4 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2009 12:32 PM by dont88_1

    Slow Display Rendering in Filemaker on New Dell System



      Slow Display Rendering in Filemaker on New Dell System


      Overview: I recently replaced an older Dell Computer and 19" LCD monitor (not widescreen) with a new Dell Precision with T7400 class processor and a single 24" widescreen LCD monitor. The video card is the standard one for this computer and has I believe 256 meg of video RAM. I have not tried the 19" monitor on the new computer. I was using Filemaker Pro 9 Advanced, but the problem is the same or worse in the case of scrolling lists or tables on the Trial version of Filemaker Pro 10 I am using now. I've tried various Display Card and Monitor settings without any improvement.


      Problem Details: I immediately noticed, only in my Filemaker applications, a significant slowdown in rendering the screen, especially in table or list mode. Removing some 3-D effects like emboss or engrave made some improvement, but the rows still seem to write each line one at a time and sometimes repeats writing the entire screen two or three times. This makes scrolling a page at a time slow and tedious. No other application on this computer acts in this slow manner.


      One vary obvious slowdown is in the Database Management Relationship Screen. I've tested this in one of the Filemaker Templates and found when using Ctrl+A to select all (seven) relationships it takes about five seconds to highlight the relationship blocks with the gold outline. If I marquee all relationship blocks, the marquee doesn't even finish at the point I stop the mouse pointer until the relationship blocks are finished being highlighted as selected. Even if I select a single relationship block, there is still a noticeable delay of about a second in the highlighting of the selected block before I can drag it to reposition it.


      I suspected a problem with the video card and 24" display combination, but again, this sluggishness only seems to happen with Filemaker. Has anyone else had a similar experience or does anyone know of a solution?

        • 1. Re: Slow Display Rendering in Filemaker on New Dell System



          Thank you for your post.


          I'm not sure what is causing the problem, but I can assure you this should not be happening.


          Does this only occur on this database?  That is, try creating another database and see if the problem persists?


          This is what I have done with my Dell Dimension 4600i running XP SP3, 3.31 GHz, 2GB RAM...


          1. I created a database file with three related tables.

          2. I entered several records into one of the tables using Import and duplicate records.

          3. I switch between Form View, Table View and List View.  No decrease in speed.

          4. I go into Relationships screen, select All and it is instantaneous.


          There is always a possibility that the files have become corrupt, but since you were testing this on one of the FileMaker Templates, I seriously doubt this is the case.


          Maybe Filemaker Pro has become damaged?  I hate for you to uninstall and reinstall without any change, so do you have access to another machine?  If so, I would install FileMaker Pro again and try out the Templates again.  See if there is still a slow down.


          I'm hoping this will narrow down the number of possibilities.



          FileMaker, Inc. 

          • 2. Re: Slow Display Rendering in Filemaker on New Dell System

            TSGal, thanks for the reply. The slow screen draw occurs with every Filemaker database I have whether created before the new system or since. I used the Template example because it eliminated anything I might have done in creating my databases to cause the slowdown. I am currently using the Filemaker Pro 10 trial version and the slow screen draw occurs on both version 9 and the trial version of 10, but maybe a slight bit worse on v10. It seems to take two or three scans of a list or table of data before I can scroll another screen or select a field, etc. I can actually see the writing of each line as it moves down the screen from one record to the next and then repeats the entire page line by line one or two more times. The slow selection of several related blocks in the database setup screen is just one example along with the slow data display that occurs in every database and every time.


            I suspect it could be my graphics card that has a problem or some problem with the combination of this graphics card and the 24" monitor (both from Dell), but it seems to only occur with Filemaker Pro and no other application. It seems to import large amounts of data quickly and it completes calculations pretty smoothly so those functions appear to be working correctly.

            • 3. Re: Slow Display Rendering in Filemaker on New Dell System

              Was the old Dell running Windows XP and the new Dell running Windows Vista?  TSGal described her setup and mentioned Windows XP 3 running on her machine.


              Maybe different graphics card drivers in Windows Vista on your new machine.  What's the Windows Experience Index say in the Performance Information and Tools control panel?  What does it say for the Graphics subscore?

              • 4. Re: Slow Display Rendering in Filemaker on New Dell System

                I just spent three hours on the phone with Dell Support and eliminated any hardware problems. The last step was to turn off most startup files, but the problem remains.


                I am running Windows XP3 on the new computer and was running Windows XP2 on the older one. I could not find any reference to the Information and Tools control panel or "Windows Experience Index" in the Windows Control Panels so I'm guessing those are found in Vista. However, when I checked performance in the Windows Task Manager, I found it takes about 15% of the CPU usage for the seven or eight seconds it takes to redraw the screen of the Database (template) "Home Budgets" when in the Manage Database screen and the Relationship tab. Something else interesting happens when the Manage Database, Relationships tab is left open in the background and I start viewing the Administrative Tools control panel. The Filemaker window in the background starts rewriting itself overtime I click on anything or move any other screen on top.


                Dell's recommendation, if nothing can be traced back to a problem with Filemaker Pro is to reinstall Windows from scratch in case something in Windows has become corrupted. That is a drastic step, but unless I figure out a better solution here, one I will probably have to take.