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Incredibly slow rendering when editing raws from the new Nikon D800

4516 Views 22 Replies Latest reply: Sep 16, 2012 2:53 PM by vdrummer RSS
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mamster37 Calculating status...
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May 8, 2012 1:33 PM

I would be happy to hear from users of the D800 and Apple's "Aperture" 3.2.3. My own experience is that the rendering of f.inst. a "burned" file/picture (Raw-file) is incredibly SLOW....what is your experience. Any knowledge of whether Apple will come forward with an upgrade of Aperture?

Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Keith Barkley Level 5 Level 5 (5,140 points)

    What kind of computer do you have? How much RAM? D800 files are large and as such are resource intensive. A change to Aperture won't help that.

  • William Lloyd Level 6 Level 6 (19,195 points)

    Note the D800 RAW files are roughly double the size of any other 35mm DSLR out there.  They're huge.  So I'd expect Aperture will be 2x slower with them as with most other cameras, and like 3x slower compared to the D700, on the same machine.

     

    4 GB of RAM would be a minimum IMO if you're working with D800 files.  How new is your machine? 

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,330 points)

    How long does it take to open the image? Just to know exactly what your problem is.

     

    Are your Aperture Library and your master image files on the system volume or on an external volume or a Network volume? What kind of drive do you have as an internal drive?

     

    The location of the library and the masters makes a huge difference in loading time for editing:

     

    I do not have your Nikon, but occasionally very large tiff-scans; - 1 - 1.8 GB.

     

    Opening one of them for editing with an Intel i7 took:

    • ~ 15 minutes on an external USB drive
    • ~ 5 minutes on an internal drive
    • less than a minutes on an SSD drive.

     

    Loding these images in Photoshop CS5 takes even longer btw.

    So it would help to know your hardware and the exact loading times you see, also if you have any applications running in the background. What does the Activity Monitor show on RAM and disk usage when you are loading your images? Do you see any diagnostic messages or crash reports in the Console window?

    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.3), 2.4 GHz I.Core i7, 16GB RAM, 500GB
  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    mamster37 wrote:

     

    I am fully aware of all about the file size, and that one should expect a slow down in the rendering, but this is really a significant slow down, and unless Apple come up with a solution I am afraid that one is obliged to find other solutions for the editing of Nikon D800 raw files. My details are:

     

    MacBook Pro Intel

    OS: Mac OSX, 10.7.3 Lion

    Installed memory: 8GB

     

    You have not described which MBP CPU/GPU, drives SSD/HDD, how full any HDDs are. That is essential information.

     

    As all the photo sites have discussed, the D800 files are huge and will require more horsepower to handle. With a new D800 you are the experimenter here on the bleeding edge of technology, so all of us will learn from your observations.

     

    I would guess that only the strongest Sandy Bridge MBPs with 8-16 GB RAM will do well. I was doing fine with 8 GB RAM (zero page-outs) and then recently I did some very aggressive Photoshop/Aperture work and page outs skyrocketed: I need more RAM, and I don't have a D800 yet so my NEF files run only ~20 MB each. How large (MB) are your NEF files?

     

    You can evaluate whether or not you have adequate RAM by looking at the Page Outs number under System Memory on the Activity Monitor app before starting a typical work session; recheck after working and if the page outs change (manual calculation of ending page outs number minus starting page outs number) is not zero your workflow is RAM-starved. Ignore page ins, the pie charts and other info in Activity Monitor.

     

    If your test shows that page outs increase at all during operation it is affecting performance. You can

     

    • add RAM as feasible

     

    • restart with some frequency if you suspect memory leaks (common especially with less-than-top-quality applications)

     

    • and/or simply try to run only one app at a time, for sure diligently closing unneeded apps like browsers

     

    • and/or switch 64-bit operation to 32-bit operation (which will make some additional RAM space available). Note that your Mac may already default to 32-bit. See Switching Kernels:

     

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4287

     

    Note that RAM is cheap and heavy apps' usage of more RAM is a good thing. Photoshop for instance has been able to under OS X take advantage of up to at least 32 GB RAM for years.

