FileMaker Go Heptathlon Revisited: iPad v. iPad2 v. iPad

When the iPad2 came out we wanted to test how FileMaker Go performed on that platform and found marked improvements. So when the news of a new iPad hit the streets, we knew we needed to find out how it would perform with FileMaker Go. Like us, many of you may use or offer products that work on FileMaker Go (like our product CCNonProfit), and so it’s performance on the new iPad is particularly relevant.

The Tests Run

We have a testing database that we use for internal purposes which we used to run these tests. It can run a sequence of routines, namely:

  • Create Records
    • Create a specified number of records with the window either frozen or not.
  • Custom Function Loop
    • A self-referential custom function looping a specified number of times.
  • Empty Loop
    • A looping script incrementing a local variable a specified number of times.
  • Find Records
    • Perform a find on all records in the sample data set on either an indexed or unindexed field, either locally or through a relationship, a specified number of times.
  • Layout Change
    • Jump between two layouts, either refreshing the layout or not, a specified number of times.
  • Record Loop
    • Loop through all the records is the sample data set, either refreshing the window on each new record or not.
  • Sort Records
    • Perform a sort on all records in the sample data set on either an indexed or unindexed field a specified number of times.

We have the database process a long loop of each event, and record the time it takes to process. We log the event in the database, and that way we can compare it across multiple platforms. All functions are done in a straightforward manner, and use only native FileMaker functions.

We built the tests using sample tables copied and pasted from the contact management template provided by FileMaker Inc. to keep the table structure simple and repeatable. All tests on the iPad, iPad2, and original iPad were done with the device plugged in and no other applications running in the background, in case that ends up affecting anything.

The hope is that this can start a trend towards finding ways to efficiently code and design on the iOS platform.

The Results

Our results from our test are as follows, each cell is the time in loops per second the device could generate and the second chart is how many times faster than the original iPad the device was. One important note, FileMaker can’t tell which iPad it is on, so the test results in the database are combined in the report, if you look, the faster ones are on the iPad2 and the really fast ones are on the new iPad. 😉

Loops Per Second

Bigger numbers are better
Machine Tested Create Records Custom Function Loop Empty Loop Find Records Layout Change Record Loop Sort Records
Original iPad 51.72 1.3 2,439.02 1.46 1.09 1.10 0.79
iPad2 65.22 1.67 3,448.28 2.00 1.71 1.97 1.11
New iPad 100.0 2.31 5,882.35 3.33 4.62 4.84 1.67
iMac 27″ (i7) 600 10.71 38,974.36 20.46 30 29.70 10.34

Number of Times Faster Than Original iPad and iPad2

Bigger numbers are better
Machine Tested Create Records Custom Function Loop Empty Loop Find Records Layout Change Record Loop Sort Records
Original iPad 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
iPad2 over Original iPad 1.26 1.28 1.42 1.37 1.57 1.79 1.41
New iPad over Original iPad 1.93 1.78 2.41 2.28 4.24 4.40 2.11
New iPad over iPad2 1.53 1.38 1.71 1.67 2.70 2.46 1.50
iMac 27″ (i7) 11.6 9.48 16 14.01 27.52 27 13.09

And for those of you who like pictures, here’s the chart showing the number of times faster one iPad is to the other.

FileMaker Go iPad Speed Comparison

FileMaker Go iPad Speed Comparison

Of course we don’t expect you to want to compare the new iPad to our machine, we figured you’d want to see how your systems will compare relative to your machine, so below you’ll find a download link for the database we use to do the testing. It contains our baseline tests on the iMac, the Original iPad, the iPad2, and the new iPad for your own comparisons.

Grab the zipped FileMaker database here…

Enjoy 😉

Court Bowman

Author Court Bowman

Court Bowman has been working with in the IT field his whole life, working as a network engineer, database developer in Oracle and Progress and as a IT director for several firms. He has been working with FileMaker Pro since version 2 and has been a reoccurring speaker at the FileMaker developer conference. Apart from his expertise in FileMaker Pro he has experience in system architecture and design, data modeling and database architecture. He also has years of experience as a process and workflow consultant and has helped with the design and deployment of hundreds of systems in FileMaker and on the web.

More posts by Court Bowman

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Mfero says:

    Thanks for sharing this information.  It may be very useful for designing scripts and work flows. 

    Have you also tested Filemaker Go in a  Filemaker Server environment over WiFi?  In my (albeit limited) experience, the original iPad slows down to a crawl in this context, compared to laptops.  It would be interesting to know whether the iPad 2 or new iPad improves on this at all. 

    • Court Bowman says:

      Thanks for the comment. We haven’t really done the testing on WAN performance formally. So many factors come into play that our results may not match someone else’s so we didn’t feel it would be instructional.

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