PDF Expert / DEVONthink file edit results in beachball - time to upgrade RAM?

I´ve been having a recurrent issue on my iMac and would like to ask for your opinion or advice.

One of my main workflows consists in annotating a PDF, while creating notes with DEVONthink links to the same PDF in a markdown file. As such, I´ll frequently have the same PDF used by both DEVONthink and PDF Expert.

While doing that on some modestly large PDFs (70 MBs), either PDF Expert or DEVONThink become totally unresponsive.

I´ve exchanged some e-mail with the DEVONthink crew and it seems that there´s an issue with file coordination between various apps in Catalina (and a DEVONthink specific issue that should be corrected in the near future).

That said, I only have the base model RAM (8GBs) and I´m wondering if upgrading it (32 GBs, perhaps?) would help fixing this issue. My RAM usage before launching PDF Expert and DEVONthink is usually about 6 GBs of RAM.

Has anyone have a similar issue? Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

You mention the ram usage before launching the apps. What is it after launching PDF Expert, DEVONthink, and you have a 70MB PDF open? Do you have multiple large PDFs open at the same time? I would use a tool like Activity Monitor to see how much free RAM is available and evaluate swap usage before and after opening everything you need. If swap usage is going up, then I would consider additional RAM.

2,75 GBs before launching and 2,6 GBs after launching.

I don´t have a lot of PDFs opened at the same time, and most are quite small (under 10 MBs)

While editing the PDF, swap usage goes up. Virtual memory excedes 14 GBs for DEVONthink too.

I get a bit confused as 8 GBs should be enough for this usage, but maybe I’m wrong.

Your swap use goes over 14GB? That’s a clear sign that you need more RAM, or that something else is amiss on the computer. Out of curiosity, how often do you shut it down?

Is swap the same thing as virtual memory? What I meant is that while checking Activity Monitor, DEVONthink virtual memory size is over 14 GBs (it rose to 19 GBs while becoming unresponsive).

I don´t usually shut it down, but I’ve restarted it recently and the problem persists.

As far as RAM goes, I’m considering buying two Crucial 16 GBs sticks. Or should I buy 4 of them and replace the original RAM that came preinstalled with the Mac?

Sorry, I’m so used to people using the terms interchangeably that I assumed that’s what you were doing :slight_smile: I’d watch the swap use on the memory tab of Activity Monitor; it that starts to grow as you’re using your app then you will benefit from more RAM (especially if your system has a spinning disk as its system disk). If you’re not using any swap or just a little as you’re using your troublesome apps then it’s unlikely that adding RAM will fix the issue.

In my experience, swap use rather than RAM use is the best metric to determine whether or not extra RAM will be of use for your current work.

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(deleted – I misread the OP)

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I don´t annotate the same doc in two places simultaneously (sorry if I misled you). I use DEVONthink to copy a page link to the original quote and use PDF Expert to annotate it. PDF annotation is not good enough in DEVONthink, so I use PDF Expert for that.

The problem comes up mainly when I’m using DEVONthink and PDF Expert. Occasionally, while editing a big PDF in DEVONthink alone.

Thanks for the tip!

Swap use goes from 1,1 GB (Before opening DEVONthink and PDF Expert) to 2 GB. Can’t really tell if that’s too much or acceptable.

I use an SSD with sufficient free space.