Work laptop slow

Soldato
Joined
22 Nov 2007
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3,625
Hi all

My role is very data heavy, lots of excel/power query ect. Working with sheets that have about 2000 rows and 40 ish columns. If i use formulas like index-match the laptop grinds to a halt and take a couple of minutes to recover. Even filtering columns can cause it to grind to a halt. This really affects my productivity.

I am going to ask for a better specced machine but just wondered if others had a similar experience? Is it something i could be doing better or is the below cpu/ram just not good enough for large spreadshseets.

CPU is an I5-8265
8gb ram

edit: wrong section maybe?
 
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Man of Honour
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2000 rows wouldn't be considered large by most people in data heavy roles.

8th gen quad core with 8GB RAM isn't THAT slow for working with spreadsheets of that size, I mean people were working with much bigger datasets on weaker hardware in the past. Check in task manager how much RAM is being used when you running these operations, that might give you some ammunition to request an replacement machine.
Sounds obvious but also close down your background apps like browser sessions etc when running this to free up resources.

Ultimately I would just document your experience and use that as justification, illustrate how much time you are wasting waiting for it to return results.

The other thing to consider is whether you could have some virtual compute made available for you to use for this purpose, i.e. even if you don't get a new laptop you could utilise remote session on more powerful hardware to work with this data.
 
Soldato
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That CPU should boss it - decent enough quad core. Task Manager will tell you if you've not got enough RAM.

Where's the data held? You working from home accessing a server on the other end of a VPN? If so could be network latency related.
 
Soldato
OP
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That CPU should boss it - decent enough quad core. Task Manager will tell you if you've not got enough RAM.

Where's the data held? You working from home accessing a server on the other end of a VPN? If so could be network latency related.
WFH.

You just reminded me that i often forget to log on to the vpn, would that speed things up a bit?
 
Man of Honour
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What is the state of the system at idle? nothing hogging CPU normally?

I've found with work laptops before sometimes the security software/AV in place can cause a lot of slowdown sometimes which is a pain as well - had it before where processing data was insanely slow because every single file access was causing the file to be rescanned by the malware protection every single **** time.
 
Associate
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k, that's not a terrible cpu for a laptop, probably wouldn't see a massive improvement from upgrading it.

I would ask for a ram upgrade from 8gb to 16gb to begin with, that might have the consequence of helping the cpu.

+1 that background tasks can hurt a laptop, it's worth looking at the Processes tab in Task Manager ordered by cpu usage desc, to confirm that it's Excel using the cpu and not something else such as antivirus.
 
Soldato
OP
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k, that's not a terrible cpu for a laptop, probably wouldn't see a massive improvement from upgrading it.

I would ask for a ram upgrade from 8gb to 16gb to begin with, that might have the consequence of helping the cpu.

+1 that background tasks can hurt a laptop, it's worth looking at the Processes tab in Task Manager ordered by cpu usage desc, to confirm that it's Excel using the cpu and not something else such as antivirus.
Its definitely excel, right now the cpu is maxxed at 100%(95% excel) performing an index match formula for 2000 rows.
 
Caporegime
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that is a tiny exclel doc, so i suspect it is a problem with the query.

how big is the file on disk?
 
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Soldato
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then it is tiny and i would look at optimizing the query

It had 2 columns with an index match in each and then a two just using the trim function. Not sure what can be done to optimize?


edit: ah, not referencing entire columns may help
 
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Soldato
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Generally the solutions for these kind of things are on the web.


If you are doing a lot of data heavy stuff moving it into a database and just using excel (or power BI) to display the result is much faster.

I'd say reduce the dataset but it seems tiny already.
 
Soldato
OP
Joined
22 Nov 2007
Posts
3,625
Generally the solutions for these kind of things are on the web.


If you are doing a lot of data heavy stuff moving it into a database and just using excel (or power BI) to display the result is much faster.

I'd say reduce the dataset but it seems tiny already.
Oh boy i feel silly. I remember a guy in my previous job saying not to reference whole columns. I’ll give it a try on Monday, thanks
 
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