I could use some suggestions on my hardware configuration.
My workflow - download to Aperture 3.4.5 and allow Aperture to manage my images. I use NIK software as an external editor, and would like to get Photoshop Elements. I have a 16 MP camera, and will download up to a hundred photos a week, 800-1000 for a 10 day trip, which happens 6-10 x/year. So, moderately heavy usage, but not extreme.
Currently, I use a 2009 MacBook Pro, 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo w/ 8 GB ram. I have my aperture libraries on an external 2 TB hard drive w/ a Firewire connection. When I add up the GB on my 7 libraries, it adds up to 325 GB. I use a 2 TB external HD w/ a 2.0 USB connection for my vaults. I have a NEC 21” monitor that I use for my main editing, and the MacBook as a secondary monitor. My operating system is OS X 10.7.5.
My problem - when I spend a few hours editing, I start to hear my hard drive working hard (how else to describe it?). Sometimes when I go from NIK back to Aperture, my images in full view will disappear, or get blocks of color on them. NIK seems to download the preset previews (those little images on the left side of the NIK interface) slowly, and it takes a while for changes to appear. That’s when I just exit and shut everything down. It’s frustrating.
My questions -
- do I have enough hardware capability for what I’m doing and I just need to update to the new OS and Aperture 3.5?
- Is the use of external hard drives causing my problems of slowness and hiccups w/ the image view? Or is it more likely the processing capability of my Macbook?
- I’m considering a new computer - what would be the ideal configuration to continue w/ my editing w/ NIK and Photoshop Elements (perhaps Photoshop CS instead). I can afford a new configuration, but don’t want to go hog-wild. If I could just upgrade to fancier external hard drives, I’d do that, but if it’s the processing capability, obviously I should upgrade the computer.
The guys at the Apple store are helpful, but they don’t really understand photo editing. Please give me any suggestions you may have. THANK YOU.