I have a linux 4gb Quad core server w/ apache that is used for this website. I notice when I go to SSH and type TOP to see load averages, they are usually around 0.80.

Now from what I understand, if you have a quad core, your load average is usually around 4.0

Does this mean that my server is too optimized? That maybe it is bottle-necking potential traffic ?

  • I think you misunderstand. There would be no reason for the load to be 4.0 just because you have a quad core processor. The load average is just the measure of processes waiting in the run queue. Are you seeing errors of some kind? – slillibri May 23 '11 at 0:30

"if you have a quad core, your load average is usually around 4.0"

Incorrect, load averages is how long it takes each process to get a slot at the CPU (It's a bit more complicated than that, it actually involves the CPU 'queue' but saying time is a lot easier than trying to explain that). As a highly simplistic example, when running Apache, the load average is the approximate time each request has to wait before being seen too.

A server can never be too optimized, if Apache was causing a bottle-neck most likely the load average would be a lot higher.

We have a 32 core server running LAMP stack, if the load average is above about 3 we start to see a noticeable performance decrease.


You can't have a server which is "too optimized". With load average of 0.8, it means some of your server is idle.

For a quad core your load isn't "usually around 4.0". However with a quad core, you usually don't have to worry about performance if your load is under 4.

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