iPhoto slowness/alternatives

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dhartlen, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. dhartlen macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    #1
    Hi all:

    I have the late 2010 MBA with 1.86 GHz/4 GB. All of my iPhoto data is stored on a network drive. Whenever I use iPhoto, it is just dreadfully slow. Partly, I'm sure this has to do with the volume of photos I have (almost 24,000).

    I just started up iPhoto now as I started this thread and it took about two minutes to boot up. Now that it's up, it's once again stuck in spinning rainbow mode and shows as not responding in Activity Monitor for big chunks of time. It will do this over and over again, pretty much any time I click on anything.

    I was thinking of switching to Lightroom or Aperture, but wasn't sure if this will make things better, worse or just more of the same.

    Can anyone offer and opinions or suggestions?
     
  2. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68020

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
  3. mape2k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #3
    I think you have two problems here:

    1. Your photos are stored on a network drive, and you are connecting to that with Wi-Fi. Not the fastest option. How old is your router and which standard are you using? You could improve your speed by using 802.11n.

    2. You have a bunch of photos :D 24,000 is a lot. Lightroom will certainly handle this many photos better, especially when you split into multiple catalogs. You also might run into RAM problems here (how much do you have in your MBA). Once your iPhoto is opened, check your available RAM and see if you are already running low. That might also slow things down, even though you have an SSD in the Air.
    I also have about 20,000 photos in my archive and they are split into 2 catalogs in Lightroom. I have no issues at all, although I am storing them on an external HDD connected via FW800.
     
  4. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68020

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #4
    I think in this case it is definitely the speed of photo access. I have a 70GB iPhoto library and while it can definitely lag, I'm not having the problems the guy in the initial post is. I've been managing said iPhoto library on a late 2008 MBP with a 2.4GHz C2D chip and 2GB RAM.
     
  5. dhartlen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
  6. dhartlen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    #6
    There is almost no speed difference when I connect via 802.11n or via Cat 5 directly into the network. The slowness is definitely within iPhoto.

    Do you think I would see any difference if I went to a hard drive directly plugged into the MBA via USB?
     
  7. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68020

    PBG4 Dude

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    #7
    Yes.
     
  8. windowpain macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #8
    Aperture will probably make it worse.
    I was using a largish (~120gb) library on a late 2007 macbook 2.2ghz (probably comparable in speed to your air) and with a 5200rpm drive in it it totally crawled. Took about 30 seconds to boot up, and even scrolling through images took an age. lots of spinning beach balls...maddening.
    Similar to what you are experiencing.

    Anyways, I swapped out the drive for a ssd, and it is a night and day difference.
    Aperture opens up in about 2 seconds, and there is no lag of any kind, everything is snappy and a joy to use.

    Like PBG4 dude says, the main reason for the slowness is the speed at which you are accessing the drive. Even a USB2 connection is going to be fairly slow. (having a ssd in a usb enclosure may help. The throughput will be the same as a regular disk, but the seek times are instantaneous.- perhaps someone else can comment on this?)

    If at all possible, run iPhoto (or whatever) off of a fast internal drive.
    I have the 1.4gb Air with 2gb of ram, and unsurprisingly it is too slow to use running of a usb2 external.. usb 3 would be great, but sadly neither of us have it.
     
  9. 2sa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #9
    following this thread with interest....I am close to replacing my old desktop running Photoshop to manage 25,000 pictures and video on a external drive. I purchased a Air (i5/8gb/128) for my son to take to college and was very impressed. I am considering a i7/8gb/256 for my home use to manage this large photo library as well as videos. I would like to utilize the wireless function of my Airport extreme router with the external. Can I expect to see a good performance from this set up using either iPhoto or Aperture?
     
  10. mape2k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    Not really I would predict. The wireless connection is and will be the bottle-neck.
     
  11. wolfpuppies3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    #11
    iPhoto

    is incredibly slow for me. I have about 365 GB of photos stored on an external 1TB drive (backed up of course) and my working libraries on my 2012 MB Air i7, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD. I couldn't begin to function with a smaller SSD. I have the same libraries on my 2010 MB Pro, 2.66 GHZ i7, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB 7200 RPM HDD. I use Lightroom 4 with no problem on both machines. iPhoto is so slow for me as to be of no value whatsoever. I dabbled in Aperture but have used Photoshop and Lightroom for so long, Aperture is like a new language for me.

    No fooling with network speeds at all, not necessary for me as the price of external drives is so low as to be inconsequential.

    My two cents.
     
  12. dhartlen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    #12
    So what I think I am going to do is reclaim some HD space on my MBA, move my iPhoto library back and then see how it works. Will update when I've had a chance to do so. Thanks for all the input thus far!
     
  13. dhartlen thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    #13
    Hi all!

    So as I went to move my iPhoto library, I found it corrupted... I was able to run iPhoto Library Manager and after 30+ hours I had a shiny brand new database, linked to my MBA on an old USB drive that seems to be playing nicely quite (and with speed).

    Thanks for all the help. Everything is appreciated!
     

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