Slow Program Performance [Edited]

Mike Renna
Mike Renna Member ✭✭
I am tech savvy. I was kinda disappointed with this. I started the new year with a new win 10 PC, i7 processor, 12 GB RAM. I did a clean install of Quicken 2020.

Rather than continue with / open my existing quicken file, I created a new one, added the 13 different accounts we have across 3 banks / brokers (we do the one step update to import transactions, etc).

I haven't even entered the existing stocks in some of the accounts yet. But overall, I'm disappointed that quicken isn't much faster now with this new / MUCH smaller file.

Am I just impatient / expecting too much? The first one step update brought in transactions from the last couple months of 2021. Deleting each line, deleting assets from the security list, etc... not much faster than the old data file.

The new file is 3MB.

The old file is 108MB, has transactions since 1970, has 50 accounts - some that are closed, some that are active (does hiding them matter for performance?). LOADS of securities - most all hidden. Loads of transactions - I was home for a few years and jus churned my accounts. I've been trading weekly covered calls for the last year or more in my and my wife's IRAs... so 6 accounts, several transactions a week (selling 10 contracts might come in from etrade as 10 transactions, each 1 contract).

On the one hand, its disappointing that I can't get the app to be all that much faster. But on the other, It's commendable that it can have all that extra data in the old file and not much slower than minimal data.

At one point, I moved the old data file from a hard drive to SSD. Didn't see much of any difference. I guess I'll try this new file on an SSD.

It's just a bunch of check registers : ) Why can't it be really fast!?

Answers

  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    How slow is slow? For example, how long does it take to add a transaction to an investing account, both with the old and new data file?

    There are ways to speed up a file with lots of investing transactions. If you go to Help and do a Shift-About Quicken, what does it say about your file?

    Also, go to Tools > Account list, click on Options, and select Show number of transactions if it is not already selected. What is the number of transactions in your slowest investing account? 
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Mike Renna
    Mike Renna Member ✭✭
    @Jim_Harman THANKS! I meant to ask about seeing under the hood / info about accounts. Yeah, I have to time something. slower IS admittedly too vague.

    You mention 'There are ways to speed up a file with lots of investing transactions.'

    Any advice?

    As for the stats, what do you think of these. I expected the number of transactions to be higher than these few thousand.

    Have you heard of an upper limit for transactions per account, number of accounts, or other limits? 108MB data file - relatively tiny? : ) ??
  • splasher
    splasher SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    You asked about "hiding". accounts.  It does help since Q doesn't have to waste time displaying it in the Account Bar.  If you never open an account, it does not take up additional memory.
    I really suggest you go back to your original file because you will be sorry at a later date that all of the information is not in a single file.
    If your investment accounts are large, Quicken now has an archive feature that moves the active securities and lots to a new account while still retaining all of the rest of history in the original account:  You can see more about this in Help in Quicken, search "archive".

    -splasher  using Q since 1996 -  Subscription  -  Win10
    -also older versions as needed for testing
    -Questions? Check out the  Quicken Windows FAQ list
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Actually the Archive function for investing accounts does the opposite - it keeps the active securities and lots in the original account and moves the transactions related to securities you no longer hold into the archive account. Users have reported a significant speedup for accounts that originally had many thousands of transactions.

    Be sure to back up your data before trying this.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I don't see unreasonable numbers of transactions in any of your accounts.

    Here is some data from my test system, nothing special - 1.5 GHz i5 CPU, 8 GB memory, SSD disk

    In an account with 2,955 transactions and 22 waiting to be accepted, Accept All took about 10 seconds.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Mike Renna
    Mike Renna Member ✭✭
    Silly trivia! Anyone remember managing your money?! By Andrew Tobias? That's where I started. It was a dos program / that's all there was back then (I'm dating myself). I loved his articles / books. I think windows came out and MYM dropped the ball in making a good windows program (or any windows program at all?). Then I moved to quicken.

    Thanks for that info about archiving. I'll give it a try (on a copy of the file). I do much prefer staying with the 1 complete data file, just for continuity. But realistically, at least for me, it's lots of baggage - stocks that have been bought / merged / folded / I'd never buy now, etc. and all those transactions... a reminder of years of churning my accounts / moving from broker to broker, years of mailed confirmations for all the trades that made a big stack.

    Now that the 1099s include the buy info, at least for trading, quicken isn't as important?

    Oh! Anyone remember Brown & Company!? I was with them for years, then they got bought by Etrade.

