First of all I would like to thank you all for your kind and excellent advice. It seems some of you are “on duty” 24/7 to help out the less able, and rep points have been liberally scattered to the respondents to this thread. You are all my heroes!
Reading the thread back again, I must bring to your attention something that occurred to me late last night. Conky is not installed by default anymore, I guess the KDE team imagined that their plasmoidowidgetery was so good that no-one would want it… an optimistic conklusion to say the very least!! So I dug it out from YAST and fired up.
It does show heavy usage BUT it also shows that my CPU speed is very often stepping down from 1800 Mhz to 1000Mhz, I guess whenever the CPU load at full speed drops below a certain level. This is in one way re-assuring as it shows that the stepping is working as it should (?). It does however mean that TOP HTOP, Ksysguard and the CPU Monitor Widget are all effectively useless as monitoring or diagnostic tools, as they show % of cpu load without paying any regard to what that is a % of!! Like saying “he must be drunk, he has had ¾ of a bottle” without saying how big the bottle, or whether it contained whisky, wine, beer or water!
Are there any benchmark/diagnostic tools available? I know it is impossible to compare one linux rig with another as each one is so very different to the next, but some sort of measurement so that one could ie compare the performance of different driver sets on the same hardware would be a very useful thing?
@ Ken-Yap & Twelve-eighty. I am aware that a lot of wondoze apps are extremely flakey and so badly coded that even the best efforts of the good people at codeweavers/crossover/wine are to no avail, I have one which is so bad it won’t even run properly in vBox, (fights with the virtual display driver I think) and wont even begin to install in crossover, another I tried yesterday won’t work in crossover either. However, they are in the main, simple C++ programs, and should not be too demanding, all the graphics are stored locally and can do limited things etc etc. When hear of people playing mega-intensive games like Left4Dead and WoW and Company of Heroes, and running MsOffice etc etc, all on linux boxes, I wonder what I am doing wrong. I have not yet learnt how to tweak crossover, and maybe there is some work for me to do there.
I am sure that I could get the CPU load figure down to a respectable % by not running any programs, but that would kind of defeat the object of having a computer in the first place; more on this later…
@confuseling re. “Use a different WM/DM”
This is indeed how I ended up doing things on 11.1/KDE3.5.1, I had compiz running with my lovely cube effect and exploding paper aeroplanes etc etc most of the time, but when needing to use crossover/wine, I would switch WM to Xfwm4, (even that was a world of pain and trouble, ending with the admin of the XFCE forum giving up, confused, see here:
Fusion-icon and XFWM
I have not yet got this working in 11.2, your solution of switching user/session is probably a logical and efficient way to go. I have uninstalled XFCE for the moment, the 11.2 flavour was flakey, although it looked great, it took a looooong time to load up (MsWindows stylee!) and after using it would crash with errors on re-start, I will install it afresh after some research and after changing some settings so that it does not become the default WM for the next restart.
re. Windows7 and Santa.
Of course I was joking, what would I do all day during the long holiday period if I had a fully working OS?? Even I can’t play poker ALL day and night!
@oldcpu and BBR
You are right - after reading the links better, it is clear that both the 190.42 and the 173.14.22 support your device.
Queer one innit? My GPU is sort of between two camps. Experience so far is that the 173.xx driver is horribly slow at doing a complete screen re-draw, ie when switching desktops, whatever I was reading in the focussed window on desktop 1 persists for a couple of seconds in the focussed window in desktop 2, if that makes any sense…
However, running a poker game for a couple of hours early today went well, a couple of small issues which may or may not be related, fonts were a bit fubar, (not really a prob as I know what the text says, besides, more likely to be easliy solved by tweaking crossover/wine, also that particular client/app seems fussy in this regard, it does the same under vBox ).
Did you go into your BIOS and check if there are any settings that may be non-optimal wrt your graphics device configuration? Take a digital camera and make a snapshot of any relevant settings, to ease having to copy everything down on paper.
I do not have a digicam to hand ATM, besides getting bluetooth etc to work on this machine really is a job for when I have a couple of weeks spare
The Mainboard is ASUS M2N-MX (IIRC), I have updated BIOS to the last rev. issued. I have not changed much in there lately, except when toggling boot order to boot from USB. I recently changed the VGA memory allocation from 128Mb to 256Mb to see if it would help with this issue, I didn’t think it would, and I don’t think it has… again without any benchmarking utilities, hard to tell, but…
IIRC there is not much tweaking possible in BIOS re VGA performance. I used to run the CPU/memory overclocked by a good 30-40%, but the BIOS has an annoying safety feature whereby it will fallback to defaults whenever it encountered a boot error, so that all ones careful OC settings were lost, I don’t bother anymore!
Also, please test to confirm that with special desktop effects disabled, you do not have this high xorg/kwin CPU overhead.
I will post again with more comparative testing of rig under various conditions.
Can you tell us anything about the characteristics of your Nvidia 6150SE ? What were the features that they raved about when selling the card? Was it low price with reduced functionality? Was it fast GPU (unlikely) ? … What exactly was it?
LOLZ! it was cheap… was all I considered at the time!
Do you know anything about your motherboard design? How is this Nvidia 6150SE card connected on the motherboard to the CPU ? Is via a hardwired PCI (which means VERY slow)? via a hardwired AGP ?
I don’t know!
I had a look at the MB manual, the only thing seeming to be relevant is:
NVIDIA ® GeForce™ 6100 GPU
and NVIDIA ® nForce™ 430 MCP chipsets
The NVIDIA® GeForce™ 6100 graphics processing unit (GPU) Northbridge
supports Microsoft® DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0, and PCI Express
Well that is I think enough for now, more rubbish from me later on!
ps Thanks again!