TfT Performance: Obsidian
Obsidian is the first non-outliner in this benchmark and is based on Markdown files stored in local folders. The benchmark results are astonishing.
And welcome to the Benchmark of Obsidian, made by the authors of Dynalist, based on Markdown files stored in local folders and backed by a big community with hundreds of themes and plugins.
If you are new here, you may want to read about the methodology behind this benchmark, take a look into the machine room and visit the results of Roam Research and Logseq.
I created the following videos essentially for me to measure the times quickly. I've linked them here to prove the results, but they're probably pretty dull despite being partly time-lapse.
All the diagrams I show here use the same color scheme and order—Blue for the 2,000 data set, turquoise for the 5,000, and green for the 10,000.
And please remember: We focus here exclusively on the performance figures of some operations. These may be entirely irrelevant for your use case. Also, the numbers say nothing about the tool's other capabilities - so please take the results with a grain of salt.
Obsidian is based on local folders filled with Markdown files. Therefore, I let it work on three directories, one with 2,000, one with 5,000, and one with 10,000 files. If you are interested in testing yourself, you can download the test data.
Importing the files into Obisidian has been a breath. Just open the corresponding directory, and only seconds later (yes, you read right), you are ready to go.
Application Start Times
Obsidian starts fast, even with large directories. You can nearly instantly begin working.
Heavy Duty: Searching and references
Load times were fast, no matter how big the directories were. Pages loaded almost instantly.
The more backlinks there are, the longer the load time. But in any case, really quick.
Bonus Round: Filters and queries
Filters and queries were ready to go and delivered near real-time results.
Everything was so fast with Obsidian that I made just one video of many actions and haven't had to use timelapse at all.
Alice in Wonderland: Adding content and exporting
Pasting was instantly, and directory sizes don't matter.
Because Obsidian stores all files as Markdown, export takes no time.
That was a fast-paced ride. Obsidian blew away the competition up to a factor of more than 100. However, you have to remember that Obsidian has a different technical architecture and is not a block-based application like Roam Research and Logseq. But for those who don't need the benefits of blocks, Obsidian is a note-taking application that is far from reaching its limits even with 10,000 highly linked pages. I’m really impressed by its performance. Maybe it would be interesting to make a special round with 100,000 pages?
The following application in the benchmark will be blocked-based again. You can vote on Twitter which one:
If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave a comment.
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Or you can buy me a coffee ☕️. Thank you so much for your attention and participation.
Obsidian does have support for block references though, it just doesn't create them by default (i.e. always). So I wonder if there is a way to sort of simulate the burden that the other apps are dealing with by modifying your .md test files *just* for Obsidian to include block references on every, er, "paragraph" I guess it'd be. You know what I mean? 🤔
I'm already an adoring user of Obsidian, but reading this and the above comments made me even happier. Thanks!