I've had cases where the Swap file has balloned to 40GB, but right now I have
Free 61 MB
Wired 998 MB
Active 5 GB
Inactive 3.9 GB
Used 9.4 GB
VM 356 GB
Page in 8 GB
Page out 350 MB
Swap 66 MB
Aperature is using 2.1% CPU, 1.99 GB of real ram and 2.38 GB Virtual mem. It's flickering back and forth between black and red (not responding).
When Swap and Page out's go up, the entire system bogs down. This seems to be a mixed bag, with those I believe going a lot of file activity suffering the most. Could be purely something related to file transfer, not Aperture, but I'm not sure if that would explain Aperature being so slow.
Note: now about 16.5 hours into the file transfer, only 498 pictures imported.
This looks exactly like something I have witnessed, but not everytime. It appears to me that the OS will not surrender memory that has been used by Aperture on successive images, but rather keeps it as Inactive. So despite there being only 61 MB of Free, it protects the 3.9 GB in Inactive in case Aperture might want to reopen some of the files already processed. I have seen this rarely during Import, but I have seen it. It is more often seen during sessions of adjusting numerous images, and has been particularly pronounced with the very large image files from my Nikon D800.
I am told that OSX is the keeper of this memory allocation, and that it probably is not really Aperture, but I am not yet convinced.
You might try opening another intensive app, such as Photoshop or a video editor, and then quickly shut it back down. That might trigger a reallocation of the Inactive, but can't fully predict.
You could stop the Import, Quit Aperture, Restart the Mac, and relaunch Aperture -- it should remember which images have not yet been downloaded, and pick back up where it left off.
I closed Safari, only had one window open but it often is a culprit memory wise.
Now looks like this.
Free 1.94 GB
Wired 1.03 GB
Active 4.64 GB
Inactive 2.38 GB
Used 8.06 GB
VM 341 GB
Page in 8 GB
Page out 350 MB
Swap 53 MB
May be slightly faster, up to 526 photos, but Aperture is still mostly "Not responding".
I did try turning off face recognition as well.
I'll give it a bit longer before trying quitting and restarting.
I have had a similar issue twice. Once I found when I upgraded my camera my card reader became almost unusable because it was so slow. New card reader fixed back. The other time was the card reader was plugged into a USB hub and that made for painfully slow uploads from the card.
Just some possibilities to check good luck.
Already replaced the card reader. Old one wan't only slow, it often failed mid transfer. That reader also had the "really fast" or "really slow" file transer.
Plugging directly into computer, although I can't remember if the front ports (this would be the only thing plugged in) are on the same bus as the back ports (hub, keyboard, etc).
Maybe I missed something in your earlier posts but I don't see where you have done any Aperture maintenance or system maintenance. That would actually be where I would start. Repair permissions on the operating system and also on aperture. For aperture remember hold down command and option when launching the program and it will give you the repair options for aperture. I would start with repair permissions then repaired database and if that doesn't help prepare library. I've got to say that when I did repair disk on my system even though there was no reported problems things seem to run better.
Just some thoughts,
• How are you connected? USB 2 will do what you describe because it is a very poor way to move batch data. Other devices on the bus can often slow transfer rates dramatically.
• I can overload 8 GB RAM with my Aperture/Photoshop workflow (2011 SSD MBP). Regarding RAM usage ignore all the cutesy graphics telling what "free RAM," etc. allegedly are.
Instead manually check page outs:
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:
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.
When this has happened to me during Import (rare as I said) it has been with a Firewire 800 card reader.
I don't think the graphics showing build up of Inactive memory can be ignored, as it has been a far superior indicator of where the trouble lies with other major sluggishness while using Aperture, even without pageins, pageouts.
Normally the FW reader flies, especially with the Sandisk Extreme card I bought for my D800, as do the Lexar UDMA cards. However, the Sandisk Extreme, 32 GB SCHD card really flies in a simple Promaster USB drive I use with it whenever importing stills. But I mainly use the SC card for the video I shoot on the D800, and the CF card for the stills. Video is never quick, but so far has not impacted memory usage. For that, it appears the succession of many separate files is key.
The Firewire bus can easily become corrupt, and thus I never leave FW drives attached unless they are really in use.
Thanks all for the input. Right now I believe I have several things that happened. Not sure if the following explains everything. There's a bit of a cascade of issues that may have contributed.
I have a new internal drive on the way that I'll use for the Aperture library. Hopefully that will address the issues.
I did create a new library on a different drive that imported in 20-30 minutes, so at least I have this batch of photos on the computer.
Summary of issues and possible causes
Probable bad card reader (since replaced). May explain erratic (mostly slow) import speeds I had from the very first time I used Apeture. May also have caused some library corruption. (I've since started with a new library).
Drive Genius reported some bad blocks on the drive I had Aperture on. This lead to copying the library to an external Drobo S connected via FW 800. Backing up other files across drives has put all my drives at a lower than desirable free space. The Drobo has two partitions, one of which was used for Time Machine.
I believe all my file movement also lead to a large increase in the size of my Time Machine backup as the freshly copied files were added the backup. This lead to... the Time Machine partion on the Drobo to get full (as well as the entire Drobo hitting about 95% capacity). I'm not sure if the Time Machine process for purging older files is incredibly inefficient or mine locked up, but it was running over 16 hours. While this may not show up in file activity or processor use, it just kills file transfer speed.
Hard to point an any one item, since I have examples of poor transfer speeds with different readers, hard drives and libraries, so I may have multiple causes.
Next step... Wait for the UPS truck.
I am interested in what people find is a practical maximum library size. With the new camera and taking pictures for two kids sporting events I'm creating photos far faster than I ever have. Most will be purge by end of summer, but I do need to be able to import all these and sort faster than what I've been experiencing so far. I potentially am shooting 9 games over 4 days in 2 weeks, hope to have things working better by then.