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System Specs recommendations?


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Hi All

I don't use filemaker that much.. but i have a client that is asking me to build them a computer system (PC, Winxp). the main purpose of this system is for importing records into his FM application... the last time we did this we used a 1Ghz PC with 512MB Ram.... and imported over 500,000 records.. it took close to two days to complete... I'm looking for a way to speed up that process.... it seemed like the memory in the system was fine and it was the CPU that was working harder and i feel that is the bootleneck....

Anyone have any recommendations to get these jobs done quicker?

I'm thinking... Dual Xeon 3.0Ghz + CPU's and SATA Hdd's with 512Ram or more....



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The best way to speed the import, is to bring the DB to the machine, store it either on a RAM drive or the local harddrive and do the import. The limiting factor is the network speed, which is wwwwwaaaaaayyyyy slower than either RAM or the harddrive.

If you want to speed up a local import, then going with a faster HD or a RAM disk is the way to go.

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Hi Geary, just a general observation. If a 1GHz PC takes 2 days to import your records and the CPU is the limiting factor, then to cut that down to 1 hour, lets say, would require something on the order of a 48GHz processor. Mac G7 maybe? I suspect hardware is not your main stumbling block.

Are you importing with the "Perform auto-enter options while importing" checkbox set? That can cause fields to be recalculated over again as each new record is added to the database. Run the import without this setting then use scripts to build the auto-enter and stored calculation fields.

To determine if this is where your time is being spent, on an existing loaded database, run separate scripts that recalculate stored calculation fields. Ones that you think maybe taking a long time to generate. Or delete those fields from a test database and try your import without them. Run your tests on a sample of your records to save time.

Again, the amount of time you're hoping to save with this faster hardware seems out of proportion to the increased speed of the system you mention. Also, you should check to see if a single instance of FileMaker can make use of the second processor before investing in it. I suspect it can't though FMP7 Server may come with that capability.



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Good point on the dual processor thing. Filemaker Pro client is unlikely to make any use of a 2nd processor.

Also an interesting observation on the auto-entered items.

Something else to consider is splitting your "imported" data into a seperate file. I am not clear on exactly what you are importing, but if you are only bringing a little bit of information into an already populated file, then you might consider building a relationship between it and a sperate file containing the imported information. This can result in a smaller import file and thus a faster import.

Something that I have noticed is that the more records are in a file the slower the imports get. I assume that this has something to do with the indexes.

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  • 1 year later...

I'm almost ready (two months away) to setup my first database with FM Pro 7. We have ancient computers at the office I'm working at and I am looking for recommendations on what the server should be. We will be getting new workstations 3 GHz, 1 GB of RAM, and Win XP. We also have a 100 speed network. I had a person quote me for a server with a Zeon processor, 2 GB of RAM and Windows 2003 Server. Is this overkill? We will have up to 20 users (looking 3-5 years out). There will be probably a total of 1,000 records to start with and there might be 10,000 in five years. The only files we plan to have other than the standard records are PDF files. Also, we don't plan on having any web connectivity for the near future.

We will also be running Great Plains accounting software. I've heard that it is best to put FileMaker on a separate server, so we plan on doing that. Any thoughts on the necessity of having a separate server and what "guts" should be in it? What work/information is the server doing and what work/information are the workstations handling?


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You should definitely put the FM Server on a separate box. The only way you would get me to say otherwise would be for you to say you don't care about your data, in which case...

Regarding what you'll need: The key to serving data is hard drive speed. More RAM is always good, as is a fast processor, but the biggest speed bump you'll see will come from having very fast drives on a very fast controller. Given the number of records you're looking at, you don't even need a monster CPU. A few thousand records is not many at all.

Much will depend on the size of the PDFs and how often they're getting dumped across the network, though. No doubt others will chime in with more advice.


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  • 2 weeks later...

This topic is 6768 days old. Please don't post here. Open a new topic instead.

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