Why did I experienced sound skipping while copying a big file from my USB key onto my computer's drive?

I monitored the system during this I/O operation:

  • music was playing from Internet on the browser's flash player,
  • CPU was about 75% iowait, 25% user/system time,
  • system load was around 4 (on my dual core CPU),
  • sound was skipping while data was written on my SSD (that is, for about 1 second every 5 seconds),
  • I use the deadline I/O scheduler, pulseaudio and Linux kernel version 3.13.

I'm surprised because:

  • playing sound from Internet shouldn't be influenced by disk I/O,
  • the CPU was mostly waiting (iowait).

What's wrong then?

  • Maybe the browser (or Flash) buffers / caches data on disk? Use e.g. iotop to find out. – Hauke Laging Jan 16 '15 at 23:04

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