Yeah. It's usually the database. It's why I just use straight up PDO, I can optimize the queries themselves rather than relying on ORMs that are quite possibly inefficient.
Where I work we have a massive internal app which we have recently plugged Symfony into to give some much needed structure. Within the Symfony context we use a mix of ORM and raw sql. For simple select queries and insert/update we use the orm, but for more complex select queries we stick with raw sql. Our fight is maintainability and reversing all of "just get it done" code over the years.
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