What determines performance

Hardware factors that influence performance

Your system's hardware has the greatest influence on its performance. It is the ultimate limiting factor on how fast a process will run before it has to start sharing what is available with the operating system and other user processes.

Performance tuning can require you to add hardware or upgrade existing hardware if a system's physical subsystems are unbalanced in power, or insufficiently powerful to satisfy the demands being put on them. There may come a time when, despite your best efforts, you cannot please enough people enough of the time with the hardware resources at your disposal. If so, you will have to go and buy some more hardware. This is one reason why monitoring and recording your system's performance is important if you are not the person spending the money. With the information that you have gathered, you can make a strong case for upgrading your system.

It is important to balance the power of your computer's subsystems with each other; the power of the CPU(s) is not enough in itself. If the other subsystems are slow relative to the available processing power, they will act to constrain it. If they are more powerful, you have possibly overspent, although you should be able to upgrade processing power without much extra expenditure.

There are many hardware factors that can limit the overall system performance:

On multiprocessor machines, the following considerations also become important:
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SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003