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Frequent and large FPS drops
Server OS: CentOS release 5.4 (Final); kernel 2.6.18-164.el5
Processor: Genuine Intel; unknown model name; 4 cores @ 2.65GHz each.
Ram: 8GB
Game(s): Team Fortress 2
Start Up Command:
echo "Starting TF2 Server #2"
sleep 1
screen -A -m -d -S tf2-server-2 ./srcds_run -console -ip -port 27017 -game tf +fps_max 400 +map achievement_idle +maxplayers 32

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OK...yes I know this is one of many threads about this. My gaming community has just acquired a new dedicated server (made the switch from Windows to Linux) and I am, in part, responsible for setting up our TF2 servers. The default kernel timing sets them at ~333FPS, which is perfectly fine for TF2...the only problem is it isn't being held. When there's less then, say, 16 people playing in a given server it's perfectly fine. When the servers (we currently have 3 of them) come close to being full, the FPS drops become very frequent and noticeable by players. Our CPU utilization during this time doesn't even go above 30%, so I'm pretty certain that's not the issue here. Here's what the graph looks like for one of our servers when it's full, with 32 players. Setting fps_max to 0 seemed to be the most stable option, but still results in an "unusable" server Sad.
[Image: graph.php?id=35187]

I've seen the Kernel Optimization guide, but figured I'd see if there is any simple fix anybody knows of. As in, could I make any tweaks to any of the process setting to make them work good? I don't need 1000FPS, just to stabilize the 333FPS would work fine.

Also, If I were to recompile the kernel, can I do it at a setting that isn't ridiculously high (so I don't gobble up all the system resources). Or even better could there be multiple steppings (256FPS, 512FPS) like Windows. This would be extremely handy because different servers have different needs. Like, for example, our public servers would be at 256 and our clan practice/match servers would be set at 512.

Would switching Distros help the situation? I've used Ubuntu to run TF2 servers for LAN's I attend and it seems to maintain both a higher (about the same as Windows) and more stable FPS than the CentOS distro we're using on our community box. Then again, I don't think I've ever had more than about 20 people on a server at a LAN.
Processor: Genuine Intel; unknown model name; 4 cores @ 2.65GHz each, 8GB <<<< this server should do 333fps without drops at normal use, less plugins, not lots of players e.g.
Server OS: CentOS release 5.4 (Final); kernel 2.6.18-164.el5 <<<< i dont have experience with this OS, but normally try an newer kernel over 2.6.24 because of many bug fixes (kernel exploids) and the CFS.

see my kernel howto in the signature... (Linux Kernel HOWTO!)
Do not ask technical questions via PM!

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