Improve Optuma’s Performance with These Few Easy Tweaks

by Mar 19, 2021All Articles

We are always working on improving Optuma’s performance with every update we release. Whether it be faster processing, using fewer system resources, or improved memory management, we know the leaner we make Optuma, the harder our clients can push its capabilities. Over the years we’ve seen clients take Optuma to the very extreme!

This process however does have limits, and while we continue to strive for improvements there are a few things you can do to your computer system’s setup to optimise the performance of Optuma.

Not all GPUs are created equal

These days your computer system may have access to two video cards, especially on (but not limited to) laptops. One will be a powerful dedicated video card with its own memory and processing power separate from the CPU, usually produced by AMD or nVidia. The other onboard video card will be part of the CPU, less powerful but also consuming significantly less battery, allowing laptops to run for longer when away from main power.

Windows will select which GPU to use, and it’s not always consistent. Because of this you may find there are times where Optuma runs fast and displays well, then suddenly it will be slow and may not look the same (thinner pixelated lines for example). In extreme cases Optuma may not even load if Windows tries to use the onboard graphics.

For optimal performance Optuma should always run using your dedicated video card (where available). To see how this can be setup in the latest update of Windows 10 check out the following article:

 

How to Choose Which GPU Optuma Uses on Windows 10

 

If you find that your system only has an onboard Intel video card, the options for improvement become more limited.

For the last few years Windows updates have been automatically updating Intel Video drivers, however the process is not without problems, and at times a video card driver is installed that is not the best match for your system.

Where possible, I would recommend checking directly with Intel’s own driver update utility for the best driver option for your system’s video card:

 

Intel® Driver & Support Assistant (Intel® DSA)

 

Giving Optuma an All-Access Pass

Windows security can be a fickle thing. I’ve seen examples of two identical laptops purchased at the same time, from the same company, setup with identical hardware and software install Optuma and have one run without any issues at all, and the other require elevated permissions (admin mode) before Optuma could open.

While Optuma is setup using Microsoft’s best practice for file locations, there still seems to be times where it’s not enough. Optuma will try to create a backup or download some End of Day data only for it to be blocked from accessing one of its own folders.

In situations where you may find Optuma is slow to download data, connect to a 3rd party real-time provider, or save files, running in ‘Administrator mode’ is one option that can see an improvement.

To see how this can be setup check out the following article:

 

Running Optuma in Administration Mode

When the Cure is Worse than the Disease

I understand the need for Anti-Virus programs, there are a lot of viruses and scammers that can cause all sorts of problems for people. That being said, some of the solutions out there seem to cause problems that are just as debilitating as the viruses they are trying to protect against! They can hog the CPU, lock down access to all but the most basic of processes, and the release of each update seems to be a coin toss of whether they will stop something (like Optuma) from working when previously it was fine. While I cannot provide specific endorsements of an antivirus solution for everyone (it is very much a personal choice), I will share a list of programs that have caused a lot of problems in the past, and those that have worked well with Optuma:

Worked Well

  • AVG Free
  • Avira
  • Panda Security

Problematic

  • Bit Defender
  • Kaspersky
  • NOD32
  • Norton’s

Norton’s overall is not too bad, however their heuristics feature (called Bloodhound) has a nasty habit of tagging random Optuma EOD data files as potential viruses and moves them to a quarantine folder. Not only is it alarming for people to see these files flagged as a potential threat, but it also means you could open a workbook and find all the data missing for a symbol you had analysed. Heuristics is a self-discovery method that uses shortcuts to get to a result. What the AV software is doing is looking at the alignment of bits in files and if it sees something it recognises, it flags it as a possible virus. That is only true in executable files. In an Optuma data file it’s a coincidence as nothing is executed in those files.

Where possible I would highly recommend making sure Optuma has been setup as a trusted program in your antivirus settings. While it’s not 100% guaranteed to stop all interference with Optuma’s operations, it should prevent the most common issues (such as the Norton’s item discussed above).

To see how Optuma can be setup as a trusted app for the most common antivirus programs around check out the following page:

 

Antivirus and Security Software

Before You Add to Cart

If you are in the market for a new computer system and one of the primary functions will be running Optuma, I would keep the following in mind:

Dedicated Video Card: Almost all Desktops will come with an nVidia or AMD card. Laptops however, especially in the budget category, will have Intel only options. Where possible try to go for a system with a dedicated nVidia card. AMD are ok as well, but if you have the choice between the two, I have found nVidia to have the edge when it comes to driver stability.

Memory: Windows 10 is relatively resource hungry, which means there is not much left for other programs like Optuma. Where possible try to go for a system with 16Gb of RAM (especially if you plan on opening a lot of symbols and scripts at once, or running intensive scans).

Hard Disk: If you have the option between a mechanical hard disk drive and an SSD (Solid State Drive), always go for the SSD. The speed difference between the two can be hard to overstate. For a desktop system to switch from a mechanical hard disk to an SSD can almost feel like a full system upgrade, that is the level of speed difference we are talking about, and it flows on to everything, from the login time to scans, opening workbooks, etc.—all will be faster with an SSD.

None of the items discussed in this article are a silver bullet to perfect performance. If you are running Optuma on a decent system but find performance to be slow or encountering display issues, these steps are the first things to try.

If you have done all the above and still find Optuma is not running like it should you can always contact our support team for further advice: [email protected]

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Matthew Humphreys

Matthew Humphreys

Client Services & Product Director

Matt Humphreys is the Product Manager at Optuma. Starting out in the Customer Service section with 1st level support, he now has over 10 year's experience in assisting traders with technical issues. This has given him a unique perspective on what is needed to streamline computer systems to maximise the benefits that technology can provide.

3 Comments

  1. Annette

    Very helpful and informative post! Thank you very much!

    Reply
  2. Mark

    Great suggestions! Thank you Matt. I just switched over my Laptop GPU preference for Optuma to my dedicated nVidia video card graphics card and re-opened Optuma and it’s running great!

    Do you also recommend switching on “hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling” to further improve performance?

    Reply
    • Matthew Humphreys

      Hi Mark,

      That settings is a fairly new item added in a 2020 update to Windows 10. It only has an effect if you are using a lot of different programs at once. Based on what i know about it, i do not believe enabling this feature would have much bearing on Optuma’s performance, but there is no harm in giving it a try if you’d like to try it out.

      Reply

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