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Aperture Database On Scratch SSD? #1
Bob Rockefeller's picture
by Bob Rockefeller
March 22, 2013 - 5:59pm

I'd like to move the database and image preview parts of my Aperture Library onto my fast SSD to speed up general operation. My full library is too big for the SSD, so I want to leave all the actual image files where they are, on a hard drive.

Is that possible? How?

Which pieces should be relocated and should they be referenced back - via alias or symbolic link?


Bob Rockefeller
Midway, GA

Andrew Mumford's picture
by Andrew Mumford
March 23, 2013 - 5:52pm

I would advise you not to try “fooling” Aperture by getting into sym links and aliases, since it’s a database and the program expects a certan structure there may be all kinds of hard coded dependencies you/we don’t know about.

You need to move to a “referenced” workflow with a folder structure on your conventional HD to hold the “actual” images and store the library.pkg on the SSD.

Plenty of info on this site and I believe Joseph has some very detailed tutorials available that explain this in detail.

Andrew Mumford

Bob Rockefeller's picture
by Bob Rockefeller
March 23, 2013 - 6:14pm

I suspect you’re right.

I don’t like the referenced workflow as much and was hoping for a way to trick Aperture with symbolic links. They should work, but I’d have to figure out just which pieces of the library were speed sensitive enough to be worth moving to the SSD.


Bob Rockefeller
Midway, GA

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
March 25, 2013 - 1:00pm

Not only do you have the concerns and possible issues that Andrew has pointed out … with any RAW image database/processor application solution like Aperture or Lightroom … the performance bumps you hit are with the actual reading and rendering of the RAW files themselves.

In this instance, by placing the database and previews on the SSD, I don’t think would improve Aperture’s performance all that significantly since the database is merely a text base repository and most modern Macs have little issue reading the jpeg previews even from standard HDs efficiently …

Now if you can host your RAW files on the SSD … then you could see very significant improvement from an overall performance aspect …

Matthew London's picture
by Matthew London
March 28, 2013 - 3:09am

+1 on Butch’s post above.

Assuming your Mac’s CPU and GPU are modern enough, the slow downs with Aperture are in pulling your relatively large RAW files off the drive, not the tiny files and previews in the Aperture library.

Putting your referenced masters on a RAID 0 array, upgrading to SATA-3 (6/Gbs) drives (if your system supports them), making sure your drives are 7,200 RPM and have large caches, using fast eSATA or Thunderbolt or USB 3 or SAS external drives, etc are all ways to address this.

Referenced libraries work fine. My libraries are in the 30-40GB range (without previews) but my masters take up 4TB or more. Just make sure your library is also on a relatively fast hard drive (i.e.: 7,200 RPM with 32MB or 64MB cache).

"There is nothing worse than a sharp photograph of a fuzzy concept." Ansel Adams

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