aHughJassDude

Fast PC, Slow Chief Architect - Why???

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So I recently purchased a powerful PC with the hope that it would take care of the lag and slow response I typically got from my gaming laptop (CORE i7 with NVIDIA GTX and 16 GB of RAM). I was using both computers recently and noticed that I basically got no improvement. Pulling up the computer resources I discovered that (between X10 and X12, laptop or PC desktop) Chief Architect will not use anymore than 5-7GB of available RAM no matter how hard I push the program or how heavy the load. Instead, the program just slows down and won't utilize any of the additional 20GB of RAM or even available CPU. 

 

 

Turn on a video game and all of the sudden all of the resources are getting crazy utilized. 

 

How can FORCE Chief to use more of my computers resources to speed it up? Anyone else experiencing the same issue with their POWERFUL computers? 

 

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Which aspect of CA do you find slow?  3D views, Rendering ?

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24 minutes ago, aHughJassDude said:

How can FORCE Chief

Let me start off by suggesting you fill out your signature so we all have a better idea of who you are when people search this thread or come to it in the archives etc.

 

There are quite a few topics on this subject which boils down to a few basic key points and then gets more complicated from there. 

Ca is optimized to use your hardware in its current iteration and their is a lot more to it than just using available resources, namely that it doesn't need those resources, particularly RAM. You would have to possess some very technical knowledge about programming and computers to get into the nitty gritty of it. What I would tell you is that Chief is running as it should, and most often it is the users habits that make CA slow...most often.

CA uses different resources dependent on what you are doing, but some general improvements can be made to the speed of your plan by better layer control, less CAD elements, small texture resolution, fewer assets like PDF's or images dropped into plan or layout.

I would take electromen's advice and sit down and draw out what you think makes the program slow and in what instances or upload an example .plan file.

There are a lot of experts around here.

If you want, drop a link to your file at my website and I will look at it at some point this week:

https://www.rabbittdesign.net/formca

 

 

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Post a plan file here and I'll test it on my machine.

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I opened the .plan file and although it's a large building, the 3D was as fast as a 2,500 sq ft house.  3D Full camera came up in about a second.

You mention Layout files.  I never open the Layout until the drawing is done.

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So is it a question of workflow then? And do you also experience lag when working in the Layout? going from sheet to sheet? 

 

Sometime when I flip through sheets it can take up to 40 seconds to actually bring up one page versus another. Especially when that sheet has PDFs imported onto it. 

 

And I'm having to work in the layout primarily when doing corrections. These small delay can be frustrating when working against a deadline. 

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1 minute ago, aHughJassDude said:

So is it a question of workflow then? And do you also experience lag when working in the Layout? going from sheet to sheet? 

 

Sometime when I flip through sheets it can take up to 40 seconds to actually bring up one page versus another. Especially when that sheet has PDFs imported onto it. 

 

And I'm having to work in the layout primarily when doing corrections. These small delay can be frustrating when working against a deadline. 

My Layouts have no delay but I don't import many .PDF in Layouts.  Others here do import them and work with Layouts open.

Give this thread a day and I'm sure you'll get more answers.

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2 minutes ago, aHughJassDude said:

Max undos is set to 50. Does that play into it?

Yes.  I find that 8-10 is sufficient.  If I need to go back any further than that I just open an archive / autosave version.

 

btw, if you are importing pdf's make sure you don't rotate or resize unevenly.  If you can convert the pdfs to png - do it.

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6 hours ago, aHughJassDude said:

Max undos is set to 50. Does that play into it?

 

Although undo's seem less likely to be your main issue:

 

Chief writes a lot of these as they are created after every operation. Many undo files are basically a full before and after plan file so can be disk and a lesser extent cpu intensive to create.  The best way to check for impact is to temporarily disable undos entirely.  Try it to asses the impact and then as suggested set to a smaller number.  

 

If undos make your workflow laggy when editing then using an NVMe SSD or RAM drive is the way to go.  With 32GB RAM a ram drive would probably be the way to go and the fastest.

 

On the general topic as per other comments: PDF's can have a big impact on Chief so converting to images helps a lot.

