digsby performance-1.png

A few months ago we tried out Digsby, and our verdict was that it’s one of the best cross-network messenger clients available. The only downside was that when it came to the performance of Digsby things weren’t so pleasant. Some of the commenters on our article noticed RAM usage spiking to 70MB and above as they were using the program, and this disappointed a lot of people since they liked the appearance and functionality of the messenger.

I’ve been closely following the Digsby blog, and they posted some great news last Friday night. Right now they are preparing for a major new release that has both performance and RAM optimizations that should solve the remaining qualms. This all comes due to a reworking of the application’s architecture, which I’m very grateful for!

My first-hand experience is that the new version cut my memory usage by over 50% as seen in the screenshot above. I use Google Talk, Windows Live, and Twitter services with Digsby, and overall it only used about 27MB of my memory. That’s not bad considering the previous release ate up over 50MB with the same accounts.

Before we tell you how you can get this pre-release version checkout what the developers had to say about this big milestone:

  • RAM Optimization: Many people have reported that Digsby is taking 70MB – 110MB during normal use. If you leave Digsby running for a while, the memory leaks caused RAM usage to climb to 150MB+ on some systems. We completely reworked the architecture to use less memory and also improved the memory management by releasing objects when they are no longer needed. We also hunted down and eliminated numerous memory leaks. All in all, these changes lower Digsby’s RAM usage by over 50%. It should now hover in the 20MB – 50MB range depending on how many accounts you have and what you are doing at the moment. There is still more we can do and our goal is to get RAM utilization down even further!
  • Performance: The changes in architecture improved the performance of simple user interface elements like buttons and menus; they now draw 2x – 3x faster! Digsby should be much more responsive now than ever before. However, while this build focused on RAM optimization, the next 1-2 builds will have a strong focus on improving “perceived performance” even more, including things like GUI response time, CPU utilization, etc.
  • Firewalls and Proxy Servers: Those who have not been able to use MSN or other IM protocols due to firewall/proxy restrictions should now be able to connect without any issues.
  • Crash Reporter: The new release includes a crash reporter that will ask you whether you want to send a crash log to us if Digsby should crash.
  • Bug Fixes + Enhancements: Over the past two months we have added a large number of bug fixes and enhancements. There are too many to list here but we will include a full Change Log when the release is pushed to everyone.

You can grab a “testers only” version of the new Digsby from their forum, but be aware that it might not be stable (I didn’t have any problems with it though). They plan to have a full public release soon, but I’m sure some of you won’t want to wait. ;)