Buying advice for aperture use

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dazey, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. dazey macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    I am seeking a bit of advice from some heavy aperture users on a computer upgrade. My current situation is that I have a boring well paid day job and photography is a weekend job. I mainly do events but a bit of portraiture as well. I always shoot raw on a D3 so sometimes for events I need to get quite a few pictures through aperture at a decent rate. My current computer setup is a battered macbook pro (late 2006 C2D model) which is my main machine for my day job and my photography, I have an old MDD 1.25DP that holds my RAW library in a mirror raid. I used to have the mirror raid attached to the MBP on a dual SATA card (with drives in two enclosures) but the chances of one not starting up meant I was always rebuilding and the offsite backup is easier with a static machine. The MDD also works as a 24hr server and provides me with a way to deliver files to clients using webdav and acts as a VPN server and caldav server. At work I have an old donated G4 mini that gives me logmein access to the work network and runs chronosync to do a scheduled, weekly offsite backup of my photo library (so uploads around 3GB+ weekly).
    I have a few issues with my current setup.
    1.- Now that snow leopard is intel only I have lost all my test rigs! I will not upgrade my MBP until 10.6.2 probably unless I have a machine to test it out on before hand.
    2- The MBP really does struggle a bit with the raw files and I could really use a machine with a bit more grunt.
    3- The MDD as a server could be more power efficient and quieter, ability to run snow leopard server for carddav would be nice (thinking mac mini)
    4- I love the design of the MDD and am loath to replace it!

    The MBP was always fine with D200 files but the D3 ones seem to stretch it too much. I have considered a hackintosh and the efi-x sounded like it could be ideal as the initial promise seemed to be that it would deal with software updates fine but this does not seem to be the case. I would really like an MDD replacement i.e. something in-between the Mac Pro and the imac but this looks to never appear. The Mac pro could be a good workhorse but will not make a 247 server due to power consumption so would need to be mated with a mini of some sort or the MDD. The MBP is getting a bit long in the tooth now but could keep going a while, especially if the hard lifting load was taken off it. I think the data churn causes issues with its hard drive fragmenting which slows down over time.

    I am thinking of going for a Mac Pro and keeping the MDD as my server for now. I am a bit tied between the 4 and 8core though. On processor alone the quad seems the best buy but only 8GB ram seems limiting compared to 32GB on the 8-core.

    Anyone got any advice? Whatever I do looks expensive!
  2. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    With ever enlarging RAW file size, a mac pro with a lot of ram, faster graphics card and fast disks will really improve your experience in Aperture.

    It's all about the money, but personally there is no way I'd buy a computer that maxes out at 8GB of ram as a workstation. Depends on your work style of course, but if you run aperture, photoshop, and are working multiple files and layers it's quite easy to eat that much ram. I routinely hit swap until I went from 12GB to 16GB. Having said that, I keep a lot of stuff open, including parallels, which eats 2+ GB by itself.

    I would not worry about a second computer as a "server" if you're solo - any possible savings in electricity will never be recouped by the extra hundreds of dollars in expense of the second computer. Just put it to sleep when you're not using it.
  3. dazey thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2005
    Thanks for the response. Depends on what I am shooting, events I don't always use photoshop but for portraiture then always. After a bit more research it seems that the quad unofficially takes up to 16GB but you really only want to put in 12GB to make the most of it. It concerns me that day one I would be maxing it out. 3GB it ships with is too low to be sensible and as it only has 4 slots it would want to be putting in 3x 4GB modules in at a cost of £807.
    I have just realised that this puts the initial cost of a quad 2.66 12GB at £2,706.
    The octo 2.26 6GB is £2,499 (which I think will do me to start). I can also swap 6x1GB for 6x2GB for £240 so for £2,740 I get a octo 12GB

    Some say that the octo is going to be slower but could improve with snow leopard. Seems to me the octo is probably a better buy. My MDD has about 2GB of ram, that was stupidly large when I got it but now nothing special. Buying a machine that you want a lot of ram day one is a bit troublesome!

    I did try and work out how long it will take a mini to pay for itself against a 247 MDD and I think it is quite a long time!

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