I am wondering if there is any difference in the processing speed of Solver as between 2010/2016/2019/365 versions of Excel - in particular, whether (1) newer versions of Solver will benefit from increased core and hyper-threading chip architecture, and (2) 365 will operate slower than 2019 due to increased server communication. Anyone know?
I am optimizing for multi-variable non-convex non-smooth problems, which currently takes several days using the Solver Evolution engine - so small differences in speed will matter!
This is Andrew Stegmaier, and I'm a Program Manager on the Excel team. We work hard to make sure that performance remains consistant or better across different versions of Excel, including in the subscription (Office365) version. That said, sometimes we do see issues, so if you're experiencing a problem while upgrading, I'd love to learn more.
To address your specific questions: (1) I don't think solver has been modified to take advantage of multiple cores. However, Excel formulas have been able to use multiple cores for recalculation since 2007 (see here), so when solver is used in conjunction with formulas, you may find a speed increase in more recent versions. (2) The aspects of Office 365 that communicate with our services to provide cloud storage, updates, and intelligence shouldn't have a noticeable impact on Solver performance: Solver code continues to run locally against an in-memory copy of the workbook (just as it did in pre-office-365 versions). If you notice any slowdown, please let us know.