Saturday, February 10, 2007

Process priority should apply to other resources

I have an application that doesn't take up many CPU cycles, but it does write a large amount of data to my hard drive; the same hard drive on which my virtual memory file is located. As you can probably imagine, my system slowed to the speed of an intoxicated sloth crawling on flypaper. It got me thinking that it would be nice if there were a way to not only give a priority to a process as far as the CPU is concerned, but to other system resources as well. How is it possible that this process that was using less than 10% of CPU cycles was able to bring my computer to a crawl? It really shouldn't be.

Quality of Service kind of does this for the network, process priority does it for CPU cycles. But CPU speeds haven't been the bottleneck in modern personal computers for a number of years -- now it's the hard drive. I can't understand why any OS I've used still doesn't support a way to limit access to the hard drive the same way they've done for CPU cycles for decades.

1 comment:

Devster said...

I think solid state drives will help this a lot - new notebooks are shipping with 'em. There's some coming out from people like sandisk for machines out there now too.