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Aperture constantly pinwheeling, what can be done?

685 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Jul 18, 2011 5:56 AM by disconnekt RSS
disconnekt Level 2 Level 2 (490 points)
Currently Being Moderated
May 24, 2011 6:34 AM

Hello, I'm running the latest version of Aperture on an iMac 2.8 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GB RAM. Even with no other apps running, Aperture just constantly beachballs when I'm trying to use it. I have several thousand images, many of which are RAW. Most of the masters are referenced, and only the past year's worth reside in the Aperture library. When importing, switching between views, switching between images, switching to the Adjustments tab, or applying adjustments, I almost systemtically get a spinning pinwheel for about 5-30 seconds, sometimes more.


I have the latest versions of all system sofrware. I've used some system maintenance programs like Onyx to help improve performance, to no avail. Faces is turned off in prefs. Am I missing something, or is my machine just not equipped to run Aperture at all?


Thanks in advance for your advice.

  • appuser Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    i can only add a helpful note, that Aperture THREE has to (re import) the images that you wish to utalise, and (re manuipulate them) in some way.

    ie the manual states that images manipulated in THREE can not be read in v1 or v2, so maybe its doing something with (those) images in the background.


    Mine often now takes what 'appears' to be much longer with other images, other than those Only freshly imported into V3.

  • shuttersp33d Level 4 Level 4 (1,540 points)

    I might run through some of the Troubleshooting Basics found here:


    Maybe try creating a new library, import a few images and see if you have the same problems. Would narrow it down a bit, whether it's a library problem or a machine problem. Along those same lines you can also try running Aperture on a new user account.

  • Derby Mac Fan Calculating status...

    I'm running Aperture 3 on a 2.8Ghz MacBook Pro. I just upgraded from 4-8Gb RAM and am seeing a big improvement in performance when working with my RAW files held on the MBP HD. Have you checked Activity Monitor to see how much free RAM you have?

  • mwizard Calculating status...

    This is my major complaint re Aperture.  It is the buggiest software Apple has ever produced.  I upgraded from an iMac 3.06 Duo to an i7 w/ 12 Gb memory and I still get the spinning beach ball and can not update my Vault.  I have "force quit" on speed dial and then Aperture can't find the Library unless I restart.  Pretty pathetic, Apple.

    Who is the resource for diagnosing these problems?


  • Derby Mac Fan Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2011 12:06 PM (in response to mwizard)

    That does seem bad. I don't have any spinning ball issues with mine since I upgraded the RAM to 8GB. My library is only 40GB on a 500GB HD which is only 50% full. I can easily update my vault to an external HD without spinning ball.

  • Tim Campbell1 Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 26, 2011 10:22 AM (in response to disconnekt)

    A few tips:


    1)  A "nearly full" hard drive will perform significantly slower than a "nearly empty" hard drive +even+ if there is no fragmentation.  There are several reasons for this but if you check benchmark performance studies for drive after drive you'll find that you can generalize by stated that a full drive will be only about half as fast as a new (near-empty) drive ... and that's with no fragmentation at all.


    For this reason I try to keep my "working" hard drives from becoming much more than about half full.  I will let "archive" drives fill up (since I don't need quick performance for them) but I keep "working" drives down to a capacity that still guarantees snappy performance.


    2)  If your drive never becomes more full than about 80%, you will +never+ need to defragment it.  The Mac's HFS+ filesystem strongly resists fragmentation if at all possible.  It only fragments things when it gets desperate for space.  This isn't to say you'll never have any fragmentation... you will, but it'll be so extremely minimal that you wont see any measurable performance gain by defragmenting (defragmenting will become a waste of time and needless wear and tear on the drive.  Defragmenting causes drives to heat up substantially and can be brutal to hard drive life expectancy.)


    3)  In "System Preferences" -> "Energy Saver", there's an option to "Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible."  You can turn this _off_ (no checkmark in the box) to improve performance.  With this said, my box +is+ checked (my drives will sleep) and I have absolutely no problem with Aperture 3 (I _do_ have problems with Final Cut Studio and when I use that I have to un-check the box or I'll get a lot of beach-balling.)


    In general, I find that Aperture 3 is pretty rock solid and very fast, but it really helps to know a little about how it's working under the covers.

  • mechie8682 Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)

    Thanks, Tim. This helps.


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