Aperture beach ball on new iMac

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
msjhaffey
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Aperture beach ball on new iMac
11 months ago

I have a new iMac with 16GB memory and 768GB SSD with 3TB hard disk.  SO it should be fast and mostly it is.

However, when using Aperture I sometimes have a performance problem.  Typically I will be painting in skin smoothing and suddenly Aperture comes to a stop. Nothing further gets painted and the beach ball spins for a while - 10 secs to a minute.  And then it seems to have caught up and gets going again.

I didn't have this problem on my four year old iMac (with 8GB).  Any idea why I am having it now and how to fix it?

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Sonyshine
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Re: Aperture beach ball on new iMac
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

My guess is there is some background process running in Aperture on your new Mac which you need to switch off. Maybe updating libraries or face ID. Have a look at whats running and turn off unnecessary activity.

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msjhaffey
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Re: Aperture beach ball on new iMac
In reply to Sonyshine, 11 months ago

Thanks for the suggestion.  I was pretty sure I didn't and after I checked I saw I was right.

But I did take the opportunity to fine tune some parameters!

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Peter Berglund
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Re: Aperture beach ball on new iMac
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

It sounds like Aperture is accessing your hard drive. But with the SSD that should be quicker than what you describe. Unless of course your images are on a slower external drive.
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Jacques Cornell
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Is the Ap library on the SSD? n/t
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago
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Alpha Doug
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Re: Is the Ap library on the SSD? n/t
In reply to Jacques Cornell, 11 months ago

How many other applications do you have running at the same time?  Also, how much memory is used?  I use a shareware app called "MenuMeters" which gives me a visual indication of how much memory and processors are being used in my Menu bar.  Really useful.  Also, you might bring up the "Activity" utility from Utilities, and watch to see what' happening during those periods.  It's possible that something else is hogging the processor, or just interfering with Aperture.

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msjhaffey
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Re: Aperture beach ball on new iMac
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

Hi and thanks for the comments.

I am pretty sure this is not a disk issue.  Given the way Apple manages the disks, the photos I am using would be on the SSD (it's the fusion system, where the most-accessed stuff it automatically placed on the SSD.)

In addition, this happens in specific circumstances: when I an doing something like skin-smoothing with a color overlay so IO can see where I've applied the smoothing.

On memory:  I have 32GB.  I am running a  few other things, but even when I am not, the same situation occurs.

It's probably worth mentioning that these actions (like smoothing) typically use a good proportion of the picture (maybe 25%)

Thanks again for the suggestions.  Any more?  

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Hermann Schilt
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Re: Aperture beach ball on new iMac
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

Hello,

I use the (free) app Memory Clean, it is very useful to clean up the memory (also 16 GB) before I start with Aperture.

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Jacques Cornell
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Possible workaround
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

msjhaffey wrote:

In addition, this happens in specific circumstances: when I an doing something like skin-smoothing with a color overlay so IO can see where I've applied the smoothing.

This is a pretty processor-intensive operation.

On memory:  I have 32GB.  I am running a  few other things, but even when I am not, the same situation occurs.

That's certainly plenty. I have 16GB and in my 2012 13" i7 MBP and no performance issues at all.

One trick that helped on my 2007 MBP with only 4GB RAM was to temporarily turn off most or all of the adjustment bricks before doing a lot of brushing. If you've applied a lot of adjustments - especially Definition and Edge Sharpen - this can really boost responsiveness.

Still, a new iMac with 32GB RAM and a Fusion drive should not be having responsiveness issues...

Unless... what kind of files are you working on? Something huge like D800?

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msjhaffey
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Re: Possible workaround
In reply to Jacques Cornell, 11 months ago

Yes.  D800  Do I just have to live with it?

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Jacques Cornell
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Which processor?
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

msjhaffey wrote:

Yes.  D800  Do I just have to live with it?

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Sean
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I don't have any D800 files to test with. Perhaps someone else here who has a D800 can say.

Even with D800 files, I'm a bit surprised, given that my much less powerful 13 MBP handles 21MP files from my 1Ds3 without a hiccup. Which processor and clock speed does your iMac have?

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msjhaffey
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Re: Which processor?
In reply to Jacques Cornell, 11 months ago

Ah, many of my RAW files are 80MB plus and even some of the jpgs are into the dozens of MBs.  I suspect this is a case of the amount of power required for this kind of option being related to the square of the size of the file and also that the process is inherently single-threaded.

