Documentation of behind-the-scenes processing

Discussion created by tlaxson on Oct 30, 2013
Latest reply on Nov 1, 2013 by csny490
In another discussion, an ESRI product engineer noted that, when employing a polygon layer as a mask in the Extract By Mask tool, "internally, we convert the polygon mask to a raster then use that raster to do the extraction".

Being aware of such behind-the-scenes steps could really help to reduce processing time. For example, I'm masking 500 rasters to one polygon layer. According to this piece of information, it would save me a ton of processing time to convert the polygon layer to a raster just once and then use that raster as my mask layer. Unfortunately, the help page for the Extract by Mask tool does not mention this crucial piece of information.

So my question is: Is there some other resource where details on such processing steps are noted for all tools?