Monday, August 29, 2005

cgoban2 unplugged

This entry isn't so much a blog as it is a way to document something I found useful in the event that it might be useful for others. When playing on KGS this weekend on my unplugged laptop, performance was abysmally slow. Window redraws took at least 10 seconds, switching room tabs took at least that much time, and observing a game was impossible. All other applications ran fine, CPU utilization was less than 5% at all times, and I saw that the CPU speed was throttled down to 600MHz - still a reasonable speed.

A quick google found others with similar problems. The situation looked a bit grim and I began to wonder if the holy grail of go playing - wireless internet bathroom go - was out of reach for KGS players. I had such a great time playing wirelessly on IGS at Panera that I knew I had to take that next step and I wanted to be able to do it on as many servers as possible.

Now, stepping back, I know java's slow, but it cannot be THAT slow, can it? Well, I still don't have an answer for that. But another post finally did get a response that pointed to a solution.

It would appear that ATI video adapters (mine included!) include configurable functionality called "PowerPlay". This is intended to decrease battery usage by allowing you to throttle video performance in order to conserve power. Honestly, I don't really notice much of a difference with all my other applications, but for some reason it just brutalizes java apps, cgoban2 included. Disabling PowerPlay or simply configuring it toward more performance while on battery power is the simple fix.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

brilliant, thanks for blogging about this. It was driving me nuts.