Aperture vs iPhoto performance

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by nickn, May 9, 2012.

  1. nickn macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    Working with RAW files on my C2D Mac Mini under iPhoto 09 is an absolute disaster. For example, just rendering one full screen RAW file typically takes around 15-20 seconds. Moving any of the simple adjustment sliders also takes an excruciating amount of time at around 5-10 seconds per slider movement. Clearly this is completely unacceptable for a full workload of several hundred shots. Would Aperture work any better with RAW shots, or would performance be the same? I use PS, and occasionally ViewNX2, and neither take nearly as long. My machine "only" has 1gb of RAM, so I am guessing that is where my bottleneck is. Another thread said users should have at least 4gb for aperture, which wouldn't even be possible for this machine. Any advice on whether Aperture would be viable for me? Thanks!
  2. btbrossard, May 10, 2012
    Last edited: May 10, 2012

    btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    The ram is almost certainly a big part of the problem.

    Aperture is even more ram hungry than iPhoto, so I don't think it's going to be an improvement for you on your machine.

    I used to use Aperture on a C2D 2.4 ghz Mac Mini (mid 2010) with 4 gb of ram and it was pretty slow at times. Upgrading the machine to 8 gb of ram made a pretty big difference in terms of speed.

    I now use an i5 imac with 12 gb of ram and I stopped getting cranky when working on photos. It was a real pain in the ass at times with the mini, even with 8 gb of ram.
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    1 GB of ram is not really enough for Aperture.

    I have 8gb of ram on my 2010 MBP and Aperture is not slow on that machine. I'd say go with 4gb if possible
  4. nickn thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 17, 2011
    Thanks for the post. That is not a good sign if even 8gb didn't work for you!

    Unfortunately I am really limited to 2gb here. I could go up to 3.3gb, but then I cant dual up the ram, hurting my already poor integrated GPU performance. I guess I cant do it on this machine.

    In a new note, is there a way to get a trial of Aperture. Apple doesn't seem to be doing that anymore.
  5. ZebraineZ macrumors 6502

    Mar 17, 2009
    A small to decent amount of pictures with low specs to high specs, iPhoto wins.

    High amount of pictures with high specs, Aperture wins.

    iPhoto doesn't handle a huge library as well as Aperture, but Aperture is really hungry. It's not worth using it unless you have the specs and have a ton of photos.

    Also Aperture in my opinion isn't as intuitive as iPhoto, it's much easier for me to manage my photos in iPhoto and have everything neat and organized and it runs well for me. I use iPhoto 09, the upgrade to iPhoto 11 I've heard and witnessed is disastrous.

    Unless you absolutely need the advanced features of Aperture, try out iPhoto and if you like it stick with it. With that still keep in mind, more size = need better specs regardless of the program (usual number is around 3000). The differences between how the programs handle videos on the other hand is negligible in my opinion.

    If iPhoto isn't for you and neither is Aperture I'd last try looking at Lightroom. It has good integration with Adobe and has updates...lol.
  6. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Lightroom does have a free trial, so you can check it out. I think RAM is your issue. The C2D isn't helping either.

    The RAM bottleneck is probably worse than not "pairing up the RAM". A stock Mini is likely using the slow 5400rpm HDD. Anything that doesn't fit in RAM (and at 1GB that's most of it) is being written to the virtual memory on the HDD - at 5400rpm. Aperture/iPhoto/Lightroom don't really hit hit GPU that hard... so I'd say bump the RAM as far as you can and don't worry about pairing.

    Or get a new Mini. They aren't that expensive and your old Mini will bring a few bucks to make it cheaper.

    If it makes you feel better I was editing 1GB Ps files on a C2D Mini with.... 1 GB of memory. I was freaked about it crashing so I saved often. I would hit the save button, and then go make tea and empty the dishwasher. Or mow the lawn. Or practice my Tai Chi. Just saving those files would take 20 minutes. I do not complain about how long my 2008 Mac Pro takes to do anything. Just gave that little Mini to a friend who is delighted to have it.

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