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Fresh install of Designer vs. Loaded Designer-Performance COMPARISON


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I have a ton of assets and brushes installed on Designer. I was wondering if a fresh install of Designer performs significantly better than a bloated version. I would be willing to clear out my add-ons if I knew it would be faster. Have the devs ever loaded down Designer and compared it to a light new Designer?

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Reinstalling AD won't affect what is stored in your add-ons. All that stuff is stored on a per user basis, not as part of the app itself.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
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1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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11 hours ago, R C-R said:

Reinstalling AD won't affect what is stored in your add-ons.

True, but holding Ctrl down while starting the app will let you access the Clear User Data dialog, which will let you clear everything out.

I would expect that to help the application start faster. For example, if you had 10 GB of Assets and cleared them that's 10 GB of data that the application doesn't need to read as it starts. But I don't know if having that many assets has any effect once the application is running, unless you're trying to add, remove, rename, etc. your assets and asset categories.

Edit: Note that before doing that, one should probably go into My Account and make sure the option to load all available content is not checked.

The same can apply with other large files in your "user" directory. The FAQ explains where to find that directory, and what the files hold:

But an answer from those who know more would be interesting, as @evtonic3 has requested.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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As I understand it, having a large number of assets etc will affect the loading of the app, more than it will affect the performance when editing documents etc.

You may find very slight performance improvements if you were to run a 'clean' install, mainly due to the memory used to load Assets.

If you wish to try this, you can use the above FAQ that Walt has linked to, the navigate to the Affinity folder where this data is stored - now copy this Affinity folder and paste it somewhere safe, such your your desktop or documents folder.

Once you've confirmed the files have copied correctly, you can delete the Affinity app data folder that the program uses, then launch the app and it will generate a 'fresh' copy of all these files, with your preferences reset etc.

Now you can test to see if your specific documents/workflow has appreciable benefits from this, and if you find you'd like to return to having all of your custom assets/settings, you can simply reverse the above process, deleting the new folder created and copying the folder from your safe location back into the Affinity app data location.

I hope this clears things up :)

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1 hour ago, walt.farrell said:

... But I don't know if having that many assets has any effect once the application is running ...

The overall memory footprint the app uses as default should then be higher, which in turn should also be recognizable during app processing/running, especially on systems with little main memory and when a bunch of other app processes are running too.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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56 minutes ago, v_kyr said:

The overall memory footprint the app uses as default should then be higher, which in turn should also be recognizable during app processing/running, especially on systems with little main memory and when a bunch of other app processes are running too.

That seems like a reasonable assumption. On the other hand, my assets.propcol for Publisher on my laptop is 4.5 GB in size, and yet Publisher is only using 1.5 GB of memory when running. So there is not a direct 1:1 relationship between the sizes of the .propcol files and the memory usage. It may certainly be using more than it would with a smaller assets.propcol, but I don't know how to predict the memory usage knowing only the file sizes.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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14 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

On the other hand, my assets.propcol for Publisher on my laptop is 4.5 GB in size, and yet Publisher is only using 1.5 GB of memory when running. So there is not a direct 1:1 relationship between the sizes of the .propcol files and the memory usage.

The Q related to that is more, how much is it then in contrast without initially loading any parts of your assets.propcol file etc. for Publisher. - If add-on stuff like assets, styles, brushes ... etc. are dynamically (re)loaded on demand and so initially only their ref handles at startup, then the used memory would be only slightly/minimal larger after startup then usually without those. Since most add-on stuff will then be fully (re)loaded into mem only when really accessed/used and needed. - The later is generally the more friendly memory handling approach and ideal for systems with little main memory here.

☛ Affinity Designer 1.10.5 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.10.5 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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2 hours ago, Dan C said:

You may find very slight performance improvements if you were to run a 'clean' install, mainly due to the memory used to load Assets.

How can a 'clean' install of the app itself affect the memory used to load Assets from the user level assets.propcol file? It is my understanding that the user level files are not touched when reinstalling an Affinity app. Is there some cache of asset data stored somewhere other than in the per user files?

