Re: Process scheduling.

speed@ns.connext.net
Mon, 9 Jun 1997 10:17:21 -0400


On 9 Jun 97 at 3:00, Colin L. Hildinger wrote:

> An Idle priority app will get no cycles if they aren't available,
> and so something like Quake causes DESCHALL to halt completely. NT
> 4.0 moved the graphics interface into Ring 0 to increase graphics
> performance, but of course, it hurt multitasking because now a
> kernel level process can actually wait on a line to be drawn or a
> bitmap to be blitted. Duh. Of course, to the end user, under
> light conditions, this makes NT "feel" faster, but it's not very
> smart when you're doing real work with lots of processes. I mean, a
> graphically intensive app could grind your server to a halt. Oops.
> As MS does more and more stupid things like this, NT will become
> less and less stable, not more and more. NT 3.51 will prove to be
> the most stable version of NT for some years to come, I fear.

There is another reason behind Microsoft's decision to move the
graphics interface into Ring 0. Microsoft wants to cater to the
largest possible audience. They also realize that NT is quickly
becoming their primary OS as people see the shortcomings of 95.
However, NT has traditionally turned away one large group of
consumers: the ones who want to play games. DOS games just run
faster, and programmers can deal with the hardware the way they want
to.

Microsoft's solution - DirectX. However, this requires moving the
graphics subsystem into Ring 0. A good move for the server people?
Probably not. But then again, if you are running NT strictly as a
server, odds are you won't be running many graphically intensive apps
in the first place. Is it a good move from a marketing standpoint?
Certainly - because you just told the average Joe that he can now
play all the latest games on Windows NT :)

- Mark