I have a custom layout but it's not that demanding so I don't think that is it.
I have been an ACT! user for years and know that it is a resource hog but this performance is almost unbearable.
If I have my calendar open then click on Lookup|My Record the screen goes to the Contact Layout, all of the fields appear, no field names, just the outline of the individual fields. Then the screen starts to "render." What I mean is that it looks like someone is holding down the tab key and doing so for 5 to 10 seconds. Each field flashes. Some fields only once, others many, many times. Then the field names appear, the colors get set appropriately and everything shows up, including my contact information.
This process takes 16 seconds. I know that doesn't seem like much but when I am going back and forth between different screens (contact, calendar, tasklist, opportunity list) this is MUCH TOO SLOW.
I really have no idea on how to make it perform better and am open to any and all suggestions.
The first thing I would recommend is to turn off the Hardware Acceleration. I believe this will improve your over all performance
To do this, close ACT, right click on the desktop and go to properties. Click on the Settings Tab, then Advanced. Once the Advance Properties come up, click on the Troubleshoot tab and slide the Hardware Acceleration to None.
Also, I'm including a link to a kb article with other tweaks that can help speed up ACT.
In the specifications you listed, you did not list the hard drive speed. My guess if that it is no better than 5400 rpm and could possible be as slow as 4200 rpm, depending on the age of the computer. Because the ACT! program requires a lot of I/O, the preferred hard drive speed is 7200 or 10,000 rpm. Performance is significantly improved with the faster hard drive. You should also see a performance improvement if you upgraded to ACT! 2008. Another thing to check is the swap file. I generally max out the swap file settings and that will also help performance.
Roy Laudenslager ACT! Certified Consultant Techbenders firstname.lastname@example.org