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
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1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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20 minutes ago, R C-R said:

How can a 'clean' install of the app itself affect the memory used to load Assets from the user level assets.propcol file?

Isn't that just a question of what you mean by "clean"?

A truly clean install, to me, means "just as if the application were never installed in the first place" and would include deleting all the directories that hold the "user" data, or at least resetting all their files to "factory" state.

And that is what Dan described above, if you read the procedure he described. Basically, make a copy of the AppData directory that the application uses, Delete it, and let the application rebuild it.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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Just now, walt.farrell said:

Isn't that just a question of what you mean by "clean"?

I suppose it does. But if the idea is to reset the user level assets.propcol file to its 'clean' factory default state, why bother with reinstalling the app itself? In fact, if the computer has several users, it may not be possible or desirable to reset the propcol files for all of them.

I am all for keeping backup copies of these per user files but if all a user wants to do is reset the assets to the factory state, then the CTRL key startup provides a quick & easy way to do that, likewise for most of the other propcol & related per user files.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
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1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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Yes, @R C-R, the Ctrl Runup with all boxes checked is probably all that is needed. Plus saving the existing data first, of course, as @Dan C suggested :)

It would also be beneficial for Windows users, probably, to do a clean install (or at least a Refresh) of Windows itself. Windows seems to accumulate all kinds of oddities that can affect performance (and even basic functions), which only a reinstall/refresh of Windows will cure.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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13 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Yes, @R C-R, the Ctrl Runup with all boxes checked is probably all that is needed.

Checking all the boxes is overkill if the only thing wanted or needed is to reset the assets propcol file to its factory default state. Just checking the "Reset Assets" box by itself will do that.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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11 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Checking all the boxes is overkill if the only thing wanted or needed is to reset the assets propcol file to its factory default state. Just checking the "Reset Assets" box by itself will do that.

Yes, but maybe there are other things that would cause performance issues. For example, raster_brushes.propcol for Photo on one of my systems is 1.7 GB in size. If it were smaller, Photo would probably start faster, and might run faster.

(It's 2.1 GB for Publisher.)

I can't tell you why it's that big. Maybe it has unused "gas" space and needs to be compressed. Maybe that's just the way it gets with a lot of brushes installed. So perhaps the answer is to reset it and then re-add the brushes and it will be smaller. But maybe the answer is "don't install so many brushes that you don't need". And then you have a choice of (a) having brushes available vs (b) having better performance.

Or maybe it won't affect the actual performance once the application is loaded. But without testing, or additional input about the program design, we won't know.

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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21 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Yes, but maybe there are other things that would cause performance issues. For example, raster_brushes.propcol for Photo on one of my systems is 1.7 GB in size. If it were smaller, Photo would probably start faster, and might run faster.

Sure, but resetting everything to factory defaults means you have to spend time restoring anything from your backups you want to keep using, digging down into the per user backups looking for the files that include them, or creating them all over again from scratch in the app.

So whenever possible, I think it is best to avoid resetting everything & just concentrate on the most likely ones.

Affinity Photo 1.10.5, Affinity Designer 1.10.5, Affinity Publisher 1.10.5;  2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.5.280 & Affinity Designer 1.10.5 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.0.2

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6 minutes ago, R C-R said:

So whenever possible, I think it is best to avoid resetting everything & just concentrate on the most likely ones.

Probably, yes.

And for me, in Publisher, that would probably be assets and raster brushes, and then perhaps adjustments. But probably nothing smaller than that.

image.png.b15b7ffb2b844fcef0cbb7ce929f5c3f.png

-- Walt

   Desktop: new:  Windows 11 Home, version 21H2 (22000.613) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090  (old: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970 )
   Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.1706) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
    Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1342 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 (.1342) and 1.10.5.1282 Beta
 iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 15.4.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

  Affinity Photo 1.10.5 (.280) and 1.10.2 (.266) Beta / Affinity Designer 1.10.5 (.21) and 1.10.3 (.19) Beta 

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