Wojciech Piekutowski wrote:
> I recommend to simply profile your code. First extract a very short
> snippet of code that reproduces the problem. The lesser lines the
> better. Then run it with ruby-prof. You will clearly see where
> ActiveRecord::Base#save spends so much time.
> 
> Greetings,
> Wojtek

ruby-prof is amazing.  Thank you for making me aware of its existence, 
how I had never managed to google "ruby profiling" I will never 
understand, but my life is better now.

Unfortunately there was a number of functions slowing things down, the 
solution I ended up using was switching to DataMapper. Its now going 
very fast :)
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