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TheBrain 12 - Beta Testing Started

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Posted by Dr Andus
Nov 19, 2020 at 11:08 PM

 

Skywatcher wrote:
>I would say tha The Brain, has always been , by very
>far, the worst performer of any app I use.  it has always been very
>inneficient in terms of processor power. on a MacbookPro with 2,8 GHz
>Intel Core i7 and 16 GB RAM, all versions of TheBrain ( inclusing the
>lates v12 betas ) are constantly hitting 80 to 120% (!) of processor
>use.

I have to say that I had the same experience on Windows. I’ve trialled The Brain multiple times over the years on different Windows machines, and I never managed to get it run properly, it was just unusuably slow.

Clearly there have been many users of The Brain here who have used it successfully over time, so I’m wondering what the secret is. Does one need to have the very latest top specs to be able to run The Brain?

 


Posted by Amontillado
Nov 20, 2020 at 12:35 AM

 

I never felt speed was a problem.

Trying to recall my Brain days, I think there’s a speed setting for animations. Maybe you have that set slow and it takes its time migrating from one node to the next?

Dr Andus wrote:

>I have to say that I had the same experience on Windows. I’ve trialled
>The Brain multiple times over the years on different Windows machines,
>and I never managed to get it run properly, it was just unusuably slow.
> >Clearly there have been many users of The Brain here who have used it
>successfully over time, so I’m wondering what the secret is. Does one
>need to have the very latest top specs to be able to run The Brain?

 


Posted by Harlan Hugh
Nov 21, 2020 at 08:21 AM

 

With regard to performance, TheBrain scales very well to hundreds of thousands of thoughts/notes and does not require a high spec machine. In fact, there is almost no relationship between the number of thoughts in a brain and performance.

I’d guess the CPU usage numbers you to which you are referring to are during animation of the visual interface, which occurs only when you switch thoughts and which Amontillado points out can be adjusted to be as fast as you like. Since most other applications do not feature an animated UI, this does not affect them (It seems Tinderbox’s graphical UI is static as far as I have seen and does not do animated transitions). As for comparing TheBrain UI to 3D rendering applications, those applications utilize the graphics card which is specially optimized for rendering 3D and does not show on the CPU usage. Since we render text primarily the graphics card is unable to assist as significantly.

Skywatcher Wrote:

> Harlan : Unless I’m mistaken, it was re-implemented in a different way than in V.11. In V.11 you could setuup the behavior so that in case a thought has both a Note and Content (web links ex.), you could prioritize one over the other on hover. In my case it was setup to always show the web content in the built’in browser even if a note is also present.

If a note is present it always takes precedence over the first attachment. This functionality has not changed in version 12.

However if you want to achieve this, you can remove the content of the note and move it into a markdown attachment that you make into the second attachment - keeping the first attachment as the web content. The additional markdown attachment functions just like the normal note except that it can be set to a different priority in terms of what is shown on hover.

 


Posted by Skywatcher
Nov 21, 2020 at 11:58 AM

 

@ Harlan :
- You’re right regarding the note precedence behavior. I got confused in between the moment the feature was removed from v12 and ithe moment it was reinstated.

- In regards, to performance : The speed issue doesn’t just affect animation. I set it to maximum, and even just resizing the window’s application is very sluggish. It’s a matter of processor consumption.

I’ve run some tests this morning. My Mac’s configuration is stated in a post above.
Tinderbox actually has animated views, the Hyperbolic view moves and shuffles figures and notes around as much as TheBrain does.

I put the Activity Monitor beside it , and what it shows is that being idle takes around 4%.
Clicking on another note sends the processor around 24% during the animation then quiclky goes down again to around 4 or 5 % as soon as the animation is over.
Clicking fast and continuously from one note to another to keep the animation almost constant sends the processor to around 54 % . It alsmot immediately goes back to around 4% as soon as I stop.

In contrast, doing the same thing with TheBrain : being Idle takes also around 4 or 5 %
Clicking on another thought sends the processor immediately to around 70 or 80 % . It remains there for more than 10 seconds before returning to 5% , as if it is wasn’t aware yet that it being in idle state.
Clicking continuously on various thoughts ( in a slower rate than Tinderbox, maybe 1 second between each thought ) sends the processor consumption through the roof , well over 100%, usually around 120 to 140%. The Macboook’s fans hit full speed, gets very hot. Going back to idle state, the processor remains at well over 120% for almost up to a minute at times before going back to the usual 4%. Meanwhile, the fans are blowing like crazy and the Mac is becoming an oven.

In many years of using Tinderbox, Curio and others, never did they get the processor to the point of launching the fans even once. Unless it is because they are optimised to use the graphics card ? I doubt it though…

The most disturbing thing for me, is that Cinema 4D , the 3D software I use, doesn’t actually use the graphics card on the Mac. It’s purely a CPU modeler. And slow at that. Only the PC version uses GPUs because it it built around some specific features of NVIDIA graphic cards ( CUDA ), while the Mac only uses AMD Gpu ( and very anemic ones).  In fact I’ve just ordered a custom configured PC with an Nvidia RTX 2070 specifically to continue my 3D work on a faster level.
Now , continuing on my tests, and opening a complex scene on C4D , moving and orbiting around the objects in real-time, my processor sits constantly at… 70 to 90 %. We are tallking thousands of polygons, on a software that is purely CPU based on the Mac version.

Once again, it is very hard for me to believe that animating a rectangle containing a couple of words inside it should send the processor and the fans thru the roof, while animating thousands of polygons , with textures sometimes, is less processor intensive.

I don’t think I’m the only one having an issue with this aspect of TheBrain. You forum has plenty of people , both on Mac and PC complaining about it, for almost as long as I remember ( I’ve been using Brain on and off since version 8 ). There is a real optimization issue with it, that has never been solved.
While I’ve commited myself to other apps like Tinderbox, Devonthink, Curio, etc with thousands of notes , I’ve never been able to do that with TheBrain. I don’t even think twice renewing my update for those apps even though they are priced similar to the Brain.
I’ve skipped the yearly Pro Combo a few times since V8, and only my CRIMPING gets me to payup for other years as I never been able to trust the app enough to really commit my notes to it. I don’t think I’ll renew my license this year, as I have no hopes this performance issue will ever get resolved .

 


Posted by Harlan Hugh
Nov 21, 2020 at 10:06 PM

 

@Skywatcher: Thanks for your feedback and explanation. I understand your concerns. CPU usage is something we are always looking to improve.

 


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