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My question comes from a kde desktop currently, but it also happens with the gnome instance. When just sitting there, with only the cpu monitor widget running. no open windows, no background processes other than the desktop, my cpu is at ~20%. I wanna know how to fix this, and possibly get better performance out of it. When running my windows side, the cpu will sit at zero, and i generally load new programs about 400ms faster. With windows 7 being as slow as it is, this is not acceptable. and the widget is only set to check every 500ms, so im almost completely sure its not the widget.

My system is a Gateway nv 53 amd 2.0 ghz turion with 4 gb of installed ram, and 500 gb hd. both linux and windows are 64 bit. average ram use on either system is about 1.4 gb for just the os

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top is your friend. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams Jan 4 '11 at 1:00
it is, but, its not telling me anything i can go on ha ha. – Jasen Jan 4 '11 at 9:15

As pointed out by Hyperperforator, your comparison between windows and linux launch times is irrelevant. Nevertheless, your CPU usage seems abnormal under Linux. On a sane installation, Linux should generally be more responsive than windows as far as I've been able to judge, and you should not have a constant 20% CPU usage when idling. Could you post some more information about the state of your system? What processes are running? We would need more information to help.

P.S.: 1.4GB RAM use for just the OS is far too much for a Linux installation. Seems like a further clue that something is wrong with your system.

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There are a few things that come to mind here;

  • Windows reports CPU usage differently. For a more accurate representation, use "Performance" under "Administrative tools" for deeper information. Task manager can be very arbitrary.
  • As for "RAM Usage, Windows reports 1.4GB used, but in reality this is not so. Windows 7 uses superfetch technology to allocate the RAM dynamically as load increases, that is why this is like this.
  • "20% used" on Linux doesn't mean it won't be reallocated when you try to do something
  • You're comparing launch speeds of Windows applications to linux applications. This doesn't work, especially considering that the applications aren't even the same. I generally find Ubuntu to be slower than Windows due to the way it manages cores.

I don't find Windows 7 slow at all - is this an existing installation that you've had for a while? Might be time for a format.

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The windows installation on my computer is faster than the Linux installation. But the sizes of programs between windows and linux is disparate. So knowing that, and having all the hearsay about windows 7 being so slow, even though ive never thought so, i was wondering why my linux was slower. – Jasen Jan 3 '11 at 23:39
oh also, those are coming from the performance mon. and superfetch is just a fancy name for it loads parts of programs into mem depending on your usage. which is why windows gets faster the more you use it now a days. but linux having much smaller programs and supposedly much less wait time to open a program should be just as fast or faster. but that still doesnt answer why my windows can report a zero cpu on average, while my linux cant. – Jasen Jan 3 '11 at 23:44
& Jasen: note that Linux also has been having a file prefetching capability for a while now (since the early 2.4 kernel afair). It is called "readahead" and was started as a Fedora project if I remember well. Therefore, your explanations about the performance difference do not really stand. – Christian Vincenot Jan 28 '11 at 14:09

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