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I have an HP Z800 with two Westmere EP based X5670 CPUs (basically gen 1 iX series) and an HD7950. I don't know when exactly this started, I've been switching between various distros probably a bit too much. I'm currently on Antergos with the base install option because it's easy to nuke and reinstall quickly to remove variables (though I keep track of exactly what it installs), but this also happens on vanilla Arch and this issue has also seemingly started to show up in Ubuntu as of late. I haven't yet tried Fedora, but I suspect it is similar.

Basically, the system keeps stuttering and hanging. It generally seems to line up with each second, but can be somewhat inconsistent depending on tasks I'm engaging in. It shows up a ton when I have updates running and try to scroll in a browser or move windows around. When I attempted to use DDE the system became practically unusable for anything, but it occurs on Gnome on Xorg, KDE, and Gnome on Wayland as well. I've tried both the amdgpu and the radeon driver, doesn't seem to make a difference.

Is there any chance this could be related to Meltdown/Spectre patches with regard to context switching? If so, is there any way I can combat this, even at the expense of some theoretical performance?

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    Does dmesg show any hard drive I/O errors? – Timothy Martin Feb 22 '18 at 0:59
  • Not that I saw, really nothing of note seems to be there. I can post the output of it later when I'm back at my desk if that would be helpful. – sbergeron Feb 22 '18 at 1:00
  • hard drive problems or possibly running out of RAM would be the first two things I'd check for. or maybe a faulty GPU. meltdown/spectre are extremely unlikely, probability is so low it's effectively zero - they're security bugs that can, in some circumstances, allow processes to get access to data that they shouldn't have access to...not even remotely related to issue like this. – cas Feb 22 '18 at 4:12
  • Running 24gb of ram which doesn't appear to be even close to being filled at the moment, I'll try another GPU though and see what happens. It would be super annoying if it was faulty hardware this whole time :/ – sbergeron Feb 22 '18 at 13:05
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    Things to do: Look in syslog/dmesg for unusual things or errors. Open a terminal and use one of the many ways to measure I/O stats to show if I/O is the problem. Use the console, or login via ssh to test if it's related to graphics/input devices. Etc. Meltdown/Spectre is very unlikely. – dirkt Feb 22 '18 at 13:39

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