How to debug high system load?


I have a ThinkPad (Core i7, 2.67GHz) with F17 and I'm seeing high system
loads persistently. Right from boot up I see loads of 1, and often it
goes up to 2 or more.

Things I have looked at:
1. I'm using Xfce, so the desktop environment is also light.
2. I looked at the output of `systemctl list-units' and don't see any
unnecessary services enabled.
3. top only says currently Xorg is the most active process with 1% CPU
activity. From the activity summary of atop since boot, I see it's
Xorg with 3% CPU usage. And while idling all my 4 logical cores are
throttled down and are at about 1%.

So my question is since CPU usage is already so low, what could be
driving up the system load? This is bugging me since I also see a
general sluggishness compared to a much faster system early this year.

Thanks for any ideas.


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