FAQ: Why do shapefiles draw faster than file geodatabase feature classes in some instances?
Why do shapefiles draw faster than file geodatabase feature classes in some instances?
Large feature classes may perform slower as file geodatabase feature classes than they do as shapefiles.
A file geodatabase can become fragmented, causing performance issues. Running ‘Compact’ on the geodatabase greatly improves its performance; however, in an unsymbolized draw, redrawing the shapefile may still be faster.
When using an attribute value for a symbolized draw, file geodatabases usually draw faster than shapefiles.
To maintain a high level of performance, periodically right-click on the geodatabase and select 'Compact'.