Windows Search 4.0 Desktop Performance tips and considerations

Doing a lot of work with Windows Search I have learned how the tool works and I have worked with a lot of great folks at corporate to help put together some fantastic information on performance tips and considerations.  Also in this post I wanted to talk about some of the key improvements we have discovered with Windows Search, does a 84% faster query time get your attention?  Well read along!

Here are some general tips, and as you can see some of the improvements are only seen in Windows Vista:

  • Initial index build requires time
    • Expect to index 20-40 items per second
    • WS4 rearranges the property store indices supporting fast query
  • Incremental Indexing
    • File System is scanned on startup
    • Most changes handled through notifications
  • Smart Indexer Back-off
    • Keyboard and mouse use
    • High CPU utilization
    • High I/O
    • Low Pri I/O (Vista only)
    • Power Mgmt (Vista only)

We have also improved the overall Stability of Windows Search, take a look below at some of the highlights:

  • Critical Watson errors addressed
    • Fixed ~85% of reported Watson crashes in filterhost, protocolhost, indexer
  • Index resiliency improved
    • Improved ability to recover on index corruption
    • Improved ability to recover from registry corruptions
    • Enabled additional trace logging

To help prove out the improvements in Windows Search the folks at corporate put the performance to the test, below is there testing environment and the results in the charts below:

PC configuration
  • CPU Name: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E6750 @ 2.66GHz
  • CPU Speed: 2659
  • RAM: 2,005 MB
  • System Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
  • System Model: OptiPlex 755
Files 24230
Directories 2326
Types .chm; .tga; .cpp; .jpg; .gif; .doc; .ogg; .m4a; .vcproj
  • Cold query: First query after start of search service
  • Hot query: Any query following the cold query

 chart1 chart2

Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Matt Hester has just posted up a blog about performance and stability improvements in Windows Search

  2. Chad says:

    Look at the hot between XP and Vista … XP always beats Vista’s hot, whether it’s version 3 or 4 of search.  Seems like a vista specific issue then, not a search issue.

    I’d also be interested in learn why XP takes twice as long on a cold query in search 4.0

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