How to decrease photo "loading" time with Aperture 3 on 2008 2.4ghz MBP?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by chiefroastbeef, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. chiefroastbeef macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #1
    Hello folks,

    I love Aperture 3, it works GREAT on my Mac Pro, however, on the mbp it is sluggish, primarily the 3-4 second "loading" time for each photo (from a blurry photo to a sharp photo). I tried to decrease preview size and quality, tried to relocate masters elsewhere, but nothing works, I still get 3-4 second loading time for all edited photos. I have no such problem on my Mac Pro, since it is a beast.

    Currently on my 2008 2.4ghz MBP with 4gb of ram, I have a 500gb 7,200rpm 50% full hard drive in the optibay dedicated as the scratch disk for Aperture 3 library. And my OS/App/etc drive (1/3rd full) is the new Seagate Momentus XT 500gb, still no change.

    I thought of getting a SSD, but after reading other comments and realizing that a SSD wouldn't change the "loading" time because my library will still be accessed on a slower 7,200rpm scratch disk. Should I try buying a single 4gb stick of ram (to get a total of 6gb including the 2gb stick already in it), or even two 4gb sticks of ram to see if it will run faster?

    The 3-4 second loading time is unworkable, especially on the field, I wish I can take my Mac Pro along, but that is just not possible.

    I am running out of ideas, I though relocating my masters would solve it because it reduced my A3 library to 1/3rd of its original size, but the loading time remained at 3-4 seconds.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #2
    I'm assuming you're actually doing something that requires the image to be redrawn, i.e. that you're tried clicking the preview-only button (it's the last button on the right underneath the main image, it's a box in a box with lines to the left of it.). The problem is the size of your RAW files, I have RAW files from three cameras, an EOS 10D and a D70, which have small-fast-loading RAW files, and a Fuji S5 Pro, which has files that take ages to display.
     
  3. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #3
    Yea, with "quick preview" the edited photos load instantly, but with the way I use Aperture, quick preview wouldn't help because I adjust my photos (either crop, level, contrast, or burn n' dodge).

    I am shooting raw with a Nikon D700, files are around 11mb. I am willing to spend $300 to improve the performance. I was very close to getting a SSD until I realize all my photos must be stored on a 7,200rpm scratch disk.

    Do you think ram will help? The max ram usage I've seen A3 use is around 1gb, and I usually still have around 1gb free.

    Do you keep your master files in the A3 library as well? Or do you relocate elsewhere?

    Perhaps I am just out of luck with raw and Core 2 Duo...

    I appreciate your comment, thank you.
     
  4. SnoFlo macrumors regular

    SnoFlo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    #4
    Yeah, the CPU does the rendering in Aperture with help from the GPU. My iMac 3.06 took the same 3-4 seconds to render 21MP files while the Mac Pro takes about 1 second. The preview-only button works well but the picture quality isn't too wonderful. I don't know if it's possible to make it look better.
     
  5. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #5
    Thanks for your comment, well this sort of stinks. :eek: I definitely don't want to upgrade my laptop yet. If only I can mount and velcro my MP's ATi 4870 GPU onto my MBP...

    The preview button is definitely quick and is an option I will now start using, but it won't let me edit the photos unless I back out of quick preview, leaving me with the 3-4 sec loading time. My workflow for now is:

    1. import photos
    2. sort through photos, delete bad ones (I will start using Quick Preview for sorting/deleting)
    3. adjust photos as needed (this is where I must wait for the loading time, and something I cannot stand)

    I guess I am out of luck huh? Maybe I need to stop complaining... I may upgrade my ram anyway to see if I get any improvement, $124 for 4gb stick at OWC isn't bad.

    Are there any maintenance things you guys do with A3?
     
  6. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Rome
    #6
    I'm guessing this won't be your first choice, but given what you're willing to spend to speed things up, have you tried Lightroom 3?

    I didn't have any prior commitments when demoing both Aperture and Lightroom, and speed was one of the (many) things that set them apart. If you're willing to give Lightroom a shot, the one-month trial might be a place to look. (I've got the same machine, BTW, and Lightroom works much better than Aperture did.)
     
  7. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a

    cosmokanga2

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    #7
    I have the late '08 2.4 MPB and I too get the "Loading..." for about 3-5 seconds with the RAW files from my D80 and 14 bit uncompressed NEFs from a D3s. I've upgraded to a 500GB 7200rpm, 4GB RAM and everything lives on the main drive with 120GB free and still there is that delay.

