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Thread: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

  1. #1
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    Default Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Hi,

    I have a black Macbook (2007) 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo with 2GB DDR2 SDRAM running Snow Leopard. I am looking to upgrade my computer in the near future to the unibody aluminum MBP (13" or 15") or an iMac.

    My main question is, what's the recommended hardware specifications for running Aperture 3 with little or no lag? Currently I am running Aperture 3 and image edits for the brushes and other adjustments take quite a while (anywhere from 10s to 1 minute for a single adjustment) to register on-screen. Importing of files to the Aperture library is also quite a slow process, though this is not a really big issue as I am fine with leaving the computer running to import the images whilst doing something else in the meantime.

    I've browsed a few discussion threads on different forums, but have not really found much conclusive information. To facilitate the discussion within this thread, I'll probably just outline the following:
    1. This discussion will centre around the use of Aperture 3, so I would appreciate if we can avoid suggesting the use of alternative image editing software.
    2. I will use the computer for web surfing, watching videos and photo editing. I don't play computer games. I currently shoot and edit in RAW with a 12MP camera so file sizes tend to be around 13MB per file.
    3. Core 2 Duo, Core i5, Core i7, Quad Core (iMac).. What's adequate and what's overkill, given my intended purpose as stated in the previous point?
    4. How much RAM is recommended? The minimum requirement listed by Apple is 1GB, but I have 2GB and even this is clearly insufficient. Will the 4GB that comes standard on the new range be adequate? I've seen people with 12GB RAM with 8 cores but I'm realistic - I do this as a hobby and not a profession, so I don't need the absolute best.
    5. I can't really state a budget here because as you know, the prices of laptops which are equivalent in specification to a desktop (barring the screen size) will always be higher for the former. But basically, my point is I don't need the absolute best. I'm trying to avoid open-ended scenarios, e.g. someone asks what's a decent camera and gets "D3s" as a curt reply.
    6. Do the range in graphics cards offered in the Apple lineup significantly affect the performance when editing images? My impression is that they are used more for computer gaming. I must confess I'm not a tech expert, so please forgive me if I ask a foolish question, and I thank you in advance for being patient with my queries.


    If you personally use Aperture 3 and have it running smoothly whilst editing your RAW files in equivalent or higher resolution, I'd really be grateful if you could share your specifications in this thread.

    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by alcohollywood; 14th September 2010 at 06:23 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Can anyone offer some opinion or advice?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Hi there,

    I'm using a late 2008 Aluminum unibody Macbook 2GHz C2D with 4Gig RAM on Snow Leopard.
    Running Aperture3 for 5Dmii RAW files (21Mpx) editing will take approximately 5~10sec to redraw the preview.

    On the other hand, working on Jpegs gives results almost instantaneously.

    I've not tried A3 on the latest MBP but judging from my experience above, I'd say go for the faster iMac if you don't need the portability.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Quote Originally Posted by chewraisins View Post
    I've not tried A3 on the latest MBP but judging from my experience above, I'd say go for the faster iMac if you don't need the portability.
    Thanks for your reply! I'm glad someone finally came forward. May I ask what you mean by 'faster'? Are you referring to the processor or the amount of RAM?

    Do pardon me if I have a misconception.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    What I meant was, for the same amount of money, you'd get faster hdd, faster processor and ability to upgrade memory without removing original RAM. And not to mention the much bigger screen as well.

    So it would definitely be a "faster" performing machine compared to the MBP of the same price.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    On board ram is pretty important as is a decent amount of video ram. You can always get ram from a 3rd party saving on the inflated prices from Apple.

    Working on an Imac is definitely easier to edit photos than on a notebook. If you need portability, you could always get an external monitor for a notebook.

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    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Quote Originally Posted by alcohollywood View Post
    Hi,

    I have a black Macbook (2007) 2.16 GHz Core 2 Duo with 2GB DDR2 SDRAM running Snow Leopard. I am looking to upgrade my computer in the near future to the unibody aluminum MBP (13" or 15") or an iMac.

    My main question is, what's the recommended hardware specifications for running Aperture 3 with little or no lag? Currently I am running Aperture 3 and image edits for the brushes and other adjustments take quite a while (anywhere from 10s to 1 minute for a single adjustment) to register on-screen. Importing of files to the Aperture library is also quite a slow process, though this is not a really big issue as I am fine with leaving the computer running to import the images whilst doing something else in the meantime.


    I've browsed a few discussion threads on different forums, but have not really found much conclusive information. To facilitate the discussion within this thread, I'll probably just outline the following:
    1. This discussion will centre around the use of Aperture 3, so I would appreciate if we can avoid suggesting the use of alternative image editing software.
    2. I will use the computer for web surfing, watching videos and photo editing. I don't play computer games. I currently shoot and edit in RAW with a 12MP camera so file sizes tend to be around 13MB per file.
    3. Core 2 Duo, Core i5, Core i7, Quad Core (iMac).. What's adequate and what's overkill, given my intended purpose as stated in the previous point?
    4. How much RAM is recommended? The minimum requirement listed by Apple is 1GB, but I have 2GB and even this is clearly insufficient. Will the 4GB that comes standard on the new range be adequate? I've seen people with 12GB RAM with 8 cores but I'm realistic - I do this as a hobby and not a profession, so I don't need the absolute best.
    5. I can't really state a budget here because as you know, the prices of laptops which are equivalent in specification to a desktop (barring the screen size) will always be higher for the former. But basically, my point is I don't need the absolute best. I'm trying to avoid open-ended scenarios, e.g. someone asks what's a decent camera and gets "D3s" as a curt reply.
    6. Do the range in graphics cards offered in the Apple lineup significantly affect the performance when editing images? My impression is that they are used more for computer gaming. I must confess I'm not a tech expert, so please forgive me if I ask a foolish question, and I thank you in advance for being patient with my queries.

    If you personally use Aperture 3 and have it running smoothly whilst editing your RAW files in equivalent or higher resolution, I'd really be grateful if you could share your specifications in this thread.

    Many thanks in advance.
    Guess it took about a week for me to notice your post. First off...your specs is a bit underwhelming for the type of task you throw at it. Some suggestions...add as much third party ram as the board can accept without bursting your budget. Aperture 3 is a memory hog and hardware hungry application...at least from my point of view. It's performance sputters which it does regularly on big files. The brush has a tendency to stick and then skip ahead. Frustrating when trying to carry out fine-detail work.

    The program also draws on your graphics card’s power to help it out. Some adjustments seem to require more power than others. If you apply adjustments like Definition to an image, and then add a couple of edits using a brush, Aperture’s speed drops frustratingly. My advice is to make sure you have plenty of free disk space, as much memory as possible, a good graphics card and no other applications running in the background.

    Hope that helps and don't worry no curt replies from me.
    Dreamz is the Alternate Realty | Stand Up and Be Counted

  8. #8

    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Quote Originally Posted by alcohollywood View Post
    ...[*]Do the range in graphics cards offered in the Apple lineup significantly affect the performance when editing images? My impression is that they are used more for computer gaming. ...
    Aperture is a big resource hog as it's trying to make modifications in close to real time, as such, the video card is also stressed. Basic integrated graphics card won't cut it if you're looking for something responsive.

    One thing about Macs are that their video card lineup is locked until they refresh the entire system so you may be getting cards that are "old" compared to the latest available to PCs.

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    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Thanks for all the replies, and for pointing me in the right direction. I guess most of my queries have been answered pretty adequately, apart from the one on processor types. If anyone has anything to share regarding that (#3) please feel free to do so, and thanks in advance!