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3 hours ago, Smn842 said:

 

Although undo's seem less likely to be your main issue:

 

Chief writes a lot of these as they are created after every operation. Many undo files are basically a full before and after plan file so can be disk and a lesser extent cpu intensive to create.  The best way to check for impact is to temporarily disable undos entirely.  Try it to asses the impact and then as suggested set to a smaller number.  

 

If undos make your workflow laggy when editing then using an NVMe SSD or RAM drive is the way to go.  With 32GB RAM a ram drive would probably be the way to go and the fastest.

 

On the general topic as per other comments: PDF's can have a big impact on Chief so converting to images helps a lot.

Can you explain more about setting up a Ram Drive in CA ?  How it's done

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aHughjass,  Have you set the Preferences for Folders in CA?

If you have more than one internal SSD, set the Temporary and Undo Folders to the Second SSD.  The one without the OS and software program.

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1 hour ago, Electromen said:

Can you explain more about setting up a Ram Drive in CA ?  How it's done

 

Not certain that a Ram drive will do much in respect to undo/redo. I looked into this about a year or so ago and could not quantify any noticeable benefit. Rene uses a Ram drive but this from my understanding is primarily for library items, models and textures. Here, one may see a benefit if you frequently access the library and have very complex models and high resolution textures.

 

The last time I looked into the undo/redo I was not really able to identify anything significant in respect to the file system or access time. What I did notice was that, depending on the undo/redo operation, it could necessitate a full model rebuild and this was where the bulk of the time was consumed, not the actual file reading time. When I looked into the number of undo's (1-50) I could not find anything that could explain why setting a lower number of undo's would have any significant affect as once an undo file is created it just sits there like a dormant file and is only accessed if you undo far enough where it needs to be accessed. As these files are stored in an dedicated directory the fact that 50 files may need to queried to find the right one should not be very time consuming, it's not as if 1000's of files need to be searched. Also, this directory is emptied/flushed out frequently and when the plan is closed so it never contains more than the undo limit. When I looked at the actual file sizes in the undo folder they did vary drastically, however even the largest file should only take a fraction of a second to load when I accounted for disk read/write times. Not saying that there may not be something going on, just that I could not find it and could not see any appreciable performance difference that I could directly associate with undo/redo file accessing at the disk level.

 

I can only suggest that if one feels the undo/redo is impacting on performance then try reducing the number of undo's to say 10 and see if there is a noticeable difference, you could reduce it again to say 5 and check it again. When doing this just make sure to execute the exact same CA function and then undo for each situation as undo times will vary significantly depending upon what needs to be undone.

 

 

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1 hour ago, TheKitchenAbode said:

Not certain that a Ram drive will do much in respect to undo/redo.

 

For me it depends on the plan complexity and whether Chief is doing a full double plan type save.

 

I had some plans where Chief was creating 500MB undo files on many edits.  With a SATA SSD that was causing obvious small stalls during editing but once I moved to NVMe (or RAM drive) that became the lesser issue but I still often noted a chunk of CPU creating those files (around a second but still noticeable).  I found a CPU difference when measured with some dev tools across plans evens producing similar size undo files, so obviously the plan content has a significant impact.

 

I agree I don't see a reason with 10 vs 50 undo files would make any difference as I've not noted and reading of existing files other than to use them for undo.  I just find a difference with none or any as expected, but as 50 can use a lot of disk space I usually go for 20.

 

The reason I favour a RAM drive for Chief and other apps that create a lot of temporary files is a) I have 128GB and b) it reduces SSD writes.  I recorded writes for a few days and noted Chief and equally I/O intensive devs tool I use were making 150GB+ writes per day. In theory the more durable SSDs will still be fine for years but it does seem a little wasteful for temp files!

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"How can FORCE Chief to use more of my computers resources to speed it up?"

 

Your problem probably has nothing to do with how many resources you are using.  The program will only use as many resources as it needs and you can't really can't force it to use more without actually slowing it down.  If you are not using all of your memory then adding more memory will not speed anything up.  If you are not using all of your cores, then adding more cores will not speed anything up.

