iPhoto Hogs my cpu!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Cloud9, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Cloud9 macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    between flesh and thought
    So last week I posted in the design and graphics thread a question on how to increase performance on my computer for photo editing. I am running a Pb g4 1.33 with 1 gb of ram. And I notice when ever I transfer photos on cf card reader that EVERTHING slows toa crawl. So I opened activity moniter and saw that iphoto was using upto 95% of my cpu. After all the pics transferred I closed Iphoto and reopened it. With iphoto just sitting open not doing anything but exisiting as an open application it used between 50%-80% of my cpu.

    Is this just a fact of G4 life? I cant buy up right now.

  2. DBAlex macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2006
    No, Somethings up there!

    I can run iPhoto, Photoshop CS2, Firefox and Itunes with no lag on my Mac Mini 1.5ghz PPC...

    How much ram do you have?

    EDIT: Oh 1GB... Im really puzzled, Have you tried googling the subject?

    (Sorry I dont know what to suggest)

    EDIT2: have you tried updating it? Which version are you running?

    EDIT3: lol, Maybe its the CF reader software? (if it has it)
  3. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    To be honest, you might be better posting it in the Mac Apps forum (or asking a mod to move it there) since there are people who know lots of OS X and apps there. The Design and Photography sub-forums tend to be for those enthusiastic about those subjects so you'd get a wider audience for the problem in the other forums.

    There is a problem somewhere though. I'm on a 1.25 G4 with 1.25GB of RAM and my iPhoto is open but hidden at the moment and so using 0 CPU and 14MB of real RAM. Opening up and running through some pics takes it up to somewhere between 30 and 50% CPU with iTunes, Mail, Safari, PS open too
  4. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
  5. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    What version of iPhoto do you have? What type of camera do you use?

    I have a G4 iMac, 1.25 GHz, 768 MB RAM and use a Nikon D70s. prior to last monty I always disliked having to open iPhoto because iPhoto killed my CPU and took about 20 min to open and close, due to the Nikon's photo info. Recently I upgraded to iLife06 and it is like a whole new computer.. iLife06 runs really fast, I can scroll through my 3000+ photos with ease now.
  6. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    FWIW, something you might want to try is:

    1. Turn off iPhoto's "Auto Import from Card" feature.

    2. Plug in a card, copy it to a new folder on your Hard Drive.

    (when the above is complete)
    3. Tell iPhoto to "Import" images from the HD location.

    I did this as a work-around from an old, slow Card reader, but I have also had problems with iPhoto hanging during such reads, and this approach solved that problem at the same time.

    If your system continues to crawl with this import method, then you've at least determined that its not related to your Card Reader I/O.

  7. fireball jones macrumors member

    May 31, 2006
    I was importing straight to iPhoto (05), but once I got my D50 and over ~2000 pics, it started bogging down to unusable levels. I pared down the library to stuff I actually look at, and starting importing off the camera to a folder then iPhoto. Works much better now.
  8. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    This is exactly what happened to me, over 2000 photos and boom, hit a wall. If you can then I would highly recommend updating to iLife06 soon, it renewed my love for iPhoto and taking digital photos.
  9. Cloud9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    between flesh and thought
    iDIOTS not Genuises

    So I went to the apple store before I got a chance to read the last couple of posts on my question. Now I did not know that apple completely reprogrammed Iphoto between 04 and 06. I happen to be running ilife 04.

    The genius, excuse me, the i-diot looked at my version of iphoto and began to talk to me like this was a natural occurance in iphoto once you get near 3000 photos , and that this is what I get for only having a g4 with 1 gig of ram and not having ilife 06. He then began to monkey around on my compter opening diifferent apps and playing with safarri and iphoto to show me why this happens. He intterupted me whenever I treid to ask about a solution, with the fact that I have to get ilife 06 to get around it. Apparently ilife 04 has a ceiling of 3000 photos where as 06 has a ceiling of 10000.

    I thought, this is B.S.. Photographers where using my laptop 2 years ago to do professional work, and there is no call for my computer to not be able to function for me as is.

    So I copied my photos to another folder, trashed the rest and emptied my photo library. Iphoto went from using 80% cpu at rest to using 0%.

    So untill I buy another computer, Iphoto is no longer going to be my digital photo box. I am only going to use it as a project work space, (which is all I need it for anyway). And my problem is solved.

    I would love to say I hate the Geniuses. But I think its become a thing like coffee houses. There all corporate and there everywhere. Once they hired cool independant thinkers, now they have monkeys, and to survive in that fast paced, ignorant user, corporate indoctrinated environement, you will eventually become a monkey or you will get let go, or worse ignored.
  10. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    Too bad he's wrong...

    ...as per Apple's own products specifications.

    First, here's Apple's January 6, 2004 press release for iPhoto 04, where they very clearly claim support for 25,000 photos:


    Note that as of this 6 January 2004 press release, a 1.33GHz G4 powerbook was the fastest laptop that Apple sold. It was in the form of the 17" PB (released 9-16-03), as the 12" and 15" wouldn't even be released for another 3 months (4-19-04).

