Another thread about why is Dorico so slow

I’m tweaking a moderaltely large score imported from Sibelius, and I’m finding the program to be frustratingly sluggish. In this case, it’s the first orchestral score I edit (1 flow, 160 bars), and it’s slower than usual (even though it wasn’t never as fast as Sibelius).

I’ve read that many times it’s because of a MIDI loop, but I never use a MIDI keyboard (and I’ve tried disabling all the input options).

Laptop specs: AMD Ryzen 7 1.80 GHz, 16 GB RAM, Win 10 64 bit.
I’m also using Noteperformer (non-pirated copy).

Here’s an example video of the sluggishness. I’m moving the note up with my keyboard 20 times, as fast as I can, but it lags by several seconds (sometimes it’s even slower):

Here’s the diagnostics file:
Dorico (1.3 MB)

Basically, I think I’m sold with the program, I think I’ve tried most of the capabilities the software has to offer in the trial version, if I can solve this sluggishness problem I’ll buy it instantly.

Thank you.

If you’re finding one particular project slower than others you have been working on, it would be helpful if you would attach that project here together with details of the specific operations you find slow, and the specific places where you find those operations to be slow.

Dorico is doing a lot more work than Sibelius and although I understand that it’s natural to compare the speed of operation of the two programs, it’s not a particularly apposite comparison due to the very different designs, architectures and capabilities of the software. Sibelius’s algorithms were designed up to 20 years ago, when CPUs were single-core and much slower, so those same algorithms today run much faster on modern hardware. Dorico is doing a lot more computation than Sibelius, even for simple edits like repitching a note, and its algorithms are more sophisticated and more computationally expensive.

We are always looking for opportunities to improve the speed of operation of Dorico, but that work has to be balanced against all of our other development priorities.


Thank you, Daniel.

Here’s an example of a problematic score I’m working on, originally imported from Sibelius via XML: Danses Fantàstiques -- Dansa 2 Doriquejada.dorico - Google Drive

If I go to the last measures of the flow in galley view and input a few quarter notes with the mouse in an empty measure, it’ll take it 3 seconds (or more) for each one to appear. Similar thing if it try to move a note up or down (diatonically) with the computer keyboard, or if I add a dynamic to a single note (3 seconds after pressing “return”).

Another thing I tried was doing Edit > Select all (which is done instantly), and then clicking on a blank spot to unselect everything. The program froze for 27 seconds before finishing.

Here’s a shorter and less intricate score, and everything’s considerably faster (the note imput is comfortable enough): Op.13 Fanfàrria dorico.dorico - Google Drive

Here are the 2 diagnostics files:
Dorico Diagnostics Dansa (1.2 MB)
Dorico Diagnostics (1.2 MB)

Some people seem to not be having these speed issues, and I think my computer specs aren’t that awful, so I’d like to know if I’m doing something wrong.

Thank you very much.

On my computer (which is an Apple M1 Pro), inputting notes in the final bar of your flow takes around 500ms, and pitching a note up and down takes around 350-400ms. Select All takes around 5 seconds, but deselecting everything takes less than 100ms.

In general, Select All is slower in Dorico 4 than it was in previous versions, though we have recently made some big improvements in that specific case, so in the next update it should be quicker; however, the timings above are from the current public release, Dorico 4.0.31, on my hardware

Which specific Ryzen 7 CPU do you have in your computer? I can’t easily find a Ryzen 7 CPU with 1.8GHz clock speed, so knowing a bit more about the model etc. would be helpful to know how the performance of your computer should stack up against mine.

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With your larger file, I get 7023 ms for Select All and 147 ms when clicking out of it. That’s with a stock Ryzen 9 5950x. (I usually run it overclocked but Lightroom was overheating today.) I too am curious which Ryzen 7 you have.

I realize that I have a AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core Processor running at 3.59 GHz. But in my case, with condensing off (which is of course a must), entering is near instantaneous, and re-pitching seems completely instantaneous. So clock speed aside, I have to wonder is something else is holding your system down somehow …



Thank you all for your input. The fact that this seems to be an issue of my specific computer is recomforting in a way.

For those asking, my processor is an AMD Ryzen 7 5700U with Radeon Graphics 1.80 GHz (I think that’s all the info of a processor, right?).

A couple of things that I forgot to mention: 1) My score files are always in my Google Drive folder. 2) I installed the trial version of Dorico 3.5 a few months ago (but I didn’t even use it). Probably it’s not that, but maybe it could be creating a conflict?

