How to increase link speed for a large c++ dll in VS 2005?
I have to support a quite large C++ application (win dll). I use MS Visual Studio 2005 as IDE.
The app is structured (under VS 2005) as a solution with 7 o 8 projects and about 400 files (200 .h or .hpp and 200 .cpp).
A full rebuild in release mode takes around 5 minutes to compile and 15 minutes to link (in an Intel Core2 Duo PC with 2GB RAM).
So reducing linking time is desirable. Are there any tips for improving the link time?
Even more annoying is that the same slowness happens in debug mode (also in link time).
The size of the release dll is around 11 MB (20 MB debug dll).
All this slow linking started to happen when I upgraded VS from 2003 to 2005. With VC++ 2003, a full release rebuild use to take less than 10 minutes.
I am using precompiled headers (pch). Most of the code is written as c++ templates.
Most of the projects compile to static libraries. It seems the use of static libraries prevents VS2005 from using incremental linking, so even with incremental linking turned on it does a full link every time.