significant UI lag on new hardware

OS: Ubuntu 20.04
Hardware: 5950x AMD cpu, 64gb 3600Mhz DDR4 ram, 4th gen NVME ssd disk, 3090 Nvidia GPU
Audacity Version: 2.3.3

Hi, I have used audacity on and off for years but recently i’ve needed to use it after building a new machine earlier this year, am finding it very hard to use. After loading an audio file, if i scroll across to review the spectrogram, it is sluggish.If i attempt to select a section, there is a lag while the rectangle sweeps across the signal. If I open top I see that xorg process is spinning up cpu at those times.

I’ve used Audacity on weaker machines much more smoothly, this is very unusual.

I also tried using the latest Audacity version(3.0.2) from the PPA repository but it also has the same issues.

When viewing the track spectrogram, the larger the “Window Size”, the slower it will be to calculate the spectrogram.
Reducing the window size is likely to improve performance.
The default window size has been increased since early versions of Audacity in response to user demand, but there is always a performance hit when increasing the size.

Waveform view is MUCH more efficient than spectrogram view as it requires much less processing (and Audacity can cache the waveform display more effectively).

Sorry Steve, I meant waveform not spectrogram. My mistake for using the wrong terminology.

I’ve used Audacity 2.3.3 on a mid-range laptop with Intel graphics, SSD and Xubuntu 20.04, and it absolutely flies. (I’m currently testing Audacity 3.0.4 alpha)

I prefer not to use Gnome Desktop because I find it generally sluggish (all round, not specific to Audacity).
As the desktop environment is the only obvious reason for your setup to be slower than my (lower spec) setup, perhaps worth booting into an Xfce session to see if that makes any difference.

I’d recommend sticking with the official Ubuntu repository version for now.

Yeah, i’ve used audacity on slower machines without a problem. Loaded even 1gb size files and been able to work with them easily. It’s perplexing how slow this is right now though. I am only working with a few minutes of 16khz mono audio. Nothing crazy. IT should be working flawlessly even if gnome is a dog!

Yes it should. We need to try and work out why it isn’t.

Hi steve, I think I figured it out. I was rendering with the GPU in the background. Seems I understimated the effect that would have on other tasks, though it was not noticable in any other app but Audacity exhibits lag which made me incorrectly suspect Audacity. Thanks for the help! Can mark this solved :slight_smile:

Thanks for the update.

For the benefit of other users that may have the same problem, could you say a bit more about how you did that and how you fixed it.