Aperture On The New Core 2 Duo 17 MacBookPro

by Scott Bourne


I have been using Aperture on a first-generation 15" MacBookPro and a new MacPro desktop. While there's no doubt the desktop machine outperforms any Mac laptop, I recently realized just how much I prefer using a laptop as my core machine.

So I ordered the new MacBookPro Core 2 Duo 17" laptop with 2.33 GHZ processor and three gigs of RAM. I also ordered the smaller, faster 7200 RPM disk. I'll get to that in a minute.


2006-12-12 08:24:09
Whoa! I've been using Aperture on my new MacBook (not Pro) and it works quite nicely. Of course, the more power, the better but it is immensely usable on a MacBook Core 2 Duo, at least with 2G RAM.
2006-12-12 08:32:40
Oh, and although the smaller screen is a slight limitation, the added portability is a boon. And the smaller screen isn't all that big a deal with full-screen editing.
Daniel Mendez
2006-12-12 09:05:08
Hi Scott,
What is the difference in performance between the 15" 1st Gen macbook pro and the core duo 2?
What were the specs for your 1st gen versus the new 2.33, 3Gb Ram, 7200 drive?
Scott Bourne
2006-12-12 09:25:34
The 15" had the same specs as the 17 but of course, only two gigs of RAM not three. I don't have any fancy test equipment, but I do see less of the spinning ball.
Andreas Bachofen
2006-12-12 09:28:26
I have recently seen this article that seems to conclude, that if you have only about 20 gigs free of your 100 gigs, the 200gb drive would be as fast or faster. Do you have an opinion on this?
Thijs van der Vossen
2006-12-12 10:53:28
I'm very happy to hear the screen on your MBP C2D is great. Sadly this isn't the case on my machine and the two replacements I received so far. I'm waiting for the third replacement which I hope will be ok. There seem to be quite some people with bad panels, more details on http://www.fngtps.com/2006/11/apple-quality-control-broken

By the way, I got the 200Gb 4200 RMP disk and Aperture seems to perform great. Because of the far higher data density it should not be (much) slower than a 100Gb 7200 RMP drive for most operations because of the greater data density.

The only way to be sure is of course to test. If there's any way you guys at 'Inside Aperture' could get your hand on the same spec MPB with the different drives you'd be able to do some great comparative testing.

Ira Miller
2006-12-12 17:03:38
I have the 15" C2D 2.33 with 2GB Ram... my machine works well with Aperture 1.5.2 as well... I have my masters on a RAID 1 SATA array using an ExpressCard adapter. The processing of images on the external drives feels much faster than locally stored files. I don't have a good way to benchmark this but I would run some tests if someone had a free method.

My external CRT is calibrated and works well for managing images but like you I find that working away from my desk is nice so I don't use the external display as much as I thought I would.

Matthias Wassermann
2006-12-12 23:01:08
"When I get home, I dump the images into a larger Aperture library on a RAID drive that's also rated at 7200 RPM."

How do you dump your image in a larger library?

2006-12-13 01:14:59
hi all... a quick one for me...

my Mac book pro 17" is on its way and reading all your below is so great already...this is my shift from PC to MAC so i hope it will work out smoothly for me. i am not quite understanding the work flow of the external HDD in respect of APERTURE LIBRARY on a RAID.. can any one elaborate on this one pls... thanks a lot

malta Europe

James Duncan Davidson
2006-12-13 19:57:30
Hi Scott!

I love my 17" MBP display as well, though I'm jealous of your C2D. Mine is the previous version with the Core Duo. Spurred on by a bit of curiosity after reading this post, I decided to compare my ColorSync profiles of my 17" MBP display to my 23" Cinema Display.


Bottom line: You should profile up that Cinema display. You might find that you can get more out of it than you're currently seeing.

Ira Miller
2006-12-13 20:14:15
I use the external RAID array to ensure that if a hard drive fails I don't lose all my work. I work with two aperture libraries ... a smaller one that sits on my laptop and the full library on the RAID array. This gives me two benefits... 1, aperture runs much much faster on the array than on the local disk. Because the actual library file is on the array as well the internal HD hardly works at all. The second benefit is that I do not lose all the space that the library files takