9 Replies Latest reply: Jan 21, 2012 11:31 AM by SierraDragon
timfromspringboro Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Friends, thanks in advance for your advice. I currently run Aperture 2 on a 2008 iMac, Snow Leopard, 4 GB. I am frozen in doubt to upgrade to Lion and/or Aperture 3 because of the tremendous number of reports of slowness. My new camera is not supported in RAW on Aperture 2, it's a Fuji x10, which is a great street machine. I wanted to upgrade to get RAW support, and slide show capability.

 

My questions:

1. If I stay with Snow Leopard and move to Aperture 3 will I be okay? I am maxed at 4 GB RAM.

2. If it does work decently, will I have to stay on Snow Leopard or do you think Apple will figure out the problem so I can use Lion with its multitouch advantages?

 

Final thought:  I fear that Apple is just not committed to Aperture because the math does not add up. Market share versus Photoshop is negligible. I enjoy my iMac, but it appears that the money is flowing to the iPad, and iPhone because of the tremendous user base.


Aperture 3
  • 1. Re: Upgrading to Aperture 3 on Snow Leopard iMac 4gb, worth the risk?
    huskyte Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Could you clarify that you have an iMac8,1? I do have the same setup and I am running it without difference in speed. The max. ram supported is 6GB and I would strongly advice you to do so. In the case of aperture this is like going from a spinning disc to SSD. Additionally, a SSD will help, but aperture won't profit too much.

     

    So, yes, move forward to Aperture 3 on an iMac8,1, max the ram to 6GB.

     

    Question 1: Yes, no problem, have been running it with 4GB ok, all other apps closed.

    Question 2: Invest 40$ into a 4GB module and you are fine.

     

    For further details just contact me.

  • 2. Re: Upgrading to Aperture 3 on Snow Leopard iMac 4gb, worth the risk?
    Mr Endo Level 3 Level 3 (990 points)

    Hi Tim,

    1. If I stay with Snow Leopard and move to Aperture 3 will I be okay? I am maxed at 4 GB RAM.

    I use Aperture 3 on a 2007 MacBook with Snow Leopard.  When I upgraded from Aperture 2, I noticed that adjusting pictures is not immediate, like it was in Aperture 2.  There is a fractional second delay for most adjustments.  This got a bit better in some subsequent release of Aperture 3, but to my recollection, it is not as good as it was in Aperture 2.  Depending on which format I am viewing my photos (browser/viewer), the delay may be almost unnoticable or minorly irritating.  (Of course, I cannot compare them together anymore, and it has been a year since I used Aperture 2.)  Knowing about the delay in adjustments, coupled with the new features of Aperture 3, I still think I am in a better position with Aperture 3 than with Aperture 2.

    2. If it does work decently, will I have to stay on Snow Leopard or do you think Apple will figure out the problem so I can use Lion with its multitouch advantages?

    When you say "The problem", do mean our perceived lack of performance from Aperture?  It's hard to say what Apple is thinking.  I have never known a software maker to make software faster in general -- they just wait for people to get faster machines while adding new features to the existing software.  We do not know what Apple is working on, but we can all hope they examine their software for inefficiencies and redesign things when they find them.

     

    fear that Apple is just not committed to Aperture because the math does not add up. Market share versus Photoshop is negligible. I enjoy my iMac, but it appears that the money is flowing to the iPad, and iPhone because of the tremendous user base.

     

    Aperture is not in the same niche as Photoshop; Apple knows this, too.  We have continued to get minor updates to Aperture since version 3 debuted, including one less than 2 months ago.  They are still working on it.  That's all we can really say, though.  If you want to see a whole lot of pure speculation and people getting angry at what Aperture 4 might bring, see this thread about.  Personally, I agree mostly with the comments about Apple dumbing down Aperture, making the advanced features harder to find and use -- sort of like how Microsoft has made Windows 7 for the anti-power-user and left the power-user wondering how to do things effectively.  That's just our speculation, though.  For me, it's mostly based on inane questions in this forum.  In other words, if the Aperture team makes Aperture work for the people asking those inane questions, Aperture will probably not be as useful to me as it is now.

