5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 24, 2012 3:56 PM by TSGal

    Processor Use Limited



      Processor Use Limited


      FileMaker Pro


      Filemaker Pro Advanced 11

      Operating system version

      OS X

      Description of the issue

      I am using Filemaker on a iMac 2010 with Quad Core i7 processors. FileMaker seems to limit its processor use to 100% of one core less any processor activity from other applications.

      It doesn't appear to take advantage of a multi-core/mu;it-processor environment.

      Any hope for a 64Bit version?

      Steps to reproduce the problem

      When nothing else is running it uses 100% v. 400% of the processors avail. As soon as something else runs in throttles back so the total is 100%.

      Expected result

      Just info, next version will fix this I hope.

      Configuration information

      2010 iMac Quad Core it processor.


      Don't run anything else, or limit use of any other programs.

        • 1. Re: Processor Use Limited

          Hmmm . . . does this present a problem from your point of view? I agree with you in that it's a bit of a puzzle, but perhaps FM doesn't need more than one processor (core). Although I've had occasion to check core usage with more CPU intense programs I've never thought to check FMPA usage. I've always assumed it would be very minimal and I think I'm correct. 


          • 2. Re: Processor Use Limited

            Yes, it is a problem.  I have also have a quad-core i7 (MBP) with 8GB RAM and two 6Gb/s SSD's (no spinning disks!).  On a relatively simple 2.79M record database (GEDCOM records) then indexing of a field takes a few 10's of seconds -- all a pure CPU activity (as seen by Activity Monitor showing disk activity as nothing and the Dock icon showing 100% of one CPU thread).

            Sure, the SSD's make any I/O operation fly, but the advent of devices with the newer 10Gb "Thunderbolt" interface will make I/O even less of a bottleneck than it traditionally has been.

            Indexing is a classic operation easily re-coded; it is one of many similar operations which are highly parallizeable (i.e.: can take full-advantage of multi-threading capabilities).

            FMP functionality is great; don't let it become an "also-ran" product by hobbling it by staying with a single-threaded implementation of most operations.

            Besides indexing, there are other simplistic parallel opportunities among such simple things as giving the display updating separate threads (which would help for those times when one does not want to use "Freeze Window" in order the watch the 'progress' of a script).  Four open windows could use at least 4 separate threads, with scripting on another thread (or two), and the "backend" file I/O is still another thread or two (e.g. with indexing and other "auto-calculations") -- that scenario alone could utilize 7-8 threads of processing.

            • 3. Re: Processor Use Limited

              I've done some more testing / evaluation on a quad-core (8 threads - MBP2011) with solid-state disks, and that single-thread is REALLY a limitation.

              When running scripts which process a GEDCOM file (genealogy records) into a set of relational tables (e.b. people, events, relationships), the CPU usage is 98-100% -- for one thread only -- and the associated file I/O is write-only (since it is creating new records in those relational tables) ... but ... (and here is the key point) the amount of writing is quite low: less than 900 KB/sec roughly every other second.  Since the SSD's support several hundred MB/s I/O, and even rotating disks on this system can do >40MB/s, I/O is clearly not the limiting factor (neither is memory - it has 8GB of RAM and only ~1/3 is used with FMP as the only application running).

              • 4. Re: Processor Use Limited

                Agree Dan well stated, I too have dual quad core and SSD, As soon as the overall CPU hit about 20% everything stops, that is with Filemaker, no problems with Quickbooks. With our data collection portion of the system we really see it. GHM if 2 or more people try to enter data at the same time, then everybody can end up waiting for several minutes.  All I can say is: glad I am not the one who recommended Filemaker.

                It would be great if this was addressed.

                • 5. Re: Processor Use Limited


                  Thank you for your posts and comments.

                  I recommend that you enter this suggestion into our Feature Requests web form at:


                  These feature enhancments are captured into a database file that is monitored and read by Development and Product Management where they are then discussed and considered for future releases.  There are a couple of questions on this form that only you can answer.  Otherwise, I would have copied your posts and pasted them into the web form.

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