Modern Software Experience


GEDCOM Import Speed

I’ve made an overview of the GEDCOM Import speed numbers I’ve reported in reviews. I already added numbers for PAF 5, Legacy 6 and RootsMagic 3.2.5. This article completes the numbers for Legacy Charting and adds numbers for GENViewer 1.15.

Legacy Charting and GENViewer both import GEDCOM files considerably faster than most other programs.

Legacy Charting

I already reported the import speed of the 100k INDI GEDCOM; just 12 seconds. I did several more runs with the 100k INDI GEDCOM - I wish other programs were fast enough to casually do another few runs. These runs confirmed what I already suspected: Legacy Chart’s GEDCOM import seems to be so optimal that actual performance is heavily impacted by system conditions. On a heavily loaded system, the import time was 16 seconds instead of 12, but when I immediately reloaded the same file, it was a mere six seconds. I kept the 12 seconds from my earlier test, done under light load and without previously loading the file, as a typical result indicative of its normal performance.

The import speed of the 100k INDI GEDCOM is so high that it seems useless to time the 1 MB GEDCOM, but I did so for completeness’s sake. I normally use the Clock applet to measure import time in seconds, but Legacy Charting is simply too fast for that. I did several imports and my guesstimate is that it took about ⅓ a second under light load, and maybe one tenth of second when reloading the same file.

how so fast

It is hard to say just how fast Legacy Charting’s GEDCOM import is exactly, but on my system it is certainly in the order of 10.000 INDI per second. Part of that is good programming, but Legacy Charting also has the advantage of being a data viewer instead of a data editor. It does not need to write its database to disk, but can keep it in memory. Moreover, it does not seem to bother to report any GEDCOM errors or produce an import log either. I am not so happy about the last two points, but I sure like the import speed.

2008-05-24 Legacy Charting (First Pre-release)

time in seconds 12
INDI per second12.155 8.338,92
bytes per second3.167.685 3.233.282,75

2008-05-24 GENViewer Lite 1.15

MudCreek GENViewer Lite has the fastest GEDCOM reader I know. Like Legacy Charting, GENViewer Lite is a just a data viewer instead of a data editor, does not write the database to disk, does not report errors and does not produce an import log.

GENViewer does report its own import speed, and seems to do so accurately using a high-resolution timer. Again, the actual timings are impacted by heavy system load and previously loading the file. The numbers below are typical for loading under light system load.

time in seconds0,203s 2,344
INDI per second23.950,74 42.690,70
bytes per second5.201.453,202 16.552.642,06