    One thing that I did do was defrag my computer using a program called iDefrag. As I found out, the Aperture "Libraries" are very defraged, especially if you import in huge batches and then delete large amounts. This leaves files scattered all over the place. I bought the program and ran it and while it did't eliminate the loading delay, in general I felt that images responded a bit faster. For $30+ dollars I'd give it a try.

    Otherwise, find an assistant to haul your Mac Pro around for you. :D
     
  8. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
    #8
    I don't think increasing RAM will help; Aperture isn't going to be able to predict what pictures you want to view next and load them into RAM.

    It would be interesting to know how much quicker new MBPs are; I might have to take some files to an Apple store some day soon and test them.
     
  9. spiritlevel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    #9
    I'm not sure how big your aperture library is but you could get an SSD and keep your library on that along with your system/apps etc.

    Obviously the size, and therefore cost, of the SSD you would need would depend on your library size.
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #10
    Upgrading the RAM definitely is the key to making Aperture speedy: I have 8 GB now and I only use it once I launch Aperture. I have estimated that in most situations I need 6 GB (by monitoring the number of page-outs, swap space and used RAM for a while).

    This is also true for importing: what took ages before (on a 2.33 GHz ProBook with 2 GB RAM) flies on my current machine (2.4 GHz Core i5). Apparently Aperture couldn't multitask efficiently before. Also, Aperture is one of the few apps that distributes work across all four `cores' (it's actually 2 physical cores and 2 virtual cores via hyper threading).
     
  11. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #11
    Or you could temporarily place the active project in the SSD and once you're done with it, place it back to your main library (located in the 7200RPM HDD rite?).

    It's a bit more step though but at least you no longer have to wait for the loading.... time? ;)
     
  12. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #12
    Hi guys,

    I can't express enough gratitude towards the insightful comments, they definitely help!

    I don't think I will go the SSD route for now, perhaps in the future when prices come down.

    I will get the 4gb of ram, along with a Nikon 14-24mm f2.8 from B&H, even if it won't make A3 faster, at least I can multi-task a little more.

    I will definitely, seriously consider Lightroom 3, but with a 263gb aperture library, it'll be quite a bit of work. :) The loading time is driving me mad.

    I will give idefrag a try, been meaning to get it for quite a while.

    Once again, thanks for the suggestions. Hopefully I won't have to switch to lightroom 3 (a lot of work), I may just endure the 2.4 Penryn MBP until I switch to the newer mbp in the future.

    Thank you folks.
     
  13. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #13
    I have the same issue and have heard that it is also based on the library size. I have 20,000+ images and definitely could split this into many but haven't done so yet. If this works for you let me know...
     
  14. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #14
    I disagree with OreoCookie on this one, I don't think RAM will help so much if your Aperture library has fragmented. The RAM is going to sit and wait for a fragmented drive to perform requests given to it.

    Try to also keep your library lean, mine is less than 80GB's. My machine is a lot slower than yours and I don't get as much lag as you seem to. I'm running Aperture 3 on a MacBook with 3GB of ram with a Intel GMA card. Also my camera generates 20MB+ files which means there is more to process.

    When was the last time you did a format of your drive or defragged it?

    For those reading, please don't chime in and say you don't need to defrag OSX. The Aperture database can fragment over time and it requires maintenance. Read this for more information: http://jonathanjk.com/page/2/

    There are also some other little tweaks mentioned in the provided links. My Aperture database has fragmented but I removed some files and the processing has sped up, just anything like backing up the library takes literally 8 hours because of fragmentation (but transfering the backup to another drive takes 90 minutes because the information has been written sequentially for the backup). For the moment I can deal with this until I finish some jobs.

    My solution will be to back everything up, do a full format and reinstall to get to near optimal performance on this hardware.
     
  15. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #15
    Thank you for your input. I will go ahead and purchase idefrag when I get to the hotel tonight. How often do you defrag your Aperture library or boot drive?

    I've just purchased a 4gb stick of ram for a total of 6gb, it'll be good to have even if it won't make A3 faster.

    I will definitely split up the libraries, that is another great idea. I will try idefrag first though.

    Thank you again folks.
     
  16. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    #16
    Okay, here is another thing you could try.

    From my understanding, now you have all your images in a single library right? I've read that some people manage to get their RAW to load faster by opening the project as a new library.

    Maybe you could try that? :)
     
  17. MacProDude macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #17
    I highly recommend using the Activity Monitor to watch cpu, memory, and disk load while performing various Aperture actions to see what *your* current bottleneck really is.

    I have a Mac Pro 1.1 2x2x2.66, 6GB RAM, ati x1900 Aperture 3.0.3 on ~31K images, mostly RAW (d30/10d/30d/7d).

