Shouldn't this be done automatically? I don't know but in windows it just works. In linux where everybody bolsters how it's design is superior to anything those losers at microsoft do I can't get a damn smooth mouse cursor. And copying a file kills my music. Do you want everybody that uses Ubuntu to have to understand mlockall and run music players with root just to have smooth mouse cursor? No wonder Windows has 90% and linux around 1%.
It probably should, complain to your distro.
FWIW I have the opposite experience - I often see GUI lag in Windows when working with slow network shares or usb sticks, but IO doesn't affect X here. I did use to get a small skip in music during heavy IO (git gc of a big tree), but upping mplayer cache settings fixed that.
I don't run 4096 cpus. Neither do most desktops. What you say is a cop-out: Linux is great but on servers with 4096 CPUs. Linux should work on both servers and desktops. Or else it's no better than windows.
Linux still performs better on desktop than Windows does on server.
Linux is still probably the most flexible OS.
That sounds very much like a typical PulseAudio installation... Just get rid of it. It is bloatware crap. I run on nothing more than ALSA, and I can put the cpu under intense load and never get any audio lag or skips.
Choppiness in music happens along with mouse choppiness. I don't think that the culprit is PulseAudio.
Have you tried? I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it. The first thing however that I would look at is what the hell is going on in your system that you are hitting the swap that hard in the first place. (BTW, I can easily reproduce the same set of conditions in Windows that you describe when a program goes rogue and springs a nasty memory leak. When that happens, you move the mouse and system starts sputtering all over).
Hold on, if you know you are hitting memory limitations, why are you choosing some of the most bloated software that you can choose? PA, KDE, Cromium, Eclipse... I mean come on, in every case there is something lighter that would work better on your hardware.
EDIT: and if you are only using 1GB of ram and still have 2GB available, and it is already swapping, then something is configured wrong... You should check out swappiness.
So what? I still get choppy mouse movement under heavy load and can't play music continuously.
I recall having quite noticeable GUI lag when copying large files (~10gb and bigger) which prompted me to try out BFS and BFQ quite a while back and it did indeed improve gui responsiveness greatly. However as time went I stopped using a BFS patched kernel as the gui lag improved alot in mainline and these days it seldom happens (actually I can't recall when it did last).
Never had any sound playing lag when copying files though, also this gui lag has always been IO bound, I've never encountered it despite maximizing the cpu cores (like running x264 encodes while compiling etc). I wouldn't be surprised if BFS/BFQ still gave noticeably better responsiveness during extreme IO load but it's running smooth enough here for me not to bother.
For the record I haven't used swap on my machines for many years so there may be problems with excessive swap access that I'm not aware of.