GEM-related desktop sluggishness due to linear-time arch_get_unmapped_area_topdown()

Chris Wilson chris at
Wed Mar 30 07:07:28 PDT 2011

On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 09:28:07 -0400, Jerome Glisse <j.glisse at> wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 3:32 AM, Chris Wilson <chris at> wrote:
> > On Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:57:49 +1000, Dave Airlie <airlied at> wrote:
> >> On Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 7:04 AM, Jerome Glisse <j.glisse at> wrote:
> >> > What i had in mind was something little bit more advance that pwrite,
> >> > somethings that would take width,height,pitch of userpage and would be
> >> > able to perform proper blit. But yes pwrite in intel is kind of
> >> > limited.
> >>
> >> TTM has support for userpage binding we just don't use it.
> >
> > Yes, and I've been experimenting with the same in GEM to great effect in
> > the DDX. The complication remains in managing the CPU synchronisation,
> > which suggests that it would only be useful for STREAM_DRAW objects (and
> > perhaps the sub-region updates to STATIC_DRAW). (And for readback, if
> > retrieving the data were the actual bottleneck.)
> What do you mean by CPU synchronisation ? In what i had in mind the
> upload/download would block userspace until operation is, this would
> make upload/dowload barrier of course it doesn't play well with
> usecase where you keep uploading/downloading (idea to aleviate that is
> to allow several download/upload in one ioctl call).

Yes, that is the issue: having to control access to the user pages whilst
they are in use by the GPU. A completely synchronous API for performing
a single pwrite with the blitter is too slow, much slower than doing an
uncached write with the CPU and queueing up multiple blits (as we
currently do).

The API I ended up with for the pwrite using the BLT was to specify a 2D
region (addr, width, height, stride, flags etc) and list of clip rects. At
which point I grew disenchanted, and realised that simply creating a bo
for mapping user pages was the far better solution.

Chris Wilson, Intel Open Source Technology Centre

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