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A Question of Speed

Question asked by MichaelArnovitz on Jun 17, 2010
Latest reply on Jun 19, 2010 by jond


A Question of Speed


I'm sure that the topic of speed has been raised before, but I couldn't find anything that seemed to address my situation, so I thought I would put this question out again to those who have more experience with this software. 


I have built two databases. Neither one is particularly complex. In fact the second one only has about 12 fields, with a couple of entry calcs. I mainly use these dbases to store big chunks of information. I then do searches and export found sets. That's 90% of what I do with them.


But they are big. The second one mentioned above already has 138 million records, and I may be adding as much as 15-20MM more each month. So speed is a serious issue. For example I recently tried to do a search, and as often happens the dbase started out by indexing the field in question. The problem is that indexing this one field was going to take over 46 straight hours! That won't work.


Likewise, I've noticed with my smaller dbase (about 3.5MM records) that importing new records got WAY slower as more fields were indexed. I turned off indexing on every field I could, and that helped, but it's still slow. I can only imagine what will happen with the larger dbase once a few fields are indexed.


So here's my thoughts on this: I've noticed when running FM that typically the CPU use is low. Often less than 5%, and rarely more than 15%. So the slowdown does not appear to be a factor of CPU power. Also, I have 8 GB of RAM, and the amount of RAM used by the system for FM never seems to get anywhere near topping out, so I don't think it's that either. The hard drive on the other hand is always going, and the speeds are not impressive. 


So it seems to me that the overall speed of of indexing, adding/exporting records, and finds (which is most of what I need) would be greatly improved by adding an external RAID 0 hard drive. But before I throw down the coin for that, I wondered if anyone else here had any experience with this, and could offer some advice. Thanks!


My system -- iMac 27" Quad I7; 8 GB RAM; FM Pro 10.0v3; no networking