    I appreciate all your responses guys!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Quick benchmark i5 vs i7... take everything with a grain of salt.

    http://gizmodo.com/5405506/27+inch-i...-i7-vs-core-i5

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    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Quote Originally Posted by alcohollywood View Post
    Thanks for all the replies, and for pointing me in the right direction. I guess most of my queries have been answered pretty adequately, apart from the one on processor types. If anyone has anything to share regarding that (#3) please feel free to do so, and thanks in advance!

    I appreciate all your responses guys!
    I deliberately left out #3 cos it is usually up to individual. No point mentioning it as different people have different budget. It is the case of more power the merrier.
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    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Quote Originally Posted by 2evans View Post
    Quick benchmark i5 vs i7... take everything with a grain of salt.

    http://gizmodo.com/5405506/27+inch-i...-i7-vs-core-i5
    Quote Originally Posted by hotwork77 View Post
    I deliberately left out #3 cos it is usually up to individual. No point mentioning it as different people have different budget. It is the case of more power the merrier.
    Thanks 2evans, but I'm not quite sure what to make of the chart. Apart from the C2D processors, there were at least 4 cores in each processor type. From what I understand of the current Macbook Pro and iMac range (only the most expensive iMac comes with quad core), that's not much use except to illustrate a direct relationship between the number of cores, the processor type and performance.

    However, as hotwork77 also pointed out, I suppose it is an individual's preference and also depends on the budget, so I suppose no one can really answer what's adequate.

    Thank you all once again for being so helpful and informative.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Actually the truth is, Aperture will almost definitely work on your Mac, provided you have updated to the latest OS and all.

    The question is - what is the speed that you can live with?

    My 2007 MBP is quite maxed out already - 2.4ghz C2D, 4gb of RAM, 500gb of harddisk space (with 400gb free) - but Aperture is slow to me in terms of workflow and preview rendering and updating.

    On a personal note - if I wanted to use Aperture I'd probably be looking at the latest hardware specs with the latest graphics cards and huge VRAMs. That's partially why as much as I'm sold on certain features on the Aperture workflow, for (relatively more) speed and simplicity I'm sticking with LR3.

    Then again, your mileage may vary. Something that I feel is unacceptable may be okay for you - the best way is to download the trial and really run a sizable amount of images through, and see if you can live with the speed.

    If you're asking about upgrading, I think any of the latest Macs with Core i3 and above should be able to handle Aperture well enough. Of course, if you can afford it, go for the best. Personally I'd be eyeing the quad-core iMac i7 if I had the money.

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    Default Re: Recommended hardware specifications for Aperture 3

    Quote Originally Posted by sequitur View Post
    Actually the truth is, Aperture will almost definitely work on your Mac, provided you have updated to the latest OS and all.

    The question is - what is the speed that you can live with?

    My 2007 MBP is quite maxed out already - 2.4ghz C2D, 4gb of RAM, 500gb of harddisk space (with 400gb free) - but Aperture is slow to me in terms of workflow and preview rendering and updating.

    On a personal note - if I wanted to use Aperture I'd probably be looking at the latest hardware specs with the latest graphics cards and huge VRAMs. That's partially why as much as I'm sold on certain features on the Aperture workflow, for (relatively more) speed and simplicity I'm sticking with LR3.

    Then again, your mileage may vary. Something that I feel is unacceptable may be okay for you - the best way is to download the trial and really run a sizable amount of images through, and see if you can live with the speed.

    If you're asking about upgrading, I think any of the latest Macs with Core i3 and above should be able to handle Aperture well enough. Of course, if you can afford it, go for the best. Personally I'd be eyeing the quad-core iMac i7 if I had the money.
    Thanks for the tip. Some features on Aperture are really very simple and idiot-proof to use, which is why for a leisure shooter like myself, I find its features and functions to be sufficient. As you correctly pointed out, its processes are rather slow compared to some of its rivals. I am seriously considering the quad-core iMac, but it ultimately depends on whether I am prepared to sacrifice the mobility that a laptop can offer. This is an issue concerning personal preferences, so I will not impose such questions on the forum.

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