    Similarly, the fastest mac in the world being sold was the G5 DP 2.0, which had only been shipping for 4 months...with 512MB of RAM standard. Your G4 has twice as much (and is probably max'ed out anyway?).

    So much for any of the iDiot's lame "hardware" excuses, unless he can point to a published retraction.

    As per Apple's PR website for iLife, their "Contact Information" person is Derick Mains - 408.974.6264

    I'd suggest giving Derick a call and telling him that one of the products that *he* is personally responsible for is not performing to its published specifications and you want him to make good. If he were smart, he would quietly give you a copy of '06 ... and if he were brilliant, he would ask you to first sign an NDA :D

    I personally think that Apple needs to eat crow regarding this whole iPhoto performance mess that they've been trying to tap-dance around for the past ~3 years: being able to only effectively handle 3,000 photos when it was advertised to be able to handle 25,000 means that the Application is not able to perform 90% of its advertised capacity, which is Fraud.

    BTW, here's Apple's January 11, 2005 press releas for iPhoto 05:

    Interesting how there's no claims about how many photos.

    Insofar as iPhoto 06, the current Apple website claims:

    "Rebuilt for blazing performance, iPhoto makes sharing photos faster, simpler, and cooler than ever before. It also adds...support for up to 250,000 photos..."

    And since I'm in "Documentation Mode", the currently published iLife 06 hardware requirements are:

    Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5, or Intel Core processor; 733MHz or faster for iDVD

    256MB of RAM, 512MB recommended

    Mac OS X v10.3.9 or v10.4.3 or later; v10.4.4 recommended

    DVD drive for installation

    10GB of available disk space

    High-definition video requires 1GHz G4 or faster and 512MB of RAM.
    Burning DVDs requires an Apple SuperDrive or compatible third-party DVD burner.

    IE, "Pushing Sales". Not only is that rude, but it is contrary to the iGenius's alledged role is supposed to be: a problem-solver, not a salesman.

    In digging around to be a problem-solver, I found this statement on Apple's support pages:

    "IPhoto has an unlimited number of photos, the problem is, when you import more photos, it copies all the EXIF data (date, time, shutter speed, aperture, etc) to the iphoto.library file, this file grows each time you import photos and you're Mac isn't handling the file size of this file. Some cameras import more EXIF data than others, so the file builds up in size more quickly."

    I currently have iPhoto 05 installed and I don't see an "iphoto.library" file. I do have a "iPhoto.db" file and an "AlbumData.xml" file within my iPhoto Library folder, and it looks like these were updated as of the last time I opened iPhoto. I currently have 9871 images, and the iPhoto.db file is 2.3MB in size, and the AlbumData.xml file is 8.6MB. Not all that huge, but still not tiny: in contrast, there's also these three files which appear to have been last modified upon my last image import:

    ThumbJPG.data (78.6 MB)
    Thumb64.data (157 MB)
    Thumb32.data (39.4 MB)

    There's also a "Library.data" file (18.5MB), which looks like it may have been a rename of the "iPhoto.library" file: its date infers that it was set aside when I updated from 04 to 05

    FWIW, if someone could post similar numbers for comparison out of iPhoto 06, it might show if Apple's actually streamlined their software code or not...TIA!

    I'm beginning to suspect that more and more consumers are figuring out just how much of a lightweight iPhoto is, and how easy it is becoming for anyone with a digital camera to create a lot of content to populate it with. Hopefully, Apple will figure this out soon too, and do something about it that doesn't consist of a $500 software "upgrade".

  11. ScubaDuc macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2003
    I have been using iView Pro. I have abouot 10,000 pics on a 867Mh G4 and one gig of RAM. No problems with it at all thus far
  12. rjphoto macrumors 6502a


    Mar 7, 2005
    HH always has good answers... Long time no see, HH.

    Anyway, I have been using iPhoto since it came out. I ran into the same problem using Ver 3 & 4. Upgrading to Ver 5 fixed most of the slowness, a machine upgrade from G4-400 to a G4-867 and 1.25 fixed the rest.

    I still have close to 2000 images (From a Fuji S2 Pro @ 12MP) on the old G4-400 tower running iPhoto 4 and just for fun I ran the Activity monitor to see what it would show. It would jump to 85% while scrolling or opening the photos but then settle back down to 6% and lower.

    I understand the frustration. Your work around should be fine. Use iPhoto for the project and then archive the images when it is finished.

    FWIW...you can archive from iPhoto to a CD or DVD and when you pop the disk back in iPhoto will see the album and put it in the source window.
  13. Cloud9 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    between flesh and thought
    the validity tasted sweetly


    Thank You for your post. I feel so much better about this. I actually doubted myself and wondered for a while after leaving the apple store if I was the jerk.

    I might give Derrick a jingle.


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