Audacity very slow with managing larger files?

Hi I’ve been using Audacity for years and think its awesome, I just had a question about how Audacity utilizes system Ram with larger files, My PC has 12GB Ram but when working with larger files Audacity will behave very slowly as if it doesn’t have enough ram to work with, for example I loaded a 980MB 7 hour MP3 and when trying to navigate through the recording with the scroll bar it will pause for 30-45 seconds and thrash the hard drive during this time, as I keep scrolling through the recording it will keep pausing and loading from the HD, even pressing the Zoom icon causes the same behavior, I was just curious if this is normal behavior for larger files + plenty of ram, Thanks!

Audacity version 2.1.1

PC: Intel i7 920 at 3.4ghz / 12GB DDR3 / 1TB Samsung Spinpoint F3 7200rpm / Windows 10

Yes there are certain aspects of Audacity that are still slow with large files. Zooming and fitting is one of them.

I don’t have any problem with a 2 hour file in using the horizontal scrolbar on Windows 10 when zoomed in (2.4 GHz, 6 GB RAM). I can drag the scrollbar handle or click or click and hold either side of the handle. I can test longer files later.

Audacity does not use RAM for audio data. That feature was removed a few years ago because it was buggy. In any case, Audacity is a 32-bit app and cannot address more than 2 GB of RAM even on 64-bit systems (with another 2 GB allocated to the system). Even if we allowed IMAGE_FILE_LARGE_ADDRESS_AWARE and you enabled 4 GT tuning , Audacity would not address more than about 3 GB of RAM in practice.

You can always use a RAM drive for Audacity’s temp folder but be aware of the risks that the data is lost if the computer shuts down. Some software RAM drives may have features to copy RAM contents to disk.

Probably the best solution to get an immediate speed gain would be to use a Solid State Drive instead of spinning Hard Drive.


Thanks for the Ram drive idea it actually works very well for getting the files loaded and edited, also nice there’s no lag when scrolling through the recordings, I just can’t apply certain effects such as Amplify due to running out of Ram space but I could add another 4GB ram stick to resolve this, either way an SSD drive is definitely my next upgrade.