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Large Library Upgraded with Aperture 3.0.1 Much Faster Than 3.0

PhotoJoseph's picture
March 2, 2010 - 5:57pm

As some of you may have seen on the twitters, I upgraded to a glorious 27” iMac i7 with 8GB RAM yesterday. Beyond the obviously ho-boy’ness of this beauty, and the screamin’ speed (other Mac is a 15” MacBook Pro 2.93Ghz Core2Duo w/ 4GB RAM, so no slouch by any stretch), combining this iMac with Aperture 3.0.1 has seen a phenomenally dramatic speed improvement.

I’ve had this large, languishing Aperture library that spanned from 1997 to 2009 (in 2009 I started a new general-purpose library), and have been dreading upgrading that to Aperture 3. My smaller client-specific 17k image library took the better part of a day to upgrade, so this wasn’t looking to be an enjoyable date with destiny with this beast. But with the powerhouse i7 and the purportedly faster Aperture 3.0.1, last night I decided to kick off the upgrade for that beast of a library. I had a backup version of the library (of course) in the event that I just had to pull the plug in the morning and get back to work.

I decided to go the plain ol’ traditional route of just (*gasp*) upgrading the library. No fancy importing-to-upgrade, no turning off Faces, no fancy malarky of any sort. I just pointed Aperture and the old library, and said “go”. The only option you have is to process all old images with the new 3.0 processing engine (or not). I turned that off, figuring that since these are such old photos, if and when I decided to re-tweek an image, I’ll just do the upgrade one-by-one. To be completely fair, I did have “Maintain Previews for Project” disabled in the previous library, and hardly any previews actually rendered in there, but still the library file was 83.42GB.

So I kicked it off last night, and stuck around to watch the progress bar for a few %. Here’s what I saw.

Upgrading Masters; 75,956 to go. This took about 5 minutes.

Upgrading Properties. Over 4 million of ‘em. NO idea what that is, but it was fast. Another 10 minutes, tops.

Upgrading Adjustments. 30,000 or so, and again this went wicked fast.

Upgrading Master Metadata; nearly 90,000. Probably one for each image (including rejects). (After this I went to bed.)

I started this process at 11pm, and by 7am when I looked at it again, it was done. Not only done, but 5,000 images processed for faces already, too.

I paused Faces for now and started poking around the library. It’s too soon to tell for sure, but I’ve had problems with this library (likely due to many, many upgrades through various alpha and beta versions of the software when I was still at Apple), and had been hoping (praying?) that this upgrade would fix my woes. So we’ll see… again until I spend some real time in here I can’t tell if it is, but currently are systems are go and things are looking smooth.

Something else I noticed in this upgrade, and I don’t know if it’s because of the change to 3.0.1 or if it’s because I did a ‘normal’ upgrade instead of importing to upgrade, but my Smart Albums on the root level are all still there. When I did the import to upgrade before, I lost all my top-level Smart Albums—they simply disappeared. This time, they are there.

Oh and remember I said that the original library was 83.42GB? Post-update size; 63.07GB. I’ve noted before that the library gets smaller—nearly a 25% reduction in file size. Awesome.

Apple Aperture
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