rMBP & Aperture storage conundrum

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by peskaa, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. peskaa macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #1
    So, I've ditched my old Mac Pro and MacBook Air for the new rMBP - but I'm currently a little stuck on storage issues, so would appreciate anybody's insight.

    My Aperture library is 245GB currently, and expanding. This won't fit on the rMBP's 256GB SSD, and even if I had bought the 512GB model it would end up full. As such, I put the library on a 1.5TB USB2 external...and watched Aperture crash and burn. Performance is okay, but imports take forever due to the lovely beachball of processing the new imports - talking about 30mins on 150 images.

    As such, I need a faster external solution, but I don't know which is best for Aperture?

    1) USB3 drive, 1-2TB
    2) Promise RAID Thunderbolt, 4TB
    3) Thunderbolt drive, 1-2TB

    Does Aperture need the speed the Promise RAID provides? Will it be noticeably faster than operating off a standard 1-2TB USB3 or TB drive? Anybody else using the Promise in this way for their Aperture libraries?
     
  2. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #2
    USB 2 will do that to you ! The Promise RAID will have the best performance, but it's probably more than you really need and absolutely not portable.

    If you can afford a 512 GB SSD, put that into an external USB 3 (good, cheaper) or a Thunderbolt enclosure (best, more expensive). I wouldn't bother with a mechanical hard drive. The other advantage of SSD versus HDD is that it's light and sturdy, you can take it anywhere with you.

    You can also look into splitting up your Aperture library... Do you really need all your photos in one big project ? Smaller projects will make Aperture more reactive.

    PS you can find a Crucial m4 512GB SATAIII SSD on amazon for $400 now... very attractive price !
     
  3. d.steve macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    #3
    Another option would be to keep your library on internal SSD, and import as managed files into the library for faster import, etc. Thumbnails and previews will be on SSD, too.

    Then, as needed (rarely, for me), relocate the masters as referenced files to the slower external media to clear off space on the SSD. I do this for all masters rated two stars or less, but you might do more or less, or do it for all images by age, etc.

    Don't really need everything on the fastest possible media this way, but you take advantage of it for current stuff if this works for you.

    In fact, do a test: create a small library on SSD, with referenced masters on your usb2 drive. Copy the library to usb2. Use both, and see if the former is better. It'll be just as slow/fast on export, though.
     
  4. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    You probably have a cheap USB 2 drive with 5400 rpm or the worst 5200 rpm drive.

    Get USB 3 drive with 7200rpm and see.

    Firewire 800 drive is another possibility if you use the TB dongle.

    Or Thunderbolt raid if your budget can afford.
     
  5. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
    #5
    Put the Aperture library on the internal SSD, and keep the actual image files as "referenced" on an external drive.

    I have about 270GB referenced images and that gives me a 30GB Aperture library (probably because my previews (which are kept in the Aperture Library) are set to 2048x2048).
     
  6. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #6
    Like d.steve and jdavtz, I've used the "File > Relocation Original..." option to free up a ton of space on my 2011 13" MBA (256GB SSD).

    In my case, just relocating videos to an external USB 2 drive was all I needed to do, but I like the idea of exporting lower rated pictures, as well as older pictures too.

    I really like how when you used reference files like that, Aperture still shows you previews of the relocated files, even when the media you relocated them to isn't connected. :)
     
  7. peskaa thread starter macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
    #7
    Not bothered about portability. If I'm taking the laptop somewhere I need to download photos I just import using Image Capture to a folder, and add it to Aperture later.

    An external 512GB SSD is interesting, but equally limited in terms of space. My library may take another year to hit that limit, but then I'll need an even bigger drive! Add two SSD prices together, and we're probably approaching the Promise's price, which would provide larger capacity and just as good speeds?

    I have a Seagate 7200rpm external, so certainly not a cheap and cheerful, but it just can't cope with the constant read-writes being asked of it over USB2!

    Might see if I can borrow a USB3 drive to try out, even if it is another mechanical.

    How can I go about this, if my library is bigger than my current SSD (once space for OS etc is accounted for)? It sounds like a good solution, but I just need to know the actual mechanics of doing it.
     
  8. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #8
    Wonder if this would work?

    1. Open your Aperture library (on your 1.5TB USB2 external)
    2. Do "File > Relocation Original" on enough projects (saving them to a different folder on your 1.5TB USB2 external), until the size of your Aperture library shrinks down to where it'll comfortably fit on your internal SSD.
    3. Close Aperture, then move your library from your external over to the your internal SSD.
    4. Hold down the OPTION key and then open Aperture. Choose the library on your internal SSD.
     