Anyway, if nothing else seems to work, I could try to format my computer, just in case.

Wiping and reinstalling is rarely the best solution. First, try the file outside of Goole Drive.
Second, see what other processes are running, and see if you can quit them.

From amd’s website:

The fact of the matter is, 1.8ghz is an awfully slow single core speed. That means that any single-threaded processes are throttled a good deal compared to many other options in the market. (Granted, that’s the base speed; it can throttle faster, but perhaps those accelerated moments are severely curtailed by the thermal envelope.) If I had to guess, this could very well be the culprit, especially if your laptop has a poor cooling solution, it’s possible your system is throttling that down further to keep heat under control. Also, if you’re running on battery and in any form of eco/battery saver mode, your computer won’t be boosting up much, which would leave you languishing close to the base clock speed.


My understanding is that going, for example, from a 3.6 ghz clock speed to a 1.8 ghz clock speed should slow down single score operations by a factor of 2 or very close to that. A 3.6 ghz clock speed would be quite respectable and should lead to numbers similar to those of other Dorico 4 users. However, Snake_Cake’s numbers are slower by much more than a factor of 2 and this leads me to believe there must be something more to the problem. Please correct me if my logic is wrong—I am not a computer guru!

This is generically true, although I question whether or not certain issues could compound logarithmically when you have certain tasks that are dependent on other certain tasks… So the first task takes twice as long and the second task takes both twice as long to initiate and twice as long to complete.

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I’m running into sluggish performance of Dorico Pro 4 (latest version), too.
I have an iMac 27" with a 3.6 GHz, 10-core Intel Core i9. Memory is 64 GB. All my drivers that Dorico uses are SSD.
I’m working on a large choral-Symphonic piece with complex elements.
Simple basic things like copy, cut & paste are taking for ever. Changing pitches, stretching dynamic symbols, etc. are really sluggish.
I have all 1st sounds turned off, and don’t use condensed.
Some behaviors I’m getting:
-selecting a note to create tuplet; note selection jumps to other note before or after my selection, and even changes player parts.
-on player parts I haven’t started inputting, all rests are gray.
Any ideas why I’m running into this?

As said above, you really need to show your project to the Dorico team, or share it here, to see if other people experience the same thing.

Rests are grey if “Implicit Rests” is checked in “Note and Rest Colors” in the View menu.

For the tuplet behaviour, screenshots or a video might be helpful. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that.

Thanks for the more detailed information about your CPU. I guess your computer is a laptop, since I think that kind of part is normally used in mobile devices. Your CPU offers around half the multi-core performance of the CPU in my Mac, and around 60% the single-core performance:

If we compare your Ryzen 7 5700U to @claude_g_lapalme’s Ryzen 7 3700X, which is a desktop-focused part with a 3.6GHz base clock speed:

again, we see that although the single-core performance of the two CPUs is pretty similar (the 3700X is 10% faster than the 5700U), in multi-core there’s a big gap: your 5700U is 30% slower than the 3700X.

However, it seems you’re experiencing performance significantly slower than that on your machine. A good next step might be to start Windows in Safe Mode and see if Dorico performs any better when all of the extraneous applications and background processes that are normally running on your computer are absent.

Here’s a Dorico project that runs very slow. eg. most operations take half a second, and many take much more:

On a Win10, Intel(R) Core™ i7-7700K (4 cores) CPU @ 4.20GHz , 64Gb Ram

Also on M1 Mac Mini, 16Gb RAM.

Just makes the environment frustratingly sluggish.

This got so bad we had to split the score for a one hour show into two Dorico projects. So now we have to make global changes in two places. Disappointing.

Are these computers under-specified?

Optimising Dorico for efficiency and responsiveness would help a lot please.

It seems to be ok for me on an M1 Pro MBP with 32Gb RAM.

There must be something else going on.

@benwiggy Do you mean my project, or Dorico in general?

I don’t have any performance issues with your file. All operations are more or less instantaneous. Win 10, Intel(R) Core™ i9-10980XE CPU @ 3.00GHz, 256GB over here.

Also the file from @Snake_Cake runs fine here.

You project runs without problem here. No noticeable speed difference from other projects. (Win10 Ryzen5(4 core) 3.7GHz, 32Gb )

Thanks Benwiggy for reminding me of the “Implicit Rests”.
Got that fixed.
I’ll contact Dorico team directly, since I’m running into more sluggish performance in other projects.