Xruns and Desktop type

Just wanted to share my experiences using an old Core i5 Lenovo Thinkpad X230, running Linux Mint, with Ardour and Qjackctl.

I noticed I was getting Xruns if there was anything “happening” on the screen, a good example being meter monitoring on Ardour, or tracks scrolling across the screen. Or even using the mouse to move a window. If I chose to have something “static” on the screen - say Qjackctl patch window full screen - sound would be pretty much perfect, no xruns.

So - clearly something graphics related. I’d followed all the usual kernel tuning suggestions - real time kernel, cpu performance mode, unlimited etc etc… with no joy. And I’d done a lot of more low-level reading about “shared IRQs” but couldn’t find any evidence that this was the cause.

Eventually - it dawned on me that these Thinkpads are great, robust, powerful little laptops but are designed for the business world so usually have puny little graphics cards in them.

So I switched my desktop from Cinnamon to Mate. Problem solved - no more xruns, no matter what I have dancing around on the screen. And, with a bit of theme-adjustment - it looks just as pretty as Cinnamon, if not better.

I hope this helps someone out there?



Nice! I, too, had thought of Cinnamon as a “lightweight” desktop, and found it remarkably resource-hungry on old hardware. I’ve dropped back to XFCE on the old laptops.

Just for the laugh, when I first saw the thread title, I was thinking, “Hmm, my smoked glass desktop doesn’t seem to contribute to xruns, but I do think I’ve heard some unwanted reflections off it from my monitors.” :slight_smile: