Archive for May 19th, 2010
Device Conflict? Yes and No
Older versions of Windows relied on a limited system of IRQ’s (Interrupt Requests) to signal an interruption, or need for CPU services. Today, the architecture of the modern CPU has changed, so the old system, which had a high potential to create device conflicts, has been replaced with a much more flexible system that vastly increases the number of physical devices that a computer can manage. This newer architecture, combined with a more dynamic system of device communication, means that there are fewer opportunities for old-style device conflicts.
That doesn’t mean that all hardware devices get along with each other, though. There are plenty of other opportunities for devices to “conflict” with each other! More commonly today, devices may use shared libraries, which can cause some conflicts over resources. Too many USB devices plugged into the computer may cause power problems, especially if they’re plugged into a USB hub or an extended USB port found on devices like keyboards or monitors.
Some devices (and software) compete aggressively for hard disk space and physical memory. In these cases, some applications or hardware may find it difficult to access the resources they need to run properly. While this isn’t technically a device conflict, lack of memory and hard disk space can definitely impair the performance of the computer.
Generally speaking, the system of device management on a modern computer is designed to prevent device conflicts, or to make them much less apparent to the user. Newer computers and operating systems are outfitted with the tools they need to redirect hardware requests that might otherwise conflict with each other. Nonetheless, you can use the Device Manager on Windows to examine the peripherals your computer sees, and inspect how each device is handled by the CPU and operating system.
Old, outdated or corrupted information in the registry can also cause computer performance problems. Again, this isn’t exactly a device conflict, but this bad information can cause devices to misbehave, and can also slow down the CPU while it looks for resources that no longer exist. A good registry cleaner like RegCure can help remove these stumbling blocks so your computer doesn’t have to waste time executing abandoned code.
Photo Credit: Jon Ross, via Flickr
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