Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

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Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby jerm1027 on Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:22 pm

I'm using Linux Mint 14 x64 Cinnamon on my Acer AO722 (C-60 APU, 2GB DDR3-1066, 64GB Crucial M4), and overall I like it, and have gotten accustomed to the features Cinnamon has to offer, but Cinnamon runs a bit too sluggish on this machine, especially the Menu response time. I really like the ability to search programs immediately after hitting the Super key, but I sometimes have to wait a 2 – 3 seconds for the menu to appear.

I was wondering if there were any tweaks I could make to better optimize Cinnamon for low-power APU's - more specifically, reduce the consumption of CPU resources and possibly better utilize GPU resources. I've quickly learned this particular chip is too much GPU, and not enough CPU. I've been having the same issue with Unity (Ubuntu 12.04), though I've found Unity2D to be slightly more responsive.

Right now, Cinnamon specifically utilizes between 10 -15% of CPU idle (~20% total CPU utilization idle), and 30-35% while playing music (Audacious – 50% total CPU utilization). I do have the proprietary AMD GPU drivers installed.

If it isn't possible to tweak Cinnamon, what would you recommend as an alternative? The features I must have are the Window Tiling (“aero snap”), custom global media shortcut keys (lacks dedicated media keys), and program search similar to Cinnamon or Unity (that is, immediately after pressing Super, the search field is active). I've tried MATE, and when I do hit the super key, the search field is inactive, and I have to click it to activate it, which doesn't cut it.
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Re: Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby Orbmiser on Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:39 pm

I found Cinnamon to be a bit heavy and a smig'in slow in apps,menu functions also.
Mate would be lighter and snappier from what I hear.

And don't buy into many that tout KDE as a resource hog.

As running KDE Mint 14 backports enabled for KDE 4.10.
Boot up to desktop idle is 432mb and 1-2% Cpu utilization.

Apps,menu,actions are much snappier and smoother and with desktop effects enabled by default.
Firefox with 4 tabs,Dolphin File manager,Terminal & Clementine Music all running.
As well as gmail plasmoid,Yawp Weather in tray running.
And all is snappy and smooth and chimes in around 750mb.
.
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Re: Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby anandrkris on Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:26 am

Fully concur with @Orbmiser.
In my opinion, KDE is a good alternative. Keep Desktop Elegant :). I am running the latest KDE Plasma Desktop 4.10.1 and it is fantastic with all those eye-candy desktop effects. Though will admit that it has a steep learning curve ( Probably because I was new to Linux as well) - it took me a while to understand desktop containment concepts - workspaces, activities and figured that the widgets could be added to a panel as well as desktop.

Some links on KDE Plasma -
http://chakra-linux.org/wiki/index.php?title=Basic_Desktop_Orientation
http://chakra-project.org/wiki/index.php?title=Plasma_Desktop_Basics
http://chakra.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Advanced_Plasma_Desktop_Features

Yes, it isn't slow or hogs resources as people think it to be.
http://www.muktware.com/5358/kde-misconceptions-being-slow-and-bloated

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Re: Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby jerm1027 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:14 pm

I'll give KDE another shot. I've tried it in the past and didn't like it. I'll fire it up in a VM when I get home. In the meanwhile, I'm still open to suggestions.
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Re: Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby gibbs1984 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:37 pm

The menu issue in Cinnamon is a known issue but unfortunately there doesn't look like there's an immediate fix.
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Re: Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby jerm1027 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:11 pm

gibbs1984 wrote:The menu issue in Cinnamon is a known issue but unfortunately there doesn't look like there's an immediate fix.

It's a documented issue? I didn't know that. I've only noticed the menu issue on my netbook and assumed it was the slow APU. It's very responsive on my two other machines, granted they are significantly more powerful.

No responsiveness issues on my notebook, which features a Core 2 Duo T9600 2.8GHz, 4GB DDR3-1066, Mobility 4650 512MB, and Corsair Force F60. It's running Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon x64 though.

