I usually listen to music via YouTube while working. However, ever since I installed Fedora, I have been experiencing audio drop-outs and stuttering. This usually happens when spawning new processes or high disk IO. Specifically, when I do the following:
Opening new tabs and windows
Firefox is usually the culprit here. If I play a video in the background (in Vivaldi or in Firefox), the audio will significantly drop-out/stutter when opening new Firefox tabs/windows. As far as I know, Firefox starts each new tab in a process so that might have an effect to it.
Launching a new virtual machine with VMPlayer
When powering on my Windows 8.1 virtual machine, audio from either Vivaldi or Firefox will also drop-out/stutter. This also sometimes happens when shutting down the said virtual machine.
Launching other applications
Occasionally, the drop-outs/stutters would occur when I open new applications. Although it happens less frequently, I am surprised that stutter can occur even though I am just launching the terminal (which is a very small application).
I have a relatively slow HDD for my laptop. Although the slow start-up time of applications is manageable for me, the audio stuttering isn’t. I haven’t experienced this kind of issues with the past distros I used, Ubuntu and elementaryOS (both using PulseAudio). Here are some hardware specifications of my Dell Inspiron system:
- CPU: Intel Core i5-8250U
- RAM: 12 GB
- GPU: AMD Radeon 520 (Switchable Graphics)
- Kernel driver: radeon
I also tried playing with the virtual memory values through the
tuned. I tried switching the profile to
throughput-performance but it also didn’t help much. My current profile is
accelerator-performance with the following parameters:
'kernel.sched_min_granularity_ns' = '10000000' 'kernel.sched_wakeup_granularity_ns' = '15000000' 'vm.dirty_ratio' = '40' 'vm.dirty_background_ratio' = '10' 'vm.swappiness' = '10'
As you can see, the swappiness value is pretty aggressive already. Also, I checked
htop when the drop-outs/stutters occur. The swap memory usage doesn’t spike/change during those times. Also, the CPU usage aren’t really that high when drop-outs/stutters happen.