    @Jim_Harman you say users report significant speedups... back to my original post - even starting new, I am not seeing a huge improvement. But yes, I do have to quantify this. I'll archive and then do a side by side test.
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am tech savvy. I was kinda disappointed with this. I started the new year with a new win 10 PC, i7 processor, 12 GB RAM.
    A new PC, eh? Perhaps some of your default Windows settings need to be tweaked a little.
    I found that excluding Quicken's processes and folders from Windows Defender runtime scanning reduced the Antimalware process's blood pressure a bit.
    Also under Graphics Settings, ensure that Hardware Accelerated GPU Scheduling is enabled and Quicken is special-cased as a High Performance app. I attribute much of Q's slowness to old, sub-optimal display code.
    Naturally, ensure Q isn't blocked by Controlled Folder Access.
    In other words, hack away. I'd be interested to hear whether any of this speeds up Q for you.
    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Rocket J Squirrel do you remember exactly what folders and processes you excluded? I am running Norton 360 and I would like to try similar setting if I can find them.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Rocket J Squirrel
    Rocket J Squirrel SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Rocket J Squirrel do you remember exactly what folders and processes you excluded? I am running Norton 360 and I would like to try similar setting if I can find them.
    I do indeed. See below for the way it looks in Defender.

    Quicken user since version 2 for DOS, now using QWin Premier Subscription on Win10 Pro.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    Oh! Anyone remember Brown & Company!? I was with them for years, then they got bought by Etrade.
    Which was recently bought be Morgan Stanley.  The financial industry does a lot of this!
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    I haven't even entered the existing stocks in some of the accounts yet. But overall, I'm disappointed that quicken isn't much faster now with this new / MUCH smaller file.

    And that is something we (people posting on here) have been pointing out for years.  Most of Quicken's data comes from a database, and databases are optimized to give about the same performance no matter what their size is.

    Optimizing for speed is the art of finding out what is biggest bottleneck and work on that, and once that is resolved work on the next one.   It isn't "get a new machine".  One has to look at what is slowing Quicken down.

    At one time I was wondering if the old database was the cause, but I have come to conclusion recently that it isn't.
    If you deal with a lot of transactions/securities/security lots in a given account, you know it starts getting slow pretty fast.  Try a move transactions (in copy of your data file).  You can move thousands of transactions in couple seconds!

    Clearly the problems with speed in investment account is in the GUI and the on-the-fly calculations they are doing to update it.

    People talk about the memory and even want to go to 64-bit, but Quicken isn't memory intensive.  Your web browser uses tons more memory than Quicken does.

    Having a fast drive does help to a point.  The Quicken data file is a compressed file, and as such Windows probably caches most of it in memory when it is firsts opened.   And note that Quicken doesn't read in the data into a register until you open it, and once you do it doesn't close it, just hides it.

    Graphic driver problems are probably the biggest "performance hits" and Quicken seems to have a knack for finding any kind of problems like this.  People come in all the time and talk about how fast their GPU is and none of that matters.  The Windows GUI APIs, especially the old ones sprinkled throughout Quicken don't use any of the multiple pipelines and advanced features.  So, in some ways the "less powerful" have an advantage because their drivers might be less complex or not an optimized for games.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    @Mike Renna One of the things I see missing from your original post is any times.
    "Slow" is very subjective.  What's more you are looking "faster because I have a new machine".

    Unless there was something wrong with the machine or it was very old, the likelihood of a new machine speeding up Quicken is next to zero.

    Note that I mentioned the GUI, that I think is by far the main performance problem in Quicken.
    Well Quicken for the most part is also single threaded.  If you look at the cycle times of processors over the recent years you will see that they haven't gone up much, most are topping out at about 4GHz (some very recent at pushing this a bit more).  And other than if they make the instruction set more efficient (which they have, but only to a small degree), but mostly what has happened is more cores/threads.  So, Quicken clearly isn't going to get much of a bump in speed for more cores/threads.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • Mike Renna
    Mike Renna Member ✭✭
    Gosh! Thanks everyone for all this info! I've never liked Quicken / Quickbooks / most any company support. The power of the web and being able to ask other users is SOOOO much more productive.

    (yes, I know - quicken / quickbooks are different companies now).

    I did an archive on 1 of the active accounts... don't think I notice much change.

    And in the end, doing that for the 13? active accounts, then I'll have 26 accounts?

    For the accounts that are zero balance / long dead... I've been hiding them. Would you close them in quicken? that will keep them in the hidden accounts list? I am noticing when doing moves between accounts, when choosing the other account, I see all these accounts that I don't have anymore. closing in quickbooks will solve that too?
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Despite what the on-screen prompt says, if you want to hide an account from selection lists and prevent it from being included by default in reports is to mark it Separate in the Account details > Display options.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 7
    Gosh! Thanks everyone for all this info! I've never liked Quicken / Quickbooks / most any company support. The power of the web and being able to ask other users is SOOOO much more productive.

