I suggest you ...

Make VS scalable by switching to 64 bit

No matter how fast and efficient VS will be, we will eventually reach some limit.

I've reached the memory limit since VS 2003 -- around 1.3gb memory usage VS started to give out of memory exceptions. That was using 20-30 projects.

Nowadays we have more than 70 projects in the solution and VS 2010 doesn't reach the x86 memory limit (on a 64 bit windows). Eventually we'll reach the number of projects that will be the tipping point for VS.

Using a 64 bit build of VS will enable us to just buy memory and still work with that solution. 16gb machines are not that expensive today.

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Catalin Adler shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

Many thanks to those of you to who provided the initial suggestion and all the related comments. We wanted to take a moment to provide further context to this issue and the context that informed our decision to close this.

Firstly, we recognize the spirit that is largely driving the request to move the Visual Studio IDE to be a 64-bit application: in particular, the ability to work with the largest solutions without performance constraints. We’ve made a goal for the division of driving performance improvements across the product, starting with Visual Studio 2015 Update 3, where we will be shipping many Roslyn performance improvements that will particularly reduce memory consumption with large projects.

As we’ve observed telemetry from Visual Studio usage from developers who have opted-in to share feedback with us, we’ve identified a number of other areas where we can improve performance. Some of examples of areas we’re working on in response to such data include:
• Performance improvements to the C# background code analysis engine that collects errors and warnings,
• Performance improvements to the C# GoTo Implementation and Find All References,
• Enhanced code analyzer diagnostic v2 engine,
• Better discoverability of UI to disable full solution analysis,
• Better messaging to users about the circuit breaker that system uses to automatically turn off compute intensive operations like full solution analysis when Visual Studio is under stress.

Another feature we’re adding to Visual Studio “15” that will enable it to support the very largest codebases is Open Folder (https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visualstudio/2016/04/12/open-any-folder-with-visual-studio-15-preview), which enables any folder to be opened without first creating a solution or project. We’re using this feature internally as part of the development of Visual Studio with great results, and you can now check it out in the latest preview builds (https://www.visualstudio.com/downloads/visual-studio-next-downloads-vs).

Lastly, the work we are doing to create a lightweight installer will help reduce the number of components installed by default, which will also improve performance: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visualstudio/2016/04/01/faster-leaner-visual-studio-installer.

So why not just move Visual Studio to be a 64-bit application? While we’ve seriously considered this porting effort, at this time we don’t believe the returns merit the investment and resultant complexity. We’d still need to ship a 32-bit version of the product for various use cases, so adding a 64-bit version of the product would double the size of our test matrix. In addition, there is an ecosystem of thousands of extensions for Visual Studio (https://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com) which would need to also port to 64-bit. Lastly, moving to 64-bit isn’t a panacea – as others have noted (https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/ricom/2016/01/11/a-little-64-bit-follow-up/), unless the work doesn’t fit into a 32-bit address space, moving to 64-bit can actually degrade performance.

So instead of a large porting effort to move the entirety of the IDE to 64-bit, we are instead working to target components that are resource-constrained today and move them out-of-process, which also offers other engineering benefits including better code sharing and more agile development; and we will continue to monitor overall system impact, not just the IDE impact.

In light of the above, we are closing this item for now since we are not moving the IDE to 64-bit in the next product release. Naturally, we will continue to consider this for future versions, but right now we don’t believe the scales tip in favor of this work. Of course, we remain heavily invested in 64-bit for runtimes, compilation, and profiling.

One last word about performance: when you have specific issues, it’s now really easy to use the feedback tools right inside Visual Studio to send us performance traces that can help us identify any potential issues. See instructions on how to do this here: https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/mt280277.aspx.

As ever, thank you for your feedback – keep it coming. We care about building the best and most productive development environment regardless of your target platform or development system.
Best wishes, Visual Studio Team


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  • S Collis commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is a strange decision. When the rest of the world is going 64-bit, it seems very odd that the development studio from the company that makes Windows, that's driving the world to go 64-bit, should deliberately decide to stick with an archaic and outdated architecture.

    Are you planning to stop making Visual Studio when Windows goes 64-bit only? (And surely, it will, sooner or later, just as 16-bit support eventually ended in Windows...)

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    GIVE ME THE FREAKING 64 BIT YOUR IDE IS TOOO SLOW GREETINGS CAPTAIN CAPS WHO IS MAD btw: if you dont change ill gonna soon switch to rider :)

  • Faxp commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I had to switch to Eclipse for my main big project, because the VS IDE is quickly running out of memory and is constantly crashing. It's not about performance, it's about ability to use your product at all. I now use VS IDE only for something rather small. My main work is in Eclipse.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The pinned comment made by Visual Studio Team just added insults to my ReSharper experience.

