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Load Average/CPU Usage correlation
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Load Average/CPU Usage correlation

imperioimperio Member
edited November 2013 in Help


I have a dedicated server with an old cpu amd sempron 2800+.I need some clarification about cpu usage/load average correlation as it is somehow confusing.

Cpu graph:

Load Average Graph:

I do not notice high cpu usage affecting load average however this kind of cpu usage worries me.Why do you think cpu usage is not correlating with load average and do you think it requires a cpu/server upgrade.

Btw server is in panama things aren't easy there.


  • Well if you're running any flavour of Linux, load average also includes IO wait time. So slow disk access can cause high load - independent of CPU usage.

  • imperioimperio Member
    edited November 2013

    True.Peaks on load average graph can be caused by the i/o wait time however my question is why high cpu usage does not affect load average.When you review load average graph you can decide that this server does not require an upgrade.If you review cpu graph confusion starts.So what do you suggest in this situation.

  • I misread, sorry. Let me try again...

    Load average is essentially the number of jobs waiting in the queue to run.

    A load average of 1 1 1 means there's always 1 job in the queue. With a single core processor you have a backlog.

    A load average of .1 .1 .1 means all jobs are being processed almost immediately.

    So, I'd say that you're pushing the CPU to near it's limit, but overall the system is coping well as most of the time the load is well below 1.

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