    (yes, I know - quicken / quickbooks are different companies now).

    I did an archive on 1 of the active accounts... don't think I notice much change.

    And in the end, doing that for the 13? active accounts, then I'll have 26 accounts?

    On the idea about archiving investment accounts to improve performance.  This would only increase the performance in the original account that was "pruned".

    It matters little how many accounts you have (or the size of the data file).
    The reason is simple, Quicken doesn't read in any account until you use it.

    So, this is a very simple concept for speeding up performance in that one account, less transactions/security lots, the faster it will perform, up to a point.  Clearly there is overhead even if there is only one transaction in that account.

    And yes, if you archived all your accounts, you would double the number of accounts in Quicken.
    EDIT just to be clear, I certainly wouldn't archive any account that I have already hidden because I don't use it anymore.

    For the accounts that are zero balance / long dead... I've been hiding them. Would you close them in quicken? that will keep them in the hidden accounts list? I am noticing when doing moves between accounts, when choosing the other account, I see all these accounts that I don't have anymore. closing in quickbooks will solve that too?

    On close account feature.  With one bad exception it isn't doing anything more than these steps that most likely you have already done:
    1. Disable downloading of transactions.
    2. Zeroing the account balance is needed.
    3. Marking it hidden.
    4. Remove reminders for that account.
    5. Making it so that you can never "unhide" it and open it again.
    #5 is basically the main reason I never use close account.  BTW in Quicken Mac they allow you to reopen an account.  There isn't any reason they shouldn't in Quicken Windows too, but from day one they have refused to fix this.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    Mike Renna said:
    Silly trivia! Anyone remember managing your money?! By Andrew Tobias? That's where I started. It was a dos program / that's all there was back then (I'm dating myself). I loved his articles / books. I think windows came out and MYM dropped the ball in making a good windows program (or any windows program at all?). Then I moved to quicken.
    ...
    I started with MYM.  Nice package for the time.  I think the final DOS versions dates to 1995, but I had converted to Quicken before that. 
  • Jim_Harman
    Jim_Harman SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    I am also a convert from MYM. I think I started using it in 1989, and I still have a notebook of reports from when I converted to Quicken, at the end of 1999.
    QWin Premier subscription
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    BTW One might ask why is it that in non-investment accounts there is little to no performance hit for having and lot of transactions, there is in investment accounts?

    I think it comes down to two things.
    1. What Quicken is calculating on the fly.
    2. How the GUI is setup.

    It is pretty clear to me that Quicken doesn't store numbers like the balance or the number of shares, and such.  So, in a non-investment account they have to calculate the Balance.  But in the investment account they have to calculate for the cash balance and they have to go through every security lot and add up those.  When people have securities for a long time, and a lot of securities that can really add up.

    But by far I think it is the way the GUI is setup.  If I use tools to look at the GUI I find that the non-investment account seems to be a consolidate custom "control".  Whereas the investment account register is a bunch of little standard controls like text boxes, and pull-down menus, and such.  You don't have to even have a large number of transactions to see the performance (and the refreshing) of this setup is pretty bad.  I suspect it is a nightmare to work on.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
  • q_lurker
    q_lurker SuperUser ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Chris_QPW -- Is part of what you are suggesting here that when Quicken succumbed to users wishes to have a share count show in the transaction list (Share Bal column), they now have to compute on the fly that share count applicable at each transaction date for all transactions in the list including all securities ever used in that account.

    I took note in the R37.25 release notes improvements:

    Multiple improvements to our investment tool including:
    o Buttons and links in Simple Investing display that allow you to update a securities Share Price and Cash Value.
    o Buy/Sell indicators on the Price History / Market value graph now include reinvestments, display improvements, and an increased limit to the number of changes tracked.
    o You can now choose to hide or show a few specific columns in the investment register.
    I don't know what those columns were but wonder if that might have been in part for performance improvement.
  • Chris_QPW
    Chris_QPW Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 8
    q_lurker said:
    I don't know what those columns were but wonder if that might have been in part for performance improvement.
    The columns are:


    And before this option was available all of them were being displayed.

    So, in theory turning off Share balance might improve the speed.
    I sort of doubt it though because displaying share balance is pretty new itself.

    Which means that either my theory about these calculations affecting performance is wrong, or they were already calculating them before, but just not displaying them.

    EDIT.  But I will say this about the "calculations on the fly".  It definitely true that it isn't just the number of transactions.  The number of securities and security lots, definitely impacts the performance.
    Signature:
    (I'm always using the latest Quicken Windows Premier subscription version)
    This is my website: http://www.quicknperlwiz.com/
This discussion has been closed.