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I have a Java application that appears to run slower on a more powerful machine running the same OS (Windows 7) and same Java version. By running slow, I mean there is always a delay in the response time, when for example you trying to switch tabs, or press a button.

Why might this be the case?

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    This would normally required the source code so you can benchmark the program on the system. Determine the differences between the two systems and share those if that's not possible – Ramhound Jan 30 '16 at 18:07
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This may have a problem of your java application architecture. It may be with unnecessary threads and instances loading and lot of misused logic (conditions checking & looping). Further check JVM has enough memory allocation ? Otherwise you may use deprecated API.

This may helpful you

Elasticsearch tests use deprecated API when being very slow · Issues · GitHub

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Issue can be caused by several factors (Graphics driver, old JRE, etc ...)

If delays are visible on UI elements and you're running on Windows, it might be possible that Java AWT has hard times to use DirectDraw.

Try to modify command line arguments used to run your application to include:

-Dsun.java2d.noddraw=true

to see if it helps. Reference

Update

There are more JVM system properties which can modify UI behavior. reference here.

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It can happen that your system is running fine, however a service, set of services it is calling while processing an event like button click, tab switch etc. may be taking time.
We faced the same kind of scenario, in which initially it seemed that the application is running slow because of multiple threads firing up at same time or too much logging. However, on doing more analysis we found that when a process engine task was sending an email synchronously then it was taking a lot of time, sometimes even failing to send the mail. It happened that other teams were also observing slowness in sending mails. This was occurring due to some issue at the SMTP server end. With the issue being resolved at the SMTP server end the slowness was gone.
We further optimized by making the email sending process asynchronous.

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