Devonthink's favorite hardware?

I’m considering getting a new 1ghz powerbook (I currently have a PB Titanium 550 w/512kRam and 16 meg Vram) and the promise of better Devonthink and Circus Ponies Notebook performance might tip my decision.

I’m wondering if there is any complete/thorough info available re Devonthink’s hardware requirements/usage etc. Since i’m running an external monitor w/ extended desktop, I’m thinking that doubling my VRam with a new 12", or quadrupling it with a new 15" might make a big difference.

On the other hand maybe I just need more ram.

Ideally i’d love to run CP Notebook, Devonthink(which is slow as hell at the moment)Final Draft (i’m a playwright) and safari simultaneously with 2 monitors.

How much machine do you think I need to run this smoothly? A Dual G5 with 4 gigs of Ram?

God I wish that fan would shut up!

Thanks to all.

Funny you should mention that, since I’m running Safari, DA, DT, and CP Notebook concurrently on my TiBook 500 w/256k.  For real.

I’m going to guess that you meant to ask about the hardware requirements/ideal environment for DEVONthink, not CP Notebook, since this is the DT forum  :)

I’m sure that Chistian can give you the definitive scoop, though I do remember reading on this forum that the DEVON engine is 64-bit aware :stuck_out_tongue:

I have no problems running similar, with less gear.  DT 1.7.1 is definitely not slow.

fwiw, I did recently have a general slowdown in my system that slowly accreted until it began to drive me crazy.  Lots of disk thrashing for no good reason.  It turns out that the directory was horribly munged, and required 3 disk utilities to fix.  (This OS X/Unix thing is tricky; you can limp along with a system that so broken it would never even boot under OS 9.  It just slowly degrades performance, but otherwise never lets you know there’s a problem.)

I fixed my directory, defraged the boot drive, and voila – like a new machine.

Your mileage may vary.  Good luck.

Thanks for the reply Fred

If you’re getting speedy performance out of your gear, i’m definitely doing something wrong.

Certainly the dual monitor setup makes a big difference in notebook but maybe the main thing is database size. My Devonthink database is running about 500 megs and includes a handful of entire websites that i sucked off the net.

God knows my system could use a bit of housecleaning.

curiouser and curiouser

A fast harddisc and lots of RAM (768 MB or more) are much more important than processor speed (although L3 caches or a G5 definitely boost the overall performance). E.g. if your database is larger than 500 MB, a harddisc with at least 10.000 rpm makes quite a difference.

It took me a while, but i’ve raised my RAM to 768m and done some drive cleaning (esp. putting my swap files on a separate partition). That helped a lot.

Then I pared down my DT database by moving out the whole sucked websites (like and reimporting indexes and selected pages, transferring most of my HTML page saving duties to Devonagent, and saving as text or rtf within DT.

Things work great now, thanks for all the help.

I guess i can put off buying that G5. Damn.

I’ve been evaluating DEVONthink (1.7.2) on a 600MHz iBook w/ 640MB RAM and 30GB disk.  My database is still small while I’m getting ideas how to organize it before adding more to it, but I’d originally expected it to be slower than it’s been.  I’m also interested in how to integrate it with DEVONagent, which I’ll look at more closely after I’m more comfortable using DT.

Saving “too much” information directly in a proprietary database concerns me a bit, especially after reading some of the forum posts about integrity issues.  I’m willing to make a leap of faith because DEVON programs are useful and powerful for handling certain types of information management I’ve struggled with for too long.  DT seems like a logical extension beyond traditional files/folders.

DT/DA may outgrow my iBook about the time I get a new Mac (probably an iMac, which my wife will inherit later when I get a G5 :slight_smile:).  For now I’m satisfied with DT/DA’s performance and functionality.

We always recommend backups (lots of backups!) because there are many reasons for data loss (hardware failures, power outages, kernel panics, system freezes, multi user environments, buggy third party extensions, fire or theft to name a few) and sooner or later you’re gonna lose your data without backups.

E.g. we’ve experienced multiple computer and harddisc failures, completely corrupted filesystems and lots of kernel panics and freezes since we switched to Mac OS X. Without backups DEVONtech wouldn’t exist anymore.

Sorry to hear of your hardware/software troubles.  I suffered through several month of hardware failures with my home equipment after moving last year and was fortunate not to lose any unrecreatable data because I had redundant backups.