     

    nathan

     

    nathan

  • 3. Re: Upgrading to Aperture 3 on Snow Leopard iMac 4gb, worth the risk?
    SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    timfromspringboro wrote:

    1. If I stay with Snow Leopard and move to Aperture 3 will I be okay? I am maxed at 4 GB RAM.

    Yes it will be "ok." However Aperture is a hardware-intensive pro images app so your 2008 iMac is limited by i/o, CPU and GPU.

     

    Drives slow as they fill so verify that all hard drives are no more than approximately 70% full as a guideline. Even less full is better. The Library should be on the internal drive for good performance.

     

    4 GB RAM is marginal but I doubt if v3 is that much more RAM-demanding than v2. Lion has been reported to demand more RAM; maybe a user with your exact iMac will comment if you fully spec what you are using.

     

    4 GB of RAM is marginal in 2012 with cheap RAM available.

     

    Even if RAM is not the specific cause of a given anomaly having extra RAM overhead does seem to facilitate smoother operation. When RAM was expensive designers and users both learned to minimize RAM but with RAM cheap it is illogical to work to minimal RAM amounts.

     

    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

     

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

     

    • 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/HT3773%5DMac%20OS%20X%20v10.6:%20Starting%20up%20wit h%20the%2032-bit%20or%2064-bit%20kernel

     

    Note that RAM is cheap and heavy apps' usage of more RAM is a good thing.

     

    HTH

     

    -Allen

  • 4. Re: Upgrading to Aperture 3 on Snow Leopard iMac 4gb, worth the risk?
    huskyte Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    As I am having the same machine (probably) I can tell you for paging. It is tremendous with this setup. If you stick to browsing and tagging you can keep it under control. Heavy editing tells a different story. I usually end up with 10s of Gigabytes written (6GB ram plus SSD). BUT:

     

    As I am having three other macs around here: the entry iMac 2011 with 8GB does not do any page out, but doesn't feel any faster at all. Just in a few cases one can notice the difference: Where CPU and GPU performance is badly needed (eg. rotating some 1.5 GB pics or even smaller ones at just 500 MB).

     

    Beside that my feeling is that a totally up to date maxed out iMac would do a really good job, but that wasn't the question above.

     

    Out of experience even with AP2 I would say, the iMac will do no different with AP3 installed. It is outdated and if at all only marginally faster with AP2. There is no need to stick to AP2 at your point (iMac8,1?).

  • 5. Re: Upgrading to Aperture 3 on Snow Leopard iMac 4gb, worth the risk?
    CalxOddity Level 3 Level 3 (680 points)

    Hi,

      I'm running a 24" iMac 8.1 using A3 and now on Lion.  Images are 20MB raw from D5100.  It's fast enough, but does get a little slow if I try to do really clever multiple brushes on large images

  • 6. Re: Upgrading to Aperture 3 on Snow Leopard iMac 4gb, worth the risk?
    timfromspringboro Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    It's actually an iMac 7,1 intel Core Duo 2.4 GHz. Thanks much for your thoughts so now I'm going to follow through with two more questions and please be specific as you have so far.

     

    1. Please spec new 2 and 4 GB RAM sticks. Where to buy and exact speeds and specs to identify them. Fastest and best choices please, as I am looking to extend the life of this device for at least a year or more.

     

    2. Other comments speak of keeping the drive at max. 70% full. Can you recommend an external drive, tethered to my available ports, for under $250? I would point Aperture ONLY to this drive and hopefully that would also help, not to mention, hopefully, that I can just move my drive to a new machine when it's time to do so. That would be a double win because my photo collection would be independent from my computer.

     

    Thank you so much for your help. I'm thankful!

  • 7. Re: Upgrading to Aperture 3 on Snow Leopard iMac 4gb, worth the risk?
    timfromspringboro Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    How full is your drive? Do you read/write to any external drives? I am moving my photos to a faster external drive hoping this will help as well.