  9. peskaa thread starter macrumors 68020

    peskaa

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Location:
    London, UK
  10. 100Teraflops, Jul 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012

    100Teraflops macrumors 6502a

    100Teraflops

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Elyria, Ohio
    #10
    Thunderbolt all the way. They cost more than your other options, but they are a very fast, no hassle option IMHO! I have two tb drives and I'm loving it. You can consider USB 3 if you want decent speed on a budget. I have LaCie drives, a little big disk and a 2big disk. Since you will not transport a drive, then buy a 2big as they are faster! Plus you can install your own drives into the 2big with ease. Although, I've heard people do the same with a little big disk. Hope this helps! :D


    Edit: Buy a tb and USB 3 drive. That way you can experiment with both and then decide which way to go. I have an early 2011 MBP, so USB 3 isn't an option.
     
  11. sapporobaby macrumors 68000

    sapporobaby

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Location:
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    #11
    And where can this magical dongle be purchased? It was mentioned by Apple in a presentation but it is no where to be found. If you know, maybe you can post a link to purchase it.

    ----------

    My current solution is pretty basic. At home I have a 2TB external drive. When I travel, I use a 1TB external device that was previously connected via FW800 but not that is not an option with the rMBP. I currently use a USB 2.0 mainly to dump photos to the drive from my D4. However, I am waiting for someone to to sell a FW800 to TB adapter so that I can continue using the current 1TB External. Anyway, once back home, I simply export the 1TB and import it back into my home 2TB drive.
     
  12. d.steve macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    #12
  13. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    We plan to use our SSDs to capture files in the field. Once back at home the files will be moved to the LR catalog that will be on a LaCie thunderbolt raid pair.
     
  14. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #14
    You can keep multiple libraries with Aperture. I keep one for current projects on my SSD and my »permanent storage« library on my second internal hard drive (I have a MacBook Pro where I swapped out the optical drive for an SSD). Aperture allows you to export and re-import projects between libraries. So I would just import your photos to your SSD on your TNG MacBook Pro and after you're done editing them, import the project(s) to the permanent storage library stored on an external drive. Thereby you enjoy the wonderful speed of your built-in SSD when you need it and when you don't, you move it to the second, »slow« library :)

    In any case, I would not work off a library where your photos are stored on a USB2 disk. One RAW file of my D7000 takes up ~20 MB of space. Which means, if I stored them on a USB2 volume, I could read about 1~2 per second. Typical projects of mine initially contain ~100 photos.
     
  15. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #15
    USB3 is fast enough for all hard drives. A Thunderbolt drive won't give you any more speed, because it is limited by the drive speed, not the connection to your Mac. USB3 should also be fast enough for a low-end RAID drive.

    And hard drives get slower as they get fuller, so an 8 TB RAID drive that is 1/3rd full will be faster than a 4 TB RAID drive that is 2/3rds full (if everything else is equal). So for the same price as the 4TB Thunderbolt you might get a bigger USB3 RAID drive.
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #16
    Thunderbolt has much lower latency than USB3 -- which may be important if you connect external SSDs.
     
  17. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #17
    Since you have a mobile device, why don't you include Dropbox into your plans? They have just added 200 & 500 GB options. It is a great way to "carry" your entire library with you and not use up your SSD. I suggest this in an addition to an external drive and a replacement for one.
     
  18. guzhogi macrumors 68030

    guzhogi

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2003
    Location:
    Wherever my feet take me…
    #18
    Something I've wanted to try (but don't have the money to get it) is this: http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/firewire/EliteALmini/RAID/eSATA_FW800_FW400_USB

    It's a portable 2-disk RAID that takes two 2.5" drives. At the bottom of the list are SSD options. Tops out at two 480 GB drives (either RAID-0 or RAID-1). At $1099, it's rather expensive but you can get cheaper, lower capacity drives as well. Should be fast yet portable.
     
  19. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    Kenya
    #19
    If you keep the Library on the SSD but the photos on an external drive, you only use the slow external drive when you load up a photo to make adjustments -- it wouldn't ever (unless you were batch processing) need to open up all 100 photos at once.

    I wouldn't advocate a USB2 external drive as a good choice, but I don't think it would be *as* big of a problem a it sounds here.
     

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