     

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

     

    -Allen

     

    EDIT: Note my focus on discussing RAM above is because that is all we know about your MBP. It does not mean that I necessarily suggest that RAM may be your primary issue.

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    The model identification loses some in the translation for me, but as near as I can tell you have a mid-2010 15" 2-core Macbook Pro, NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M graphics processor, without Thunderbolt. Please advise if that is incorrect.

     

    As a frame of reference that MBP is about 60% the CPU power of the best 4-core 2011-2012 Macbook Pros, and I believe that GPU is pretty weak.

     

    Nevertheless that should be a workable setup.

     

    • First importance is to find out if RAM is adequate. What happened with the page outs test I described above in my earlier post?

     

    • Also, is OS X current at 10.6.8, or are you running 10.6.2 like it shows in your sig?

     

    Thank you.

     

    -Allen

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,415 points)

    I am not having such problems with individual RAW files and processing of them from my D800.  I am using a 1st generation Mac Pro 8 Core.  I keep my Managed Library in an exclusvie partition of a 2 TB internal SATA disc drive that is 7200 rpm.  I have 10 GB of RAM.  My Library has over 60,000 images in it, most of which are from RAW of earlier Nikons.

     

    I am continuing to use Snow Leopard as my production OS, but I have used Lion with other Aperture Libraries -- I will test with the D800 images in Lion when time allows.

     

    What I do notice, is that after a long session of processing numerous D800 NEFs, memory usage will show large amounts of RAM going in the Inactive category when observed in the Activity Monitor.  This issue has really only been noticed since using the D800 images.  OSX is not releasing the memory used by each image processing as I move to other images.  While the release should happen, it does not, and I can see the app being starved for Free Memory to process with.  It does not manifest itself while initially importing, but only with later editing or Export sessions.

     

    Ernie

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    The reason that the page outs test is so critical is because increased RAM demands are a likely consequence of larger files sizes.

     

    The fact that you are on 10.7 increases RAM demands. Quite a number of folks in the past had issues with Aperture on 10.7 with marginal RAM. Do make sure that Software Update is fully current.

     

    8 GB RAM is normally quite fine, but each workflow is different. I can easily page out my 8 GB RAM with Aperture/PS workflows - and I am on 10.6.8 which is less RAM demanding than 10.7 is.

     

    On your box with older CPU, GPU and a very slow 5400 rpm 2.5" laptop HDD, any page outs from RAM go to the very slow fairly full hard drive and bog down operation in a major way. On my MBP with SSD or on Ernie's 7200 rpm tower HDD page outs are much less problematic than on a 2.5" laptop HDD.

     

    RAM upgrading to 16 GB RAM is expensive enough that we do not want to just assume it is a problem on your box; in fact it may or may not be possible to use 16 GB RAM on your box. And if RAM is a problem you still might want to consider other options like different software or a new box rather than spending $200 on an old box. The Sandy Bridge Macs (2011+) are an unusually large overall improvement over 2010 chipsets.

     

    The GPU is also a likely culprit. Aperture performance in the past has been very GPU-dependent. E.g. the very strongest G5 Mac towers would not run Aperture unless the stock GPU was upgraded.

     

    -Allen

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,415 points)

    Btw, what size are your Previews set to?  It using, say 50% of original, that is not appropriate on your Mac with these size files, and screen size.

     

    Ernie

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)

    Ernie-

     

    That is a good thought, given the large original-image sizes. I usually suggest setting Preview size to be similar to the pixel dimensions of the display.

     

    -Allen

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,415 points)

    I have not been impressed with speed in CS5 and these NEF from the D800 when compared to dealing with a single image in Aperture.  Were I to have to, as is often the case, deal with say 200 images, I cannot imagined the basic workflow with CS5 vs Aperture.  Furthermore, in tests just now, I found that changes made in the RAW dialogue were preserved to alter the RAW file for the next opening, even without using Save or Open.

     

    CS5 puts a load on RAM, and when open along with Aperture, can hugely impact available memory.

     

    A fair comparison would be between Aperture and Lightroom, but I leave you to make that test if desired.  A pro friend on mine was really surprised to find that LR did not show the focus points in an image like Aperture does, but that is only a small thing.

     

    Ernie

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