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I typically tax the limits of my computer systems' system resources, and "obtain the appropriate hardware to perform the kind of computing you require" is not the solution I am interested in for the purposes of this question (though it is the best solution). I am seeking to understand what happens inside the computer system when its performance begins to slow and, for all intents and purposes, hang and halt.

I would also like to become familiar with the available tools we may utilize to develop plans before the system essentially becomes output-only because of resource overload. These instructions could be organized by "operating mode" to instruct the OS how to handle otherwise identical situations differently based on what is important for me at the time.

Examples:
(assume I am both listening to music and also browsing the Internet using increasingly many Safari tabs)

  • DJ mode: I am using the computer to DJ an event, and browsing the Internet between mixes. This mode would make sure Safari would force quit before the music hiccuped for even an instant.
  • Download mode: I am listening to music while browsing the Internet and downloading large files. This mode would force quit iTunes before Safari runs out of memory to increase the likelihood the download will succeed.

Note: Please excuse the current somewhat-disjointed appearance of this question for a few days. I intend to actively revise the question while still allowing those who understand what I am talking about to help.

  • Before you can specify which process to terminate you need to know which one is running and how much of resources is it using. – Ruskes May 9 '15 at 18:43
  • @Buscar웃SD, we do not need to know how much resource an application is using to terminate it. – ProductionValues May 26 '15 at 18:15
  • So you do not care how much resources are been used, you just want to terminate a app? So what criteria would you use to terminate the app? As an example, did you look in the Activity monitor as an example, it will tell you who is using CPU and Memory and how much of it. – Ruskes May 26 '15 at 18:30
  • @Buscar웃SD exactly. If I am rendering an animation, transferring something large via scp, have Mail and Preview open, and wanting to watch a video on Quicktime, I would like to tell OS X before loading Quicktime to kill Mail and Preview first, and then Quicktime, and if necessary the rendering, keeping the file transfer running at all costs. Currently when taxed everything suffers, so I have to "resort" to common sense like "render and transfer and don't touch the computer until they're done." – ProductionValues May 26 '15 at 19:04
  • AFIK that can not be done on a generic scale, but you could specify which ones can be terminated at resources overload. Or maybe it is simpler to specify which ones are NOT to be terminated (ie. rendering) – Ruskes May 26 '15 at 19:20

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