I've been using IDEA for a couple years (yes I bought a license) and I've run many different builds in that time.
I've been noticing a rather disturbing generalized trend, the newer the build, the poorer the performance despite my having faster hardware with more memory. As of this morning I'm running build 944 but I've noticed the behaviour I am about to describe for a long time.
I've seen some discussion on memory usage/leakage and tried some of the suggestions but I still have the problem that IDEA reports memory usage radically lower than what Windows Task Manager reports, and, as memory usage in IDEA increases, it increases faster in the OS.
When I opened IDEA this morning it started with 23M of 41M showing, Windows however showed 83M. A few minutes later IDEA showed 25M of 48M and Windows showed 96M. I opened a couple Java files and one JSP and ran an Ant build from within IDEA of my entire project; memory usage in IDEA changed (after clicking the GC button) to 32M of 70M but Windows now reports 105M. This of course continues throughout the day until I restart to clear out the unneeded memory usage. No amount of clicking the GC or setting command line startup parameters in the .lax file seems to help.
Another performance issue I've been increasingly discturbed by is the scanning/parsing of files that are not in my project when I start, my project (which only has 136 files) took about 8 minutes to open this morning on a 2GHz machine with 512M Ram. This wasn't because of all the files in my project, it was because IDEA spent 5 minutes scanning and parsing the entire JDK 1.4.2! and another 3 minutes on my other various libraries. Why would it ever need to parse my already compiled libraries even once much less all the time? And for the record I have local VCS turned off. Turning that on has ground every project I've opened to a halt.
A similar thing to this is the "Optimizing Performance" feature, prior to this "feature" my install of IDEA ran smooth and fast, still some memory issues, but smooth and fast. It was a beautiful IDE and I loved using it. Now however, I sit and wait several minutes whenever I add a new library or do something else to cause it to "optimize performance". I don't know what's going on in the background or what the intended result of this "optimization" is but it certainly isn't optimizing my performance when I can't work for several minutes every time it feels like locking up to "optimize". Personally I don't think it performs nearly as well now as it used to when it didn't "optimize performance".
I used to run IDEA on a P2 400MHz and that version ran faster than the newest ones do now on my 2GHz P4.
I still like IDEA but I would like to know what, if anything, can be done about these issues? And if anyone outside of the companies I've worked for has experienced similar results? I know that people I've worked with on various projects have all experienced this so I don't think it's isolated to me.
Thank-you for any thoughts, solutions, suggestions, etc.