6 Replies Latest reply: Sep 24, 2011 4:08 PM by Radio Engineer
Radio Engineer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

Hi All,


I am running Aperture 3.1.3 and Lion 10.7.1 on a MBP 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo with 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM and have:


1. Turned off faces and gestures

2. Set preview images to medium (5)

3. Turned off MobileMe "automatically check for newly published albums"

4. Turned off share previews with iWork and Ilife

5. Killed off indexing for the photo library


Aperture runs so slow at times its unusable.  It can take upwards of a minute to process any changes to an image.  Loading an image can take upwards of 30 seconds. HDR processing of three images is a full blown 15 minute coffee break.


I took a look at the Activity Monitor and I find that Aperture is running upwards of 3.5 GB of virtual memory and 1 GB plus of real memory. Disk I/O can hit more than 386 per second. CPU utilization runs anywhere from 10% at idle to 268% (really thats what the Activity Monitor says) when running HDR plugin.


I am running all RAW and the typical image size is 19 MB.


Today it wouldn't find my SDHC card that was plainly visible on the desktop without a reboot of the program...


It occationally crashes when exporting to JPEGs. 


Occationally it hangs and needs a force quit. 


Occationally makes me want to toss my MBP in the dumpster from the roof of my office and give up digital photography when it runs slow and I need to get something out of it quickly.


Anyone have any suggestions?  I really don't want to switch applications (too much of a PITA) and buying a new mac would put a crimp in me saving up for a Nikon D4.


I can feel my life slipping away while I wait for Aperture to slog through its machinations and let me edit and export my images...

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.1)
  • azdawg99 Level 2 Level 2 (320 points)

    4 GB RAM, Lion. Run in 32 bit mode.

  • Radio Engineer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I will try it right now and advise.



  • Radio Engineer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Much happier in 32 bit mode.


    Thank you very much.

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    Your workflow may be running out of RAM and therefore "paging out" to disk. Page outs slow operation a lot and can lead to instability. As noted, switching to from 64-bit to 32-bit mode will help RAM-starved workflows.


    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 work session; recheck after working and if the page outs number increased significantly during operation your workflow is RAM-starved. Ignore the other info in Activity Monitor.


    If page outs increase significantly during operation you can add RAM or simply try to run Aperture by itself. Switching from 64-bit operation to 32-bit operation will also make some additional RAM space available.


    On my 2006 MBP with its max of 3 GB RAM I always did a restart prior to a heavy Aperture session to clear any memory leaks and make sure no other apps were open. Browsers in particular will often suck RAM Aperture would otherwise be using.


    The problem with running a RAM-deficient workflow like I did is that along with slower operation, page outs can reduce overall stability - - and instability always seems to present at the worst times, like in the midst of processing a time-critical project. It does help a lot to keep a really really clean workflow.


    If your test of page outs does show that you are paging to disk the speed of your drives and drives connectivity become even more important than normal. Drives slow as they fill so keep drives underfilled. No more than ~70% full is a good maximum guideline, but less full is faster. Use Firewire rather than USB for external drives when possible.


    OS 10.7 does seem to utilize more RAM than OS 10.6 does, and that makes sense because over time evolving OSs and evolving apps take advantage of evolving hardware. I find excellent performance with 8 GB RAM on a 17" 2.2 GHz MBP and OS 10.6.8. I suggest that those of us  on 10.6.8 you should avoid 10.7 Lion unless we have at least 8 GB RAM.


    IMO all Aperture users who can should routinely bump RAM to at least 8 GB. Two good sources of third-party RAM (Apple overprices RAM) are Crucial and OWC http://eshop.macsales.com/.




    -Allen Wicks

  • Radio Engineer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Thank you very much for the informantion Allen.  I will look at the Page Outs number and let you know.


    The HD has 135 G available out of 500 G.


    Again thank you very much for the help.

  • Radio Engineer Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi Allen,


    Its running 50M to 100M worth of Page outs everytime I click on an image to work on it.