[CentOS] cpuspeed causing high load average?

Tue May 15 12:05:30 UTC 2012
Tony Mountifield <tony at softins.co.uk>

On a new server's CentOS5 install, with nothing in the way of applications
running yet, I noticed that the load average was sitting between 2 and 5
all the time, even though top told me CPU was 100% idle.

Eventually I found that stopping the "cpuspeed" subsystem allowed the
load average to drop down to near zero, as I would expect it to be.

I have the default /etc/sysconfig/cpuspeed with no customizations.

Is the above behaviour expected? It seems wrong to me. Is cpuspeed broken?

I did notice that with cpuspeed running, the CPUs were running at their
minimum frequency of 1.6GHz, and after stopping the cpuspeed service
they went up to their maximum speed of 2.8GHz.

The system has a pair of E5660 Xeons, which Linux reports as 24 CPUs!

Tony Mountifield
Work: tony at softins.co.uk - http://www.softins.co.uk
Play: tony at mountifield.org - http://tony.mountifield.org