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Is the Macintosh version really this slow?

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English is not my native language so please excuse my grammar errors :).


I'm currently testing trial version of retrospect 9 as one of the possible backup solution for our company. We have about 30 laptops/workstations that needs backing up. Anyway, I downloaded the newest trial version of retrospect and I was wondering is it really this slow? As a backup destinations we already have three Synology NAS servers.


So far I have been testing backing up my local machine on to WD 1TB external disk via FW800. My test machine is a mid 2010 Macbook pro 2.4GHz C2D, 4GB + 320GB 7.2k rpm disc running on OSX Lion.


I only use one proactive backup, catalog file is uncompressed and retrospect is currently only backing up this local machine. I have about 36k files and about 49GB of data in my home folder. Backing up seems to be ok, a bit high on cpu usage, or at least my macbook seem to like revving up the fans quite a lot with this program. Normally it runs virtually noiseless. Now if I go to the restore dialog and choose the latest backup, and click on the browse button it takes about 40-50s before I even see anything listed on the window. Browsing files/directories is like swimming in mud. Even resizing the restore window or scrolling up & down is very slow huh?


if I choose not to select any specific backup and go to through last page of the restore wizard and choose Preview it takes about 5minutes before I get to choose anything, I guess retrospect is going through every single backup before that so I guess thats OK... but still browsing files is so SLOOOOooowww...


My test media says the following: Members 1, Backups 91, Files 38780. Catalog file size is: 327,9M (uncompressed).


Couple of days ago I had a three machines being backed up and the catalog file size was already over 900M of size (compressed!).


At the same time I also went and downloaded Windows version of Retrospect and it is MUCH MUCH faster/leaner...


Windows version is running on generic C2D 2.66GHz machine with 2GB of memory, some old WD 200GB IDE drive. Backup destination drive is: Verbatim 2.5" external USB 2.0 500GB drive.


Currently Windows backup set says the following:


58101 files

98 sessions, 12 snapshots.


Windows version is backing up four clients. And the catalog file size only 37MB (uncompressed). Why this big difference? I mean with three clients and after a few backups Mac version catalog file size was already nearly 1GB???


Also Windows version doesn't have any kind of delay when browsing backups. When I choose what to restore files/directories come instantly and I can smoothly browse and move around without any kind of slowness or hi CPU usage. So although Windows version is running on slower hard disk, less memory and backing up is done on MUCH slower USB 2.0 drive it still easily out performs Mac version. CPU usage is very low too.


File restore speed was about the same, restoring 209MB of data / 5897 files:

Mac version: about 1 minute (leaving out the 40-50s delay before I get to choose files)

Windows version: 43s


Both machines restored from external drive to local disk folder.


Is this normal? Should I just forget the Mac version and go for the Windows version? It is a shame because we already have a old Mac Retrospect version 6.x (unused) and we still could upgrade it to the newest version for less money, and also I think the Mac Mini server (core i7, 8GB mem) version would be nice and small "server" machine for retrospect.


Are there any advantages of using Mac version over Windows version? Most of our laptops/clients are Macs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes. Retrospect is very slow on Macs. Also in regards to restore.


What you describe was a new bug in v 9, and it is supposed to be fixed sometime in the future. You think 5 minutes is a long wait? You can expect to wait for hours to get the window to display when you have backed up for a while. See this:



Make sure you have checked out other backup software options before deciding on Retrospect 9 on Mac. Neither version 8 nor 9 is what most people consider "shipping quality" software. (I have used Retrospect on Mac since the early 90s)



edit: typo

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  • 1 month later...

The Mac Client (version 9.x) seems to me to be where the slowness and high CPU utilization come in to play. Using the 9.0.1 engine to back up some older Mac clients (v6.3.029) and Windows clients gives respectable performance and the CPU utilization is about where I'd expect it. As soon as I start to scan a 9.0 client the CPU hits the roof and EVERYTHING slows down. I've got a trouble ticket open with Retrospect, but so far have not seen any new client.

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