Are you both new to Aperture? It is difficult to advise you if we do not know to what your objectives are. Perhaps you may want to post back with some more information, on what you are planning to do with the program, migrating from iPhoto or Light room, starting with digital photography?
Aperture and Lion:
I am right now sitting in Front od an i7 MBP and enjoying Aperture - it works fine. You may want to make your birthday gift more generous and include an upgrade of RAM to 8 GB. That was the first I invested into, and it was really worth it. Aperture can work well with 4GB of RAM, but then it may be difficult to run other multi media applications at the same time.
I'd suggest you download the trial version, and see for yourself, if you like the program and if it meets your needs. Aperture 3: 30 days free trial: http://www.apple.com/aperture/trial/
Many problems you see reported, come from the first encounter with Aperture. The program will need a long time to set up its database, if you start by migrating an old iPhoto library or importing several hunded GB of pictures. Also some users are surprised that they are expected to invest into learning to use the program - it is not plug-and-play, but a complex professional tool, designed to be used by professionals and serious amateurs.
So try it.
I would underline what Léonie said.
First be shure that your wife really needs a powerful tool like Aperture or if iPhoto would be enough.
Even iphoto is quite powerful. My wife likes it very much and now she is getting more and more a photo professional. But even for her aperture is still "too much". She stays with iPhoto.
Thanks for the response. She will be migrating from iphoto, and primarily will be using it to help edit, organize and I think she will like the way you can locate and categorize by location. I will look into upgrading from 4 to 8 gb. However, the answer seems to point in the direction of it will work but don't run other applications at the same time?
Please know I am very grateful for the very quick response . I am just trying to gage how it will perform.
Thanks a million
Léonie has already answered: 4 GB for the OS + Aperture. More than that if you want OS + Aperture + Other Apps. 8 GB is recommended. Anything up to 8 GB is likely your biggest bang-for-buck hardware upgrade. Buy your RAM from Crucial or OWC (or elsewhere) and install it yourself.
Echoing Léonie (again ): if iPhoto meets the user's need, use it. iPhoto is easy to use. Aperture requires dozens of hours of work to just get going.
IME, people _very much_ prefer to choose their own software . Nicely enough, most software is available for a no-fee trial.
Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger -- added links and more.
However, the answer seems to point in the direction of it will work but don't run other applications at the same time?
It is not so much a problem of Aperture, but the basic design of Lion - while I still was using Snow Leopard 4GB was more than sufficient, I didn't even think of investing into more RAM. But under MacOS Lion the multi media applications like to build huge caches to keep the media in the main memory, to facilitate speedy switching between applications. Even after you quit an application it still may be kept in the main memory.
There would be no problem running Mail, iCal, and other desktop tools parallel to Aperture, even with 4 GB RAM, but Aperture, iMovie, Safari, iWeb at the same time will be problematic. Also iTunes and GarageBand tend to use much RAM:
So independent of Aperture, if your workflow requires to run several multimedia applications at the same time, like iPhoto, iTunes, and Safari, more RAM would be worth it. iPhoto uses mainly the same engine and frameworks as Aperture, thus you will have the same performance issues with iPhoto as with Aperture.
If your wife has experience with iPhoto and built a big iPhoto Library, then she will like the advantages that Aperture has to offer.
P.S. If you decide to buy Aperture, get it from the AppStore, not the Apple Store, that is by far the better bargain!
Aperture is great. Much more than iPhoto. I have 300 gigs (yes gigs) of photos and video. I dump all phones and cameras into Aperture then sort and tag. I do find it slow in some areas but no slower than other image management tools. It's also cheap and a heafty upgrade from iPhoto.
Good luck but upgrade to 8 gigs of RAM, it does help.
WPallstar wrote:...10 reviews all have warned aginst this. Have these kinks been worked out with regards to the software and the OS?
I think you will find that anyone warning against Lion & Aperture did so based on less than 8 GB RAM or less than i7 cpu or on a marginal GPU or on an OS version before10.7.2 or on an Aperture version before 3.1.3 or some combination thereof. Upgrade to 8 GB RAM and your wife's MBP will fit none of those criteria.
• Heavy images-handling applications tend to be hardware and RAM hogs, and Aperture is one of the worst in that regard. One should optimize hardware for performance at every possible opportunity for optimum Aperture performance. Upgrading to 8 GB RAM is cheap via third party (OWC http://eshop.macsales.com/ or Crucial) and easy to install. Just do it - if for no other reason than to know that if you have performance anomalies it will be unlikely to be RAM.
• Most important is to back up originals before import into Aperture or any other images management app. Reading the "Aperture ate my images" threads here is very distressing to a photographer. It is not that Aperture routinely eats images (it does not) but it is a complex pro images application and users make mistakes setting up their workflows. One inexcusable mistake is failing to back up originals prior to working.
• Install the Aperture Library on an internal drive and never let the drive get more than 70% full as a rough guideline. Even less full is better, because hard drives slow as they fill. As the Aperture Library size grows the workflow regarding drives will need to evolve; plan on discussing that here then (not now, because evolution in SSD and Thunderbolt choices suggest we will potentially have new scenarios/costs later this year).