To get more blog postings happening, I will start with small mini-five series postings. Seems I’m most productive when I have to deliver material. This first series is about computer systems and performance concerning audio productions. I will use the MacOSX system as the basis, as I work with it every day, even developing applications for it, but many of these topics cover the Windows system, as well.
First about the system disk and available disk space. The main operating system is using the hard disk to page out and in pieces of memory, this is called virtual memory paging. When you start an application, a lot of memory objects are created, and they all can’t fit into memory. So what the system does it to look when one of those memory blocks was accessed, if it was long time ago it is moved over to the hard disk. When this memory object is suddenly needed, it’s loaded back in.
Now, this means that there’s a lot of disk activity happening. If there’s more real memory, there’s less need to page out the memory pages (as they are called), or paged back in. So if you add more RAM, then things are faster.
Secondly, if the main disk is very full, it will take longer and longer to find disk sectors that could fit various pages. So the second rule is to never let the system hard disk get too full. My own rule is never to let it have less than 10Gb free space.
You could use Omnidisksweeper and similar tools to find what files and folders on the system disk use most disk space, and either delete them or move them to another hard disk. More in the next installment about this one.