Aperture performance on old (late 2006) MB

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dan--, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. Dan-- macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008
    I recently made the jump to Aperture 3 on its price drop in the App Store. I was previously using some combo of iPhoto, PS Elements 9, and LR 2.

    I am have performance issues in trying to display and compare before/after edits.

    For example, I'd like to see the effect of a lighting adjustment or a sharpen, but after I make the change, it can take 6-10 seconds for the "processing..." or "loading..." message to disappear, and the change to take place. And moreover - the same thing happens if I check or uncheck the box to the left of the adjustment to turn it on or off.

    I'm used to turning layers on and off in PS so I can easily see the affect of adjustments (overlayed) on certain parts of the image, but in A3, this is driving me crazy - I literally have to stare at the screen until the change is made apparent much later.

    Library size is about 60GB. I've tried turning off faces to no avail (though didn't really expect that to affect this particular operation). Is there another technique I should be using to see before/after effects of adjustments?

    The computer is IIRC a late 2006 Macbook Core 2 Duo (2.0GHz I think) with 4GB RAM (3 usable), and a 7200rpm drive. I do notice that Aperture slows to a crawl when memory is used up, but the performance described in the preceding paragraphs happens with memory left.

    Do a need a new computer - what kind of performance could I expect for this operation on the new (cheapest) MBP? Or is there a different way of to easily accomplish the before/after comparisons.


  2. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Caveat: I can't speak directly to Aperture as I use Lightroom.

    That said, I used to have a late-2006 MBP and that 3GB memory limitation had a real effect on Lightroom performance. Early in 2008 I purchased a Macbook, loaded it up with 4GB of memory, and Lightroom was _much_ happier. I am currently using a mid-2009 2.53GHz MBP15 with 8GB of memory, and it's fine for LR and Photoshop.

    By all accounts Aperture places an even greater demand on hardware resources than Lightroom. I don't know what the sweet spot is hardware-wise for Aperture, but I am pretty sure it calls for more than the 3GB of memory your machine is able to recognize.
  3. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    In Hell
    The bad newsfirst, Aperture 3 is a completely unusable on your old system.

    Now the good news, it'll run great on your new MBP.

    Or, you could "source" a version of Aperture 1 which will work reasonably well on your present system.
  4. Dan-- thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008

    I was really hoping there was something simple I was doing wrong.

    Thanks for the input guys.
  5. Keleko macrumors 68000

    Mar 26, 2008
    I have an early 2008 MBP, and Aperture sometimes struggles on it, too, even with 4GB. I'm hoping to buy an iMac when they're refreshed and put 8GB in it. The MBP still serves fine as a laptop for the few times I need the mobility, so I don't need a new MBP yet.
  6. gaz81 macrumors member


    Feb 26, 2011
    Preston, UK
    I have a 2007 mbp with 4gb and that can go slow at times, but it is usable.

    Then again, I've never used it on a faster Mac so can't really compare.

    I use Aperture as it has great integration but I'm sure they can do a lot more to make it run much more efficiently than it does.
  7. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2005
    Halifax, Canada
    I was pretty content with the performance of my '06 MB and Aperture 1.5 and 2, while shooting my Nikon D50 (6mp). It was slower than on my G5, but usable.

    I now have Aperture 3 and a D90 (12mp). This combination is not usable on the '06 MB.

    Works great on my partner's '10 MBP, and my '06 Mac Pro handles it just fine (not exactly portable, though).
  8. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Exactly which hard drive do you own now? There are huge differences between hard drives. I replaced my hard drive in a 2010 MBP with a new Hitachi Travelstar 500 GB 7200rpm hard drive, and that made a substantial difference, even from a quite recent (2010) hard drive. It won't do any magic, but if your hard drive is a few years old, for example some 120 GB 7200 rpm drive, it should make quite a difference for about £50. (SSD drives are a lot faster again, but then you might as well get a new Mac)
  9. Dan-- thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008
    My hard drive is a Hitachi 7K320, a 320GB 7200rpm drive. It's not an SSD, but it's fairly quick.
  10. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    My 2007 is now working reasonably well now. A 7200 rpm HD and 4mb RAM helped noticeably, and the new 3.1.2 App 3 update seems to have sped up most of the retouching and enhancement tasks by a fair amount. Fine for my amateur use, even with a number of 30+MB scans.

    Still, I do have to wait and obviously a mightier machine would be faster if waiting clients are a concern. They make MPs for a reason.
  11. Dan-- thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008
    Sorry to revive a dead thread, but I'm planning to upgrade to Lion in the next month or 2, and am still concerned about performance with Aperture...

    So if anyone can tell me...

    Will I be able to see all 4GB RAM (not just 3GB)?
    Will Lion suck more of my memory than SL and I'll be worse off?
    Or will it be just plain similar?​


  12. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007
    interesting topic. Something I'd like to know as well.
    I have 4gb (maxed) on my iMac and wondering about Aperture 3 and Lion too.
  13. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    I don't know about yours, as it's a 2006, but I have 4GB in my 2007 MacBook Pro, and Lion sees all 4GB of it. Also, the performance is better in Lion than it was in Snow Leopard, so you shouldn't have to worry about that.
  14. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    4gb should be visible and working in Lion, however Lion will not suck more memory than snow leopard (at least from my experience) it is about similar. But Aperture on that Laptop will be slow unless you could try putting your library onto an external HD through firewire and trying again.

    The basic MBP will easily outperform your current one (i have it) and it runs aperture 3 without any issues. I feel its actually faster than SL was with it in certain situations like going fullscreen.

    I would still recommend putting your aperture library on an external Firewire HD though.No matter which one you choose
  15. Dan-- thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 30, 2008
    Thanks for the info folks. It sounds like it will be no worse, so that's a good thing, and maybe some potential gains.

    I'll see if I can try a test library externally via FW, but the only gains I foresee would be due to simultaneous access by Aperture and the OS, which shouldn't be that much. (My internal is 7200K RPM connected via SATA).

  16. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Feb 15, 2006
    Kent. UK
    FWIW, I found moving to referenced files made a huge improvement to aperture on my system. In the same week I moved to referenced files (external FW), doubled the Ram (4GB to 8GB) and added an SSD. The move to referenced files gave the single biggest boost in Aperture performance.

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