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Jacques Cornell
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Re: Which processor?
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

msjhaffey wrote:

Ah, many of my RAW files are 80MB plus and even some of the jpgs are into the dozens of MBs.  I suspect this is a case of the amount of power required for this kind of option being related to the square of the size of the file and also that the process is inherently single-threaded.

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Sean
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Which processor?

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msjhaffey
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Re: Which processor?
In reply to Jacques Cornell, 11 months ago

3.2GHz Intel Core i5 (the second fastest processor currently available).

The GPU is NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB memory.

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Jacques Cornell
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i5 vs i7
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

msjhaffey wrote:

3.2GHz Intel Core i5 (the second fastest processor currently available).

The GPU is NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB memory.

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Sean
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Hate to break it to you, but despite the high clock speed, your Core i5 is substantially less powerful than a Core i7. On desktops (but not laptops), i5 lacks Hyperthreading. With an i7, Hyperthreading effectively doubles the number of cores, so on multi-core operations, an i7, even one with a lower clock speed, is faster than an i5. Aperture makes good use of multiple cores, so benefits from Hyperthreading.

Have you tried my suggestion to temporarily turn off other adjustment bricks when brushing? If you've already applied a bunch of adjustments, this makes a huge difference.

My biz partner has a D800e, and he reports that Aperture is a bit slow on some actions with those huge RAW files on his 2.6GHz quad-core i7 15" rMBP, but still better than Lightroom. For our event and portrait work, he actually prefers his D700 because it's more resource-efficient and still delivers all the resolution we need. His D800e is now relegated to DX format telephoto use, as this gives him extra reach and 15MP files.

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msjhaffey
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Re: i5 vs i7
In reply to Jacques Cornell, 11 months ago

OK thanks.  yes, I have turned off anything non-essential.

Thanks again

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benross
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Re: i5 vs i7
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

Even with i7 that I have, some operations like spot repair (for dust removal for example) can be very processor intensive. Few spots (or more than a few) is okay. But as the number of 'clicks' increases, the process becomes slower and slower. My Aperture 3 used to come to a halt at some point but with the latest updates it is much better, still slow operation in extreme use.

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msjhaffey
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Re: i5 vs i7
In reply to benross, 11 months ago

Yes, I've noticed that, too.

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Alpha Doug
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Re: i5 vs i7
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

Some of this is just inherent in the "non-destructive" nature of adjustments in Aperture and Lightroom.  If you were to use a tool to clean up a file in a pixel editing program, each click to clear up a blemish would be instantly applied, and then the processor would not keep track of it anymore when you moved on to the next operation.  In Aperture and Lightroom, each of the adjustments is like a filter applied in real time to the real time converted RAW file.  So each time to add another adjustment to the "stack" of adjustments, it takes just that much more processor power to keep track of all the filters you have applied.  One strategy is to try to minimize the total number of adjustments you make to an individual file, and to not "duplicate" adjustments (some of the adjustment bricks do exactly the same thing as other adjustment bricks, but in a different paradigm).  Also, it is sometimes more effective, if you have a ton of smoothing, and blemish editing, etc., to just make a Tiff, send it to PS or Elements, and do all the nitpicky editing there.

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Peter Berglund
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Re: Aperture beach ball on new iMac
In reply to msjhaffey, 11 months ago

msjhaffey wrote:

Hi and thanks for the comments.

I am pretty sure this is not a disk issue.  Given the way Apple manages the disks, the photos I am using would be on the SSD (it's the fusion system, where the most-accessed stuff it automatically placed on the SSD.)

In addition, this happens in specific circumstances: when I an doing something like skin-smoothing with a color overlay so IO can see where I've applied the smoothing.

On memory:  I have 32GB.  I am running a  few other things, but even when I am not, the same situation occurs.

It's probably worth mentioning that these actions (like smoothing) typically use a good proportion of the picture (maybe 25%)

Thanks again for the suggestions.  Any more?  

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Sean
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I think it is fair to guess that whenever the beach ball appears it is pulling the data from the spinning drive and not from the SSD. To test it, whenever you see the beach ball, try to remember which photo you were accessing.  Then go back a bit later to the same photo and repeat whatever you were doing.  If the beach ball doesn't happen this time, it's likely because this time the file was moved to the SSD.

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