Notes and Outlook Speed Tests Redux - Measuring the Lenovo T410s

May 11 2010

So just about 3 weeks ago I wrote about how fast the Notes 8.5.2 client was on my new Dell desktop. The numbers got a lot of attention, but there was a bunch of chatter from folks that the machine was not standard. I agree, it's not a standard desktop in the business world. I am lucky enough to have gotten a second new machine in the same time frame, this time replacing my laptop. I got the Lenovo Thinkpad T410s. Here are the specs:

  • Lenovo Thinkpad T410s
  • i5 540 @ 2.53 Ghz
  • 4 Gigs of Ram
  • 128 Gig SSD Hard Drive
  • nVidia NVS 3100M

and lots more that don't have any effect on the Notes client (WiMAX, Verizon WAN, eSata, DisplayPort, BluRay Drive, Touch Screen, etc)

I installed the Notes client 8.5.2 CD 4 / M2 release. Here are the times:

Cold Boot (I restarted the computer, made sure Symphony wasn't preloaded, and started Notes from the Start Bar)
  • 1.65 seconds to the login prompt
  • 2.39 seconds from clicking OK on the login prompt to the Workspace - meaning I could click on a database icon
  • 14.3 for Activities to load from the login prompt - note that the Notes client was usable during this time

So I don't have any other plug-ins in the sidebar loading. Sametime is installed but not configured nor auto-connecting at startup. I also have no other tabs / databases loading at startup.
  • 4.2 seconds for the Replicator tab to open the first time
  • .6 seconds for the Replicator tab to open after the first time
  • 6.75 seconds for the In-box to open the first time - and by open, I mean I could click on an email in the in-box
  • 1.71 seconds for the In-box to open after the first time
  • 2.26 seconds for the Calendar to open the first time
  • 1.46 seconds for the Calendar to open after the first time
Pretty fast times, but the key number here is the first time load of the In-box. If you are having your in-box load at start-up (and by that I mean its your homepage, not just a tab in the background), this is a key time for the startup of the Notes client.

Just to compare, I also loaded Outlook 2010 on this laptop. I got the following numbers when loading Outlook from a rebooted computer:
  • 10.5 seconds from Start Menu click to In-box open

Now, just to be clear, Outlook 2010 doesn't have separate login step for me. My password was entered once and never prompts me again. I also know that Outlook has connected to the Exchange server in that time frame and gotten email as it displays on screen. The following add-ins are also loading at startup:

Image:Notes and Outlook Speed Tests Redux - Measuring the Lenovo T410s

These all ship with Outlook 2010 minus the Norton AntiSpam plug-in.

So a side by side comparison is 10.5 seconds for Outlook 2010 and 10.79 for Notes 8.5.2 CD 4 to both get into the Inbox. For me, that is a clear tie.

Now, if I turn on Sametime or turn on a bunch of Outlook add-ins, like Evernote, Gist, Tungle, LinkedIN, SnagIT and the Outlook Social Connectors from MySpace and LinkedIN; I can slow both to about 20 seconds to load.

A couple thoughts:
  1. SSD Hard Drives rock. Do anything you can to get one in your next laptop.
  2. Modern Hardware seems to have equalized the speed of applications.
  3. Add-ins / Plug-ins change the game when it comes to application loading. Check these first when someone complains about speed.
  4. IBM Lotus needs to get the load time of the In-box to be smaller. It is the key weakness on performance.
  5. I am a big fan of IBM Lotus Connections and really like Activities, but the Activities plug-in for Notes is too slow. There also needs to be an Activities plug-in for Outlook. And how about the ability to get my todo's on my calendar in both places and mobile devices via a single list. Sorry, another rant for another time.
  6. I have not had the Notes Client nor Outlook do any application locking or hanging since moving to this laptop.
  7. Visual Studio.NET and still load slow :-).
  8. Starcraft 2 Beta runs amazingly ... oh, wait, shhhhhh!