  • John commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Dear Microsoft, please do the job already! It's almost 2k18 :( That's pure pain to work on large solutions with 32-bit Visual Studio. It is constantly crashing and hanging.

  • Pat commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We are unable to work with large Solutions, including many projects where we change source code branch (or pull). VS has to unload/load a project and just fails....it is using 2.5 GB of memory and never completes. So the only solution is to kill VS and restart it.

  • Robert McMillan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We are nearing a limit where we will no longer be able to debug our application in Visual Studio without manually filtering out some symbols. We are already to the point where we can't use the profiling tools without running out of memory. To add insult to injury, the symbol exclusions are ignored by the sampling profiler, so you can't even work around the problem! Either do some work to greatly reduce the amount of memory used by symbols or port the IDE to 64 bit. The market will eventually demand a proper 64 bit IDE, the only question will be if Microsoft makes it.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Translation: "Our code dates waaaay back, so we use bad pointer arithmetic and we can't seem to bog that down, any time soon. Sorry. But hey! We're listening to our customers"

    Welcome to 2017 Visual Studio!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Various plugins and features e.g. performance profiling tools run out of memory in a 32 bit address space when used within professionally developed applications. A bit amateurish if you can't make ​a 32 bit app, really.

  • A needy user commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    How to vote for the renewal of this request?
    Could not find any such new request.
    Link please?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please vote on renewed variant of this request. - search for (Please, make a 64bit version of VS IDE). Pushing select components out of process isn't the solution. I spend a lot of time nowadays killing off the disoriented and confused offspring of vs - like xdesproc and Msbuild child processes.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What a ridiculously terrible decision. Visual Studio 15 on large projects is a complete mess. It crashes multiple times a day and is a buggy, unstable, piece of junk even on the latest updates.

    It desperately needs more addressable memory. Not hacks to limit the size of the loaded solution (which by the way, don't prevent the crashes). This is a pathetic cop-out.

    FIX THE PROBLEM Microsoft. "Doesn't merit the investment"? Maybe the next time I talk to our CTO, I should tell him that Microsoft technologies "don't merit the investment" because when they are faced with tough problems, instead of fixing things, they just pass the buck.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have to restart VS a few times a day because of gradual leaks (aka. "rooted references", "robust memory caching", or whatever other term is used for going from a 500 MB working set to a 2 GB one) . True 64 bit isn't going to solve all our problems but it may give us the ability to run a bit longer without a restart. Heck, other IDE's like Eclipse have supported a 64 bit version a long time ago. Microsoft can surely do as well as that. Please reconsider!

  • romulspb76 commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Well, I would say they can at least give us 64bit version which is not backward compatible. To whom who want start new life. I am not able run in 32bit version of studio 64bit components in designer.

  • Bart Sipes commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    "at this time we don’t believe the returns merit the investment and resultant complexity"

    Guys, please take a look at this recent blog post about the work that you (MS devs) are trying do to deal with Out of Memory errors and how the author of the blog post mentioned in the comments that "I am concerned about the performance loss from IPC vs internal calls however." https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/visualstudio/2016/10/12/reduced-out-of-memory-crashes-in-visual-studio-15/

    Please just convert VS to 64-bit and just stop shipping the 32-bit version.

  • Phil Barila commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    While I can understand your reluctance to take this on, I think you've got it wrong. Moving different things out of process only goes so far, and delay loading (and eager unloading) eventually gets you to the point of re-implementing virtual memory paging.
    Unless you've been ridiculously silly in your internal coding practices, by now you should be mostly 64-bit clean, anyway, and it should be a matter of running all your regression tests.

  • Dev commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Well, if it's not addressed by Microsoft then it will be addressed by JetBrains via Project Rider.

  • Sergey Semushin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I think that extensions like Resharper would really welcome change to 64-bit and will recommend it to their customers because currently it's nearly impossible to work with large projects using Resharper. I believe that Microsoft needs to reconsider their treatment of this proposal.

  • Anon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Microsoft, we, your paying customers, need a 64-bit IDE in the next release.

    The IDE performs badly, crashes, hangs and generally misbehaves with our large, business critical software.

    Your customers have requested this, please keep them happy and don't fob them off with workarounds.

    FYI, we have several thousand VS installations here. That's a lot of cash for an under-performing IDE.

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