
    phani.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Skype High CPU Usage

    On Mon, 26 Sep 2011 15:40:25 +0530, DenverD
    <DenverD@no-mx.forums.opensuse.org> wrote:

    > slappe af



    is that geek code, or a remnant of sloppy copy & paste?

    --
    phani.

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