 

The real problem is that the program is slow for you.  The solution to your problem is to figure out what is causing the program to be slow.  Assuming that you don't have any hardware or system problems, then problem is probably related to what is in your plan and what you are doing when it is slow.

 

If the program is slow when you are changing pages in layout, then posting the plan file will probably not help any one to figure out why it is slow.  You need to post the layout, all referenced plans, and any other referenced files (like imported pictures or pdfs).

 

My best guess based on the very limited information that you have posted is that the main problem is your use of pdf files.  If for example, you have imported a 25 page pdf file into the program and need to display just one page of it, the program still has to keep all 25 pages in memory and process all 25 pages every time you need to draw it.  If you need to display all 25 pages and you import the 25 page document 25 times, the program then needs to process all the data 625 times.  This is probably going to give you a huge performance hit.

 

If you were to split up the pdf document into 25 separate documents, one for each page, you would probably see a big improvement.  

 

If your imported pdf only has images, rather than actual text or vector graphics, then the pdf will cause a performance hit because it does far more processing than just displaying the image directly.  You should be able to convert your pdf into an image, with no loss of resolution, and see a large performance benefit.

 

Keep in mind that my comments are only based on a guess.  There are lots of other things that you could be doing that might also cause performance problems.  If all else fails, you might want to contact our technical support department for additional help.

 

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19 hours ago, aHughJassDude said:

It's primarily an issue with Layout files. They windows, printing and going from page to page. Importing PDFs does the most to lag the program. 

Calexpress Carwash.plan

Turn off all CAD layers, text and schedules and watch your .plan start to fly again. On larger, detail-rich projects, considering using keynotes and leave your schedules(including a note schedule) in a cad detail. 

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I have a 4 story complex house and with the layout file open, in plan file it takes 8 seconds to switch from floor plan to framing plan.

When I close the Layout file it takes one second.  So why is Chief so slow when the layout is not displayed at all? Nothing is happening in the layout.

Another slow down is with lots of notes. The plan slows way down. Wish we could turn Notes interaction with the schedule when panning and zooming.

 

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1 minute ago, ACADuser said:

.....When I close the Layout file it takes one second.  .....

 

ditto....

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On 3/13/2020 at 11:01 AM, ACADuser said:

it takes 8 seconds to switch from floor plan to framing plan.

When I close the Layout file it takes one second

I am seeing this type of lag with a layout file open, as well.  8-10 seconds to relocate a window label.  Less than a second with the layout file closed.  I do have a few live views in the layout, but not any more than I usually have, and the slow down is substantially greater than I have seen before the last release.  It's not limited to one project either, I'm seeing a lag across the board.

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Sometimes the plan file gets severely bogged down because of the undo/redo option.

 

As an experiment, go to preferences and turn it off altogether. That always results in a huge speed boost. If that turns out to be the cause, then try setting it to only a couple of moves.

 

As Alan pointed out, notes can also be known to bog a plan down. Back in the earlier versions V7, V8 and V9... they always recommended to keep notes to your layout sheets or CAD details. Never on plan views if you could possibly limit that. Not so certain that it would matter in this day and age though. 15-20 years ago, you'd be lucky if you could find a computer with 1 Gb of memory.  

 

Changing the undo/redo setting will make the difference no matter what. 

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3 hours ago, VHampton said:

As an experiment, go to preferences and turn it off altogether.

 

Turning off the undo didn't improve the performance.  I'm thinking it has something to do with the number of layout boxes referring to the plan....

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Interestingly, Layout lag time seems like a common issue.  When you do an update of all plot line views for example, the layout sheets take seem to take forever to scroll through. Often times, I have to shut the program down and somehow this refreshes the memory when it reopens.

 

Turning off the undo feature works best for speeding up things in plan views and 3d, not necessarily layout.

 

But back to layout speed... any camera views sent to layout as images (as opposed to plot lines), have a way of increasing the size of the layout exponentially. Try to avoid "live" camera views in layout altogether. It can be helpful to save the live view away from the layout borders - and just keep an image capture of that particular camera to help minimize. PDF files in the range of 50 to 70 mbs are often the result when you print a project with lots of live cameras in the viewports - and they can take an incredibly long time to spool through the pdf printer.  

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