    Memory is almost never a bottleneck *for me*. Watching free mem and page outs, the only time I've seen lack of memory be an issue is when it reanalyzed my library after switching from managed to referenced files. More memory isn't going to help *me*.

    By watching disk activity, I noticed disk I/O had definitely been a factor *for me*, which I think I've just mitigated by getting my library onto a faster disk subsystem and switching to a referenced library.

    By watching CPU, I see that *I* am currently bottlenecked by CPU on a variety of actions. That's really a surprise to me. *For me*, "loading" time on images seems to be strictly a CPU issue. It takes ~3-5 seconds, and all four cores get pretty high cpu. Disk is barely touched and memory isn't a factor. Going to quick preview is immediate. Previews are half-size, use embedded jpg if avail, quality 8. If I switch to viewing masters (M), it takes ~3 sec consistently for 7d images.

    The good news is that it's gone from ~10 seconds in Aperture 3.0.0 to ~3-5 sec in Aperture 3.0.3...but I don't know what had more of an impact - the changes I've made or Apple perf fixes.

    I'll definitely try splitting up the library. I don't immediately see how defragging the library will help *for me*, but I may try it and report back.

    YMMV, but I do recommend you look at Activity Monitor before spending any money.
     
  18. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a

    cosmokanga2

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    Jan 7, 2008
    Location:
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    #18
    I tend to run it every week or if I have imported 15GB+ and then delete are large number. I ran a full system defrag last night, took 6 hours but the 130GB free on my drive is now a empty free space, not littered with files.
     
  19. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #19
    And yet again I am wondering if referenced files will work miracles here? you cut down the size of the library my "loading" is 1 second per photo (once the previews have been generated etc.) including the modified ones.
    Why are people leaving everything in the Aperture library? Especially if you have a large collection of files... Referencing allows you to store offline and take your working files with you...
     
  20. chiefroastbeef thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas/ Hong Kong
    #20
    Thanks everyone again for their help.

    I use iStat menu (superb even though they now charge $16), and I don't see much bottlenecks in terms of cpu or ram. But Aperture never uses all available cpu power.

    I tried referencing my library by relocating the masters, reduced my library by 1/3rd. But to my surprise it didn't help at all, perhaps I did something wrong... Maybe I will try it again. Must the masters be stored on another hard drive? Or can they be stored on the same hd as the aperture library?

    I'm about to order idefrag, at least to clean up my hard disks in my mbp and mac pro.

    Thank you guys for all the input, you all are great. :)
     
  21. klm0929 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    #21
    Speaking of Speed

    I'm wondering if anyone has a problem with Aperture 3 having to be forced quit.

    It seems every time I'm working on adjustments, rendering simple adjustments take forever, and untimely end up "not responding"

    Yes, I have a 2007 macbook with 4 gigs of ram (knowing only 3 are functional) and a 2.16 core 2 processor.....

    thanks
     
  22. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #22
    Spend some time reading the link I provided, your answer is there. Specifically with reference to deleting some cache files in Aperture3. I did this and things improved long enough to put off a format for the time being.
     
  23. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #23
    I don't think it's a contradiction to what I've said at all: I haven't mentioned file fragmentation at all. Since the OP has written his harddrive is filled up half way, I assume fragmentation is less of an issue.

    In any case, after defragmentation (if necessary), you can make good use of extra RAM. In my case, I need about 6 GB to catch some RAM usage spikes in Aperture. With 8 GB, I can leave other apps (most notably Safari) open while working on photos ;)
    I don't think it a speed-up was to be expected other than the fact that the two harddrives can seek simultaneously. If you shoot RAW, your files are ~10 MB in size (order of magnitude) and seek times are less important. It's not at all surprising that you don't see any speed-ups from that.

    If you want to use referenced files, masters can be stored almost anywhere and the volumes need not be connected all the time. (If a volume is offline, you obviously won't be able to work with the images.)
     
  24. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #24
    Correction you CAN work with them. that is the point, you just cannot export them as the post processing is then applied to the master in the export process. But you can work with referenced files perfectly fine without the masters...
     
  25. encro macrumors 6502

    encro

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    bendigo.victoria.au
    #25
    sqlite3 Aperture Vacuum

    Back up your Aperture Folder first! ($HOME/Pictures/Aperture)
    Quit Aperture.app
    Relaunch Aperture while holding down Option to give you the option of rebuilding the database. (Command & Option will give you a Recovery option to attempt a repair if the database is corrupt).

    Alternatively...
    Quit Aperture.app
    Open Terminal.app
    Enter or Paste the following:
    Code:
    /usr/bin/sqlite3 ~/Pictures/Aperture\ Library.aplibrary/Aperture.aplib/Library.apdb vacuum;
     

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