Word slower with 2020 pro than 2017 air ????

Copper Contributor

I've got an Air 2017 and a Pro 2020 both configured similarly (I use the pro at home tied to an external monitor and the air when out of the house). When I save large word files (1000+ pages, 3-4mb size) there is no latency on the Air, but there is on the Pro. Which is to say, on both macs the file save takes the same time (5-10 seconds for each given size), but on the 2017 Air I can keeping working (in the same doc, in another word doc, or some other app) while save churns away in the background. On the 2020 pro everything is pretty much locked up or sluggish while save is underway - keyboards strokes will still be recognized, but with a 3-4 second lag. This is obviously very different from expected! Any ideas why??


To answer some of the questions you will all ask:

- Both macs with latest OS and latest Office apps

- Using the same Word file on each

- 2017 air using 80 pct of its 128gb drive; 2020 pro using 20 pct of its 512gb drive

- Both flash drive of course

- 2017 air 8b memory, 2020 pro 16

- Neither seems to have a memory pressure issue - not using all memory

- Has happened over past year and several OS/word updates so not unique to this latest update on either Word or OS end

- Happens equally when wifi on or off so not a background connectivity issue

- No antivirus running on either computer (just rely on built in firewall and malware blocking

- No third party backup running on either (carbonite etc) - just syncing to cloud and occasionally one-off uploads of docs folder to a google drive folder

- I watch activity monitor during Word save operations and see nothing out of ordinary - CPU used almost exclusively by Word or windowserver or other expected daemons

- Have used third party software to confirm flash drive read/write speed is as expected, 3x faster on 2020 pro than 2017 air

- Have run disk utilities and no issues found

- Have not yet used third party software to clock cpu speed (should I?)

- Brought to genius bar and guy said he thought based on activity monitor that for some reason Word on 2017 air was using more memory and relying less on cache while 2020 pro was using memory less effectively (but didn't know how to fix it and I am actually not sure this consistently happens.

- Have not tried a factory reinstall of 2020 pro but that is probably next step.


Any ideas??? 






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