Dorico running slow on 5k iMac Pro

First off, congratulations Dorico team for releasing Dorico 4! Seeing many of the improvements have me very excited to try them out on my next project!

There has been an issue I have been dealing with ever since I started using Dorico, and it would be great if it can be fixed in the future. Dorico has always been running slow on my iMac Pro that runs in 5k resolution and I need to run Dorico in low resolution mode in order for it not to become too laggy to work with; especially when there is a lot going on in the music. The GUI isn’t very responsive and it feels like 10 fps when navigating around. Cubase used to have a similar problem with higher resolution machines and they managed to somehow fix it by addressing how the GUI is being rendered. Unfortunately, Dorico 4 still runs as slow as 3.5. I would love for it to run in 60 fps on my native resolution. It looks really great in 5k so it’s sad to keep it in low res… But even in low res mode, it doesn’t quite reach smooth 60 fps when working on a small sonata project. However, the Play mode saw great improvement I think, it runs very fast and snappy!

My specs:
2.3 Ghz 18 core Intel Xeon W
64 GB 2666 MHz DDR4
Radeon Pro Vega 64X 16GB

Do other Dorico users on an 5k iMac have a similar issue?

Dorico doesn’t use hardware acceleration to draw the score, so it relies on a software-based rendering method, which is pretty fast, but not as fast as a rendering method that uses e.g. Metal to offload onto the GPU.

We do plan to do this, though it won’t be in the Dorico 4.x cycle because it requires us to completely rebuild the way the music is displayed, and that’s something that will take a considerable amount of time and effort. But we agree that as displays get larger and with higher pixel density, this is an increasingly important issue, and we do plan to address it in future.


Thank you for the very quick response, Daniel! I understand that this is a big task for the team as it was for the Cubase team when it became an increasingly bigger issue for them. I look forward to any news about it in the future.

Is 5K really that much more of a system drain than 4K? I’ve used Dorico in 4K exclusively for the past 4 years and haven’t had a problem with this.

I think even on a 4K display you don’t get 60fps, but depending on the complexity of the music you will get different results.