Excel 2007 performance – feedback please

According to this post at MSDN:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa730921.aspx#office2007excelperf_ExcelPerformanceImprovements

Excel 2007 should be giving significant performance improvements on multi-core processors.

Some simple benchmarks on an Acer laptop with 2.0 GHz dual-core processor and 2 GB RAM show some improvement (over Excel 2000), albeit quite modest:
Benchmark Results
 Click on image to see full size.

In all cases with the dual core processor it was shown to be working at close to 100% under 2007, and about 50% with 2000.  Possibly with a less linear calculation process 2007 would show a bigger advantage.

Looking at situations where VBA is interacting with a workbook, either reading or writing data, or using .worksheetfunction, things are quite different however.  I have found Excel 2007 to be substantially slower than 2000; of the order of 3 times slower or more.  These results comparing the use of .worksheet function with a UDF evaluated entirely inside VBA illustrate this difference.:

Worksheetfunction vs UDF

In this case Excel 2007 took about 25% longer using the UDF (dual core processors are not supported in VBA), but more than 3 times longer using .worksheetfunction.

Overall, in real applications I have found 2007 to be generally about the same speed as 2000, but in some cases using VBA dramatically slower, sometimes needing a re-write of the code to make the application usable.

On the plus side I have found that 2007 saves substantially quicker, especially in binary format, and when there is a lot of VBA code used.

I would be interested to hear the comments of others.

The comment button is just down there on the right 🙂

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7 Responses to Excel 2007 performance – feedback please

  1. jonpeltier says:

    A shameless bid for comments. I’ll bite. 🙂

    Excel 2007 has some famous performance issues with charts. One was so bad that a special hotfix preceded SP1.

    Even with the hotfix, there is a marked difference in response between 2003 and 2007.

    1. 500 xy pairs consisting of =RAND(). Recalculate using F9 key.
    a. Excel 2003 chart responds instantly (~1 sec for 100 loops).

    debug.print now : for i=1 to 100 : activesheet.calculate : next : debug.print now
    5/6/2008 9:06:27 AM
    5/6/2008 9:06:28 AM

    b. Excel 2007 chart takes < 1 second, but it’s noticeable (~17 seconds for 100 loops).

    debug.print now : for i=1 to 100 : activesheet.calculate : next : debug.print now
    5/6/2008 9:07:21 AM
    5/6/2008 9:07:38 AM

    2. 5000 xy pairs consisting of =RAND(). Recalculate using F9 key.
    a. Excel 2003 chart takes < 1 second, but it’s noticeable. Similar to Excel 2007 with 500 points (~1 sec for 10 loops).

    debug.print now : for i=1 to 10 : activesheet.calculate : next : debug.print now
    5/6/2008 9:05:02 AM
    5/6/2008 9:05:03 AM

    b. Excel 2007 chart takes about 1 second or more, but it’s noticeable( ~10 sec for 10 loops).

    debug.print now : for i=1 to 10 : activesheet.calculate : next : debug.print now
    5/6/2008 9:03:57 AM
    5/6/2008 9:04:07 AM

    I should probably do a more precise job of characterizing this.

    Like

  2. Wilhelm Pirgl says:

    Drawing in Excel 2007 has become highly frustrating!
    I cannot seem to figure out how to switch off all these new and useless features.
    I cannot even draw a straight line as it seems to snap to some invisible grid, which I cannot turn off even by following help instructions

    Like

  3. dougaj4 says:

    Wilhelm – I haven’t had that problem, or seen it mentioned before.

    Do you always get this, or only sometimes?

    Are you using the insert-shapes tab?

    You might be interested in my drawing with VBA posts (but they won’t solve this particular problem).

    Like

  4. Pingback: xl2007 speed issues | keyongtech

  5. Steve says:

    I wish software publishers would stop reinventing products that we rely on and are familiar with. I hate the look, I hate the feel, and I hate that I as a very experienced user of excel, it’s difficult to perform basic operations.

    The menus take up 1/4 of the screen, the little pictures next to every button add nothing but distraction, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to set the interface to “classic.”

    Like

  6. Pingback: Excel 2007 speed test « Number Cruncher

  7. JustJim says:

    I guess the reason Microsoft doesn’t solicit feedback is because they already KNOW they’ve screwed all their existing users — we already know that 90% of the users can only use 10% of the capability in Excel. So to increase the users they must appeal to the lowest common denominator and dumb it down so that even an idiot who can’t open a menu can find the Sort tool. And if they do this at the expense of people who have actually been USING Excel for years and years, creating sheets & macros & toolbars and whatever, well apparently they don’t give a rat’s a$$ about that….

    Like

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