My Desktop is stupid fast, but so is the hardware. Core i5 2500k @ 4.5GHz, 8GB DDR3-1866, GTX 570 + GTX 650, OCz Agility 3. Runs Mint 14 Cinnamon (along with Win7 x64 Ultimate) without a hitch.
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Re: Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby catweazel on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:33 pm

anandrkris wrote:Fully concur with @Orbmiser.

+1

I spent an hour installing Cinnamon on this rig yesterday (setting up RAID0 takes me a bit of time). After watching the Cinnamon menu unfold in very jerky movements quite a few times (a test I did repeatedly) I concluded that the problem is Gnome 3. It's horrible. If I have a video running and I unmount a drive, the video noticeably pauses. The same happens if I click a window. It even happens in glxgears of all places... click something and <pause>, unmount or mount a drive and <pause>.

I've got an absolute beast of a video card (one of these), 16GB of RipJaws RAM running at 2314MHz, a 3rd generation i7 3770k processor overclocked at 4.2GHz, plus two Samsung 840 Pro SSDs in RAID0 pumping 1.4GB/s and still couldn't get Cinnamon to run smoothly. I was aghast at being able to watch window frames being built in the UI, which is something I've only ever seen on systems that couldn't keep up with 3D applications. I mean, this machine is not to be snorted at in the performance department.

I ditched Cinnamon yet again and reinstalled Mint KDE with an upgrade to 4.10.1. The difference is simply astounding. No annoying pauses, and I can click on windows and mount and unmount drives to my heart's content while watching a tear-free high definition video.

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Re: Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby gibbs1984 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:44 am

jerm1027 wrote:
gibbs1984 wrote:The menu issue in Cinnamon is a known issue but unfortunately there doesn't look like there's an immediate fix.

It's a documented issue? I didn't know that. I've only noticed the menu issue on my netbook and assumed it was the slow APU. It's very responsive on my two other machines, granted they are significantly more powerful.

No responsiveness issues on my notebook, which features a Core 2 Duo T9600 2.8GHz, 4GB DDR3-1066, Mobility 4650 512MB, and Corsair Force F60. It's running Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon x64 though.

My Desktop is stupid fast, but so is the hardware. Core i5 2500k @ 4.5GHz, 8GB DDR3-1866, GTX 570 + GTX 650, OCz Agility 3. Runs Mint 14 Cinnamon (along with Win7 x64 Ultimate) without a hitch.

Yeah, have a look at this thread. Looks like it works fine for some and not others and works differently on all different types of hardware.
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Re: Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby jerm1027 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:01 pm

I'll give a few of the suggestions mentioned a shot. I've just become sensitive to the initial lag after really analyzing the menu on my C2D laptop. The fading animation is a bit on the lengthy side, though smooth, in addition to the slight initial lag. After some regular use, the menu responses very quickly, though not instantaneous. It doesn't really bother me because even if I type immediately after hitting the super key, before the menu opens, my text is still registered in the search, and opening whatever program isn't hindered in any way. On my netbook, upom immediately hitting the super key, there is still a delay before text is registered in the search. Also, the alt+tab is slow as well, which, again, not on issue on my other two machines.

As for alternative suggestions, KDE still isn't for me. I saw GNOME 3 Classic mentioned in the other thread, so I might fire that up in a VM as well.
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Re: Cinnamon performance tweaks or comparable alternative?

Postby jerm1027 on Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:25 am

It appears I have found my solution. I'm running Gnome Classic, which uses significantly less resources (6% total utilization; 3% is the task manager LxTask), and only ~15% total utilization when playing music via Audacious (which only uses 5%). Huge reduction in CPU resource consumption.

As for my search, I'm using Gnome-Do which seems to be working fine, and still snappier than the Mint Menu. My biggest issue at the moment is Gnome-Do is complaing that I don't have compositing, but I'll live. It would be nice if I can find a solution to that.
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