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View Full Version : Anyone running iPhoto on MBA via external USB drive? Beachballs?




zub3qin
Nov 7, 2010, 03:30 PM
The MBA is super-fast, mostly because of SSD. I want one!
I tried my best to open 10 apps, 10 tabs in safari, play an iMovie video, and play a video in iTunes, in the Apple store, but I could not get a beachball to show up!!! On the fastest desktop they had in the store, it wasn't nearly as "fast" at least in this test.

BUT- the drive space is small, and so I probably will be keeping my media like photos in iPhoto on an external HD, via USB.

For those that are doing this, are there more beachballs or is it more sluggish when editing photos, or loading up iPhoto? It has to be, right? This could negate some of the benefits of the SSD and MBA.
Thanks!



dwd3885
Nov 7, 2010, 03:32 PM
The MBA is super-fast, mostly because of SSD. I want one!
I tried my best to open 10 apps, 10 tabs in safari, play an iMovie video, and play a video in iTunes, in the Apple store, but I could not get a beachball to show up!!! On the fastest desktop they had in the store, it wasn't nearly as "fast" at least in this test.

BUT- the drive space is small, and so I probably will be keeping my media like photos in iPhoto on an external HD, via USB.

For those that are doing this, are there more beachballs or is it more sluggish when editing photos, or loading up iPhoto? It has to be, right? This could negate some of the benefits of the SSD and MBA.
Thanks!

Don't do this. The Air is slow. The ONLY thing fast in it is the ssd. If you use an external for your stuff, you are negating the only real benefit of the Air.

miata
Nov 7, 2010, 04:12 PM
I would also like to hear about experiences with media on external drives. There is no way you are going to keep much media on the internal drive.

rnb2
Nov 7, 2010, 04:14 PM
Well, you could do what I plan to do - I'll be using an 11" MBA for storing/light editing of photos while on the road, and will be storing the photos on a 128GB SSD in a USB enclosure. I was using the SSD in my 13" unibody MB (in place of the optical drive), and was using it for the same purpose. As with the FW800 SSD I'm booting my 2009 i7 iMac from, it's not the fastest SSD setup, but the lack of seek time or latency makes for very good performance vs. a platter hard disk, regardless.

Realistically, while storing some things on a USB drive isn't ideal, I don't think it should be a deal-killer, either. Having the OS and user folder on the internal SSD should provide very good performance, even with the iPhoto library on an external, especially if your photos are just JPGs (which are relatively small). If you are shooting RAW photos (as I am), it would be better to use Aperture with a referenced library on the internal SSD, with only the photos themselves on the USB drive.

zub3qin
Nov 7, 2010, 04:59 PM
Don't do this. The Air is slow. The ONLY thing fast in it is the ssd. If you use an external for your stuff, you are negating the only real benefit of the Air.

My current MB has a 320GB HD and I have used up 150GB.

It seems to me if I am looking to use the MBA as a primary computer, I need a much larger SSD than 128GB SSD. The 256 is WAY too expensive.

The largest things on my HD are iPhoto, iTunes, and email.

I have around 10GB of music

I have around 60GB of photos (and this will of course only grow)

I have around 2GB of email. I don't want to only have my email in the cloud on gmail, I like it locally stored. Maybe I am nuts....

People MUST be using some sort of strategy to manage media successfully on the MBA.

saniko
Nov 7, 2010, 05:50 PM
I've switched from a 2.4Ghz i5 Macbook Pro with 160GB Intel G2 SSD to a base model 11.6" Macbook Air (2GB RAM, 64GB SSD). I have my iPhoto library on an external hard drive using the following instructions:
http://basics4mac.com/article.php/move_iphoto_lib

Performance is excellent for the 30GB of photos that I have on the external drive. The Macbook Air is a wonderful machine!

aleni
Nov 7, 2010, 05:56 PM
yeah i got beachball from opening iphoto that loads the library in external harddrive. but it's ok after the library finished loading.

miata
Nov 7, 2010, 05:57 PM
For folks using Photoshop what do you do about the scratch disk?

zub3qin
Nov 7, 2010, 06:39 PM
yeah i got beachball from opening iphoto that loads the library in external harddrive. but it's ok after the library finished loading.

But if you try editing, zooming, retouching, etc.... Is there a slowdown? Is there some back and forth that goes on between the MBA and external HD for this type of action, or is it superfast? Thanks for checking for all of us!

Also, do you HAVE to have the ext HD attached to the MBA when you sync your camera or iPhone to the MBA or can you somehow get the photos off the camera and then get it to the HD later on?

goodtimes5
Nov 7, 2010, 07:30 PM
But if you try editing, zooming, retouching, etc.... Is there a slowdown? Is there some back and forth that goes on between the MBA and external HD for this type of action, or is it superfast? Thanks for checking for all of us!

Subscribed to the thread and eagerly waiting for the answer.

zub3qin
Feb 26, 2011, 09:48 AM
But if you try editing, zooming, retouching, etc.... Is there a slowdown? Is there some back and forth that goes on between the MBA and external HD for this type of action, or is it superfast? Thanks for checking for all of us!

Also, do you HAVE to have the ext HD attached to the MBA when you sync your camera or iPhone to the MBA or can you somehow get the photos off the camera and then get it to the HD later on?

Any MBA users able to answer this?

goodtimes5
Feb 26, 2011, 10:14 AM
I bought a 16GB Sandisk class 2 microSD card, and my 15GB iPhoto library is on there.

Yes, there is some slowdown doing the usual editing tasks. It is not bad, and it does not hinder productivity too much. I only used class 2, and it was good enough for my casual photo use. It is definitely not as fast as saving your picture library on the Air's SSD.

Yes, you need to have the HD attached while importing pics from the camera. This is the easiest solution. You could deal with multiple iPhoto libraries to avoid this, but this is too much work when you could just plug in the HD.