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ArcGis Desktop-Arcmap refresh speed

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I am working on a PC/Win Pentium 4 machine 4 years old. As an example I am working on metropolitan Kansas City, Mo. USA, roughly 30 miles X 30 miles.
In extents larger than 1:20,000 the refresh rate on my screen is pretty slow when I have all roads (local, major, highways) lableing activated.
Other than having more than one layer, with one for small extents with all roads labeled and one for larger extents without local roads labeled, does anybody have any experience in speeding up the process.

I experimented by using a moderate speed laptop dual core Dell computer last year and didn't see much difference.

I was wondering in a new quad core PC/Win with SATA hard drice or even a SCSII hard drive and a fast FSB processor buss, maybe 1,000 or faster would make any significant difference.

Any serious suggestions welcomed.

Fran├žois Goulet

Fran├žois Goulet

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I have at home something similar to you (an old 2.8 GHz Pentium 4, 1 Gb of Ram and a 256 Mb graphic card) and at work a brand new 3.0 Ghz Quad Core w/ 3 Gb of Ram and the speed difference is tremendous. Of course, just by removing the automatic labeling unless it is absolutely necessary will improve your performances. It takes a lot a "juice"...

I'm sure you new computer will change everything. Don't forget to check your graphic card too!

Charlie Frye

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Hopefully you've already seen this blog entry I did a few months ago:

Tips for getting better map drawing performance

For the most part, it's been my experience that the computer isn't the problem with drawing performance, basically if you can use your task manager and see that the CPU or memory usage are not pinned, then something inefficient with your data is happening.

Definitely avoid projection on the fly--that is probably the single biggest performance killer in ArcMap.

The geometric data may need to be generalized. Fields used for symbology labeling may need to be indexed. Complex queries and label expressions could be optimized by precalculating values into new fields. Basically, let the database drive everything it possibly can in terms of performance.

When you say draw times are slower than you'd like what does that mean? For instance, I have a goal for online maps that I'm caching to draw in less than 3-5 seconds. For print maps, 7-10 seconds may be needed since the density of information is going to be higher. For the print maps, producing annotatation will also help. Basically, no map should draw slower--if it does, then I do expect to be able to optimize the data or queries.
Charlie Frye
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ESRI, Redlands, California

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