  • 8. Re: Upgrading to Aperture 3 on Snow Leopard iMac 4gb, worth the risk?
    huskyte Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Ok, it's a 7,1. This might be of interest. For specifics d/l http://mactracker.ca/ . This app will get you any info you want for your iMac. It is not too different from the 8,1 as I also remember, because the upgrade was minor (I bought mine just within the update cycle).

     

    1. Although your imac is specified differently, it should work with 2/4GB PC2-5300 200-PIN DDR2 667MHz SO-DIMM RAM in mixed mode, but I would check the imac community first. As I am probably not living in your country, I cannot recommend you any dealer. I personally go for Kingston every single time and never had a faulty stick although I am always taking the ValueRam. Note: As far as I know Kingstom does not offer a 4 GB module. You will need unbuffered, no ECC.

     

    2. Two options here: The easiest is to add an external drive for your managed lib, might even be referenced, doesn't matter. The other, which I am not going to comment here, is to swap the internal drive for SSD. Aperture does only use high I/O if importing or external editing. Most other tasks are either limited by your CPU/GPU power or random read/writes. Anyone can correct me here, but I could see no big difference with either FW400/FW800/USB in combination with Aperture or as boot volume even when trying this with an SSD. The point I am making is, only random read/write counts as long as your aren't trying to copy GBs around, which you aren't doing all day when working productively. I talked to Western Digital lately and the outcome was that in their enclosures they do not specify the drives to be put in their. But most of the time you will get WD greens, which you would not really prefer. The same goes for other suppliers. I therefore opted for a WD Black and put it into a USB2.0 enclosure by Lacie. The WD Black has nearly double the random reads/writes as the green, but there are other brands out in the wild which you could use. If you deploy a Lacie Box enclosure, drill huge holes in there. The disk runs hot. Even better would be a FW800 enclosure and you might find one where you are from. 250$ might be doable after the Bangkok disaster, you have to check your local prices.

     

    And last point: Yes, you are right. If you stick to a managed lib you can easily move this around. I do this all the time and there is no problem with it.

     

    Although not fully conclusive, I hope I could help you further.

  • 9. Re: Upgrading to Aperture 3 on Snow Leopard iMac 4gb, worth the risk?
    SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    1. Please spec new 2 and 4 GB RAM sticks. Where to buy and exact speeds and specs to identify them. Fastest and best choices please, as I am looking to extend the life of this device for at least a year or more.

     

    2. Other comments speak of keeping the drive at max. 70% full. Can you recommend an external drive, tethered to my available ports, for under $250? I would point Aperture ONLY to this drive and hopefully that would also help, not to mention, hopefully, that I can just move my drive to a new machine when it's time to do so. That would be a double win because my photo collection would be independent from my computer.

    1. Find OWC's number from the website and call and ask them what works in your box. They are very helpful, guarantee everything: http://eshop.macsales.com/ Other folks' RAM like Crucial is also good. Personally I only buy the top end in RAM and do not seek out the low end but some others do. RAM is now cheap and IMO a few bucks to know it is being done properly with quality fully warranted tech is more than worth it.

     

    2. I also buy mass storage (hard drives, SSDs) from OWC for the same reasons. Note that USB2 is cheap but slow and USB3 is not available on Macs meaning your connection choices should include FW800 and if you want to future proof the drive include eSATA. For versatility reasons I pay more to get fully competent connectivity (USB, FW800, eSATA). USB2-only drives I buy only for backup where I do not care about speed, and I get them from the cheapie sources like NewEgg. Each individual must make his/her own choices.

     

    3. Like I said earlier, the Library should be on the internal drive for best performance. That normally means using a Referenced-Masters Library.  It works great for 200k+ images. The Library with its Previews lives on the internal drive and is always accessible. Masters live on external drives. The Library is backed up via Vaults and originals are backed up to redundant locations using the Finder before import into Aperture.

     

    You could use a Managed-Masters Library on a large external drive but I recommend against it unless you have an eSATA drive connection, which is not available from pre-2011 iMacs. When using a Managed-Masters Library on a large external drive Aperture work is slowed by the drive connection. Of course everyone's needs are different, so maybe a Managed-Masters Library on a large external drive might suffice for your needs.

     

    HTH

     

    -Allen