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[K12OSN] OT: High load averages with CentOS?



I am curious if anyone else is seeing the following:

In a classroom of 27 students, they launch Firefox 2.0.0.16,
Staroffice8 Impress, and Staroffice8 Writer. The load average goes to
around 32 and stays there.  There isn't any swap being used (memory
usage is at 85%), and %id is around 1-2%.  This same system running
Fedora 7 ran these same packages in this scenario with a load average
of around 6 and %id in the 50% range.  I have made certain that I have
the same version of FF (and flash and java plugins) as well as the
same versions of StarOffice.  It is rather confusing to say the least.
 Max throughput on my NICs (both Gb) is measured at 112Mb/sec which is
what I would expect for max (ran a test to check the throughput)
though the actual load on the NIC is much lower (as indicated by
gnome-system-monitor).  The system uses Ultra260 SCSI drives with an
Adaptec 2010S in a RAID 1. /home is nfs mounted. It is a dual
hyperthreaded Xeon mb.

I'm hoping that someone has seen this and can offer a suggestion on
how to try and sort out what I might be able to do to alleviate the
situation.

Sincerely,
Dave Hopkins


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