4 tips for a faster MySQL Workbench

Some people are reporting slowness problems with MySQL Workbench 5.0 and after chatting with a few of these persons, I’ve gotten an idea of the causes.Although the sluggishness has generally been blamed to the graphics rendering, there are a couple other issues that affect performance.  If you follow these steps, you might get a more comfortable working experience:

  1. Upgrade to the latest version. Workbench 5.0 is still being continually maintained and some performance related bugs are fixed from time to time. There might be other important bugs that are fixed too, so it’s worth upgrading anyway.
  2. Limit the number of steps to save in the Undo History. Depending on the operations performed, having infinite undo history can use a lot of memory after a few hours of work.  In Tools -> Options -> General, enter some number around 10 ~ 20 in the option for Undo History size.
  3. Disable relationship line crossing rendering. In large diagrams, there might be a significant overhead when drawing these line crossings, since it’s an area where we didn’t devote much time for optimization. In Tools -> Options -> Diagram uncheck the option named ‘Draw Line Crossings’
  4. And of course, check your graphics card driver. The GDI rendering that’s used in 5.0 is not supposed to be very slow, especially because most video drivers do some sort of hardware acceleration for GDI. So it can help greatly if you have up-to-date and native video drivers for your graphics card.

Lastly, there is a good news and a bad news. Some things, like opening a object editor (like the table editor) in very large models may take a few seconds in 5.0. The good news is that the clean up we did in the Workbench core have apparently made 5.1 much faster in such operations. The bad news is that it won’t be backported to 5.0. However, a beta for all platforms of Workbench 5.1 is ready to be released in the next couple days.