Testing the 64-bit OneDrive Client

One of the most common requests from our customers is improved OneDrive client performance. Those who have migrated to SharePoint Document Libraries, abandoning their legacy file servers when they also abandoned their offices, can quite often struggle with syncing and other performance issues when dealing with multi thousand file document libraries with frequently changing content.

Last week, Microsoft finally released a 64-bit version of the OneDrive client for Windows. With vague promises around performance, is it actually any faster? Let's find out.

The Test

The Environment

One area where we commonly see OneDrive struggle is when initially syncing large document libraries, or particularity those libraries which have many hundreds of thousands of files.

This sync can sometimes take hours and isn't bottlenecked by internet connectivity, CPU, Memory or disk performance. Therefore will a 64-bit OneDrive client, one that can theoretically tap into greater RAM and CPU reserves markedly improve performance?

We will therefore sync a document library which has previously been problematic. It's only 41.1GB in size, but currently has 469,035 files, most of which are small and constantly change on a daily basis.

The Hardware

The OneDrive client is primarily used on the desktop, so for this test we will not be using our VMWare lab, instead we will be using a typical, albeit high end laptop with the following specification:

Intel Core i7-8559U (4 cores, 8 threads, max Turbo 4.50GHz

16GB RAM

512GB SSD (Samsung 970 Pro)

Windows 10 Pro 20H2

After each test, the OneDrive Client will be logged out, the OneDrive folder will be removed, and the SSD trimmed

The Results

Performance of the 32-bit OneDrive client (for reference)

OneDrive 32-bit client about screen

We start off by using the latest production ring version of the 32-bit OneDrive client, version 21.052.0314.0001 and verify that this is indeed a 32-bit version (more on this later).

 

To do so, from within Task Manager, on the details tab we added the platform column to the view and we can see this is indeed a 32bit version of OneDrive.

OneDrive 32-bit process information

We now run an initial sync of the aforementioned document library and time how long it takes to complete the initial sync.

 

Files-On-Demand is switched on, so the library will not be copied to the local PC as this would then make the test dependent on the internet connection, only the placeholders and file structured is created.

Test sync folder properties
OneDrive syncing files
PC Performance during sync

We repeat the test 3 times and have the following results:

Run 1: 26:32

Run 2: 25:59

Run 3: 26:12

This gives an average time of 26:14 for the initial sync, and proves that the test itself is repeatable with a small margin of error and therefore valid.

Installing the 64-bit OneDrive client

The 64-bit client was downloaded from here and installed. However whilst the version number has now changed to the latest insider build, 21.062.0328.0001, there is no confirmation that this is 64 bit version, the about screen just lists the build, which is in contradiction to the Microsoft article What version of OneDrive am I using

However, by adding the Platform column to the details tab in Task Manager reveals that this is indeed now a 64 bit OneDrive executable

OneDrive 64-bit process information
OneDrive 64-bit client about sceen

Performance of the 64-bit OneDrive client

The initial sync performed very similarly and there were no noticeable differences, either in the process, CPU or RAM load.

 

However what matters is the time against the stopwatch and after 3 runs we have the following results.

Run 1: 24:35

Run 2: 24:01

Run 3: 24:10

This gives us an average time of 24:15

Conclusion

The 32-bit OneDrive client completed the test in an average of 26:14, and the 64-bit OneDrive client in 24:15.

This is outside the margin for error, so we can say for certain that there is a performance increase by using the 64-bit OneDrive client, however whilst it is a welcome improvement, it isn't massive at just under 10%.

We will continue to test the client further over the coming days and weeks and will update this article again should we see any noticeable differences with later builds.