Musescore 3 memory requirements

• Jan 1, 2020 - 18:37

Can anyone tell me why Musescore 3 takes so much memory even when it is not doing anything. Just having it open slows my computer down big time.
I have just looked in the Task Manager and Musescore 2 is using 27MB but Musescore 3 is using 109MB. Neither is doing anything.


The default soundfont is compressed to minimize installer/storage size. It is unpacked into memory when launching MuseScore (as well as any other soundfonts you might have configured).

In reply to by jeetee

It would be nice to change this to on-demand. Only load instrument sounds into memory that are actually used in the score. And perhaps even then don't load them until playback is actually requested. And/or mmap() them (with on-demand streaming decompression for compressed samples in SF3; and perhaps add Opus support as well, if we are at that).

There are many things to consider. MuseScore 3 right now at idle is using 286 MB on my system ( 43% of ram used) without slowing it down. This is a 6 year old laptop with 8 GB of ram. And an SSD.
High disc and CPU usage probably have more to do with slow down.
What are you running MuseScore on?

In reply to by bobjp

A HP running windows 10. I have tried reinstalling it without making any different. I find not using it to be the best solution and keeping on with Version 2 which seems to sit quietly in the background.
It seems to mean I cannot use Chrome while I have Musescore 3 open, it just stops Chrome from working. And since I source Midi files online and then create parts for a recorder Ensemble having both open is a must.

In reply to by citizenz

W10, yes but how much ram? In Taskmanager, what is the % of disk usage? In my example above,I had MuseScore and Chrome open. This is on my Toshiba laptop.

So, I got out my HP W10 laptop. Started MuseScore and chrome. Disk usage at 100%, computer hardly working. Windows was also trying to install an update. Computer on for 10 minutes. Closed MuseScore and Chrome. Disk usage still 95% to 100%. Finally disk usage remains between 20 and 50%. Re-open those two programs and disk usage back up to 100%. Computer slow. After a while, disk usage fluctuates much lower. But Chrome makes CPU run high now and then. But computer at least runs OK. Chrome uses more resources on my HP than MuseScore does.
Bottom line. There is so much going on behind the scenes that it's hard to pin point the problem. Your computer is constantly doing something. Checking for software updates. Running background programs. On and on. Especially on startup.

FWIW, my Toshiba has a solid state drive, and has none of the HP's slowdown problems.

On my system, here are the specifications:
I opened simultaneously Google Chrome, Firefox and Opera then MuseScore 2.3.2 and 3.3.4. Here is the task manager.
We can make the following remarks:
1. With 21 open processes Chrome is the most memory-hungry but Firefox with only 6 processes remains very present. Only Opera is much more discreet.
2. MuseScore 2 occupies much more memory than MuseScore 3.
3. These 5 complex processes open simultaneously only occupy 68% of the memory and do not prevent me from working in good conditions.

Although MS3 files may require more RAM than MS2 this doesn't necessarily mean it will slow your machine down. A large file will take a bit longer to load than a smaller one but provided that you still have spare memory then your machine should be ok.

I'm running Win 10 on a 9 year old desktop PC: Dual-core 3 GHz Intel chip, 8 GB Ram, (some of which is used by the integrated graphics), and 500 GB real hard disk, (i.e. not SSD), so my machine is old school tech. Windows starts slowly but after 10 mins it settles down and runs MS3 + Chrome + Excel + Guitar Pro all at the same time with no slow down.

Biggest source of slow down for me are the Windows Updates: basically I have to forget about using the PC whilst these are in progress.

What is the spec of your PC? Are you working with a particularly large score? If you can share your score then I can test it on my setup.

In reply to by yonah_ag

Maybe we should look at the types of sound banks used on MS2 and MS3 remembering this:
SF3 soundbanks are compressed with Ogg (MP3Open Source) so they take up less space on the hard drive but take time to load into memory.
SF2 soundbanks are not compressed, so they take up more space but load faster into memory.
Depending on the configuration, each user can choose

In reply to by Papibois

As far as I can tell MuseScore only decompresses them on loading, (which is when I see a performance dip), so this wouldn't account for a general slow down. In addition my old tech PC has no slow down after MS startup completes so I don't think we've got to the bottom of this. It would be helpful to know the spec of the OP's PC and also to try the score.

In reply to by yonah_ag

FWIW, I have two laptops of very similar age and specs.

  1. Stock HP. This has very similar slow down problems you and the OP express. Windows takes a few minutes to be able to use even after the desktop opens. And, as you say, after things settle down (10 minutes, or so) seems to run OK. Unless for some reason disk usage goes to 100%, then it almost stops.

  2. Toshiba. The HDD with the original W10 OS died. I replaced it with an SSD and W10 downloaded from Microsoft at no charge because I had W10 to this computer before. So, none of the extra stuff manufactures add. Windows boots and is ready to use in less than 30 seconds. No slowdowns. Windows updates load in the background without any problems.

It seems to me that all these slow down problems are hardware based and are not the fault of software. It's not rocket science to replace a HDD with an SSD. In your case, you could use a USB adapter to copy your drive to an SSD, and then install the SSD. Your computer is old, but it's not dead yet. And the drive could be used in another computer (you'd have to wipe it first) if yours dies. Prices have been coming down.
I'm not saying you SHOULD do this. It's just a thought.

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