A software and External Hardware, Interfacing on LAN or USB or even WiGig when it comes. The hardware contains HDD/Flash, RAM and RAW Processing power. This is not like Hyper Threading or multi-core cpu, but addresses same issue.
The Software sees resources load on PC and when it feels RAM, CPU or HDD is getting stressed; it moves some work to the external box which is on standby consuming low power. Like playing music is lesser priority then say checking email. The Software Resource manager moves the Music Player and dependencies open in RAM to the Resource outside via USB and makes a Glitch-less switch. This can be remembered as a setting and used whenever the external resource is plugged in. Like RAID but for Home/Small Office users to use redundant capacities. Hardware scales up/down with needs and does not hog electrical power.
A lot of Processing Power and other resources go waste, consuming valuable energy in the present desktops. How faster things can be if all peripherals were on TCP/IP and Wireless (optical). This way an external resource box can directly play the speakers or print too without taking Main CPU time.
delabs – 2009