13. Running Multiple Processes
At this point, it would be rather interesting to see how the D 840 performs some tasks while some other processes are running in the background. For example, if you are an extreme gamer but you also want to download from the internet, will this affect the actual frame rate and by how much? How about encoding a movie while listening to music ?
We are pretty sure that if we ran enough tasks simultaneously, the D 840 would eventually reach its limits. But our purpose is not to overload the processor but to see how its performance deteriorates as more tasks are loaded. For this reason, we selected the following combinations of tasks.
Our first attempt involved measuring the framerate in HL2 and Doom3 while in the background we ran DVD Shrink encoding, in low priority mode. DVD Shrink was reading from the Primary HD and writing to an external USB drive. The games were installed on the Primary HD.
As you can see, the framerate is not greatly affected and you would still be able to play your favorite game while at the same converting your personal movies. As was reasonable to expect, DVD Shrink encoding time increased from 6:17min to 10:10min but this is not too important since you won't notice it while you're playing.
How about now, we encode in DVD Shrink and at the same time convert 16 wav files to MP3? Each task separately needed 6:17min for the encoding in DVD Shrink and 4:10min for converting 16 wav files from a full AudioCD of 700MB to MP3. When we ran these two processes at the same time, the times changed to 11:46min for DVD Shrink and 4:36min for dBpower. Since we knew that DVD Shrink would require longer, we ran dBpower a second time. As we can see from the times, although dBpower wasn't greatly affected, DVD Shrink took almost twice as long to complete.
One final note, if every task uses the same HD, then it is highly possible to end up with a bottleneck as your HD tries to service all the i/o requests. For example, if DVD Shrink reads from one partition of the HD and writes to another on the same physical drive while dBpower does something similar and then you run your games from the same HD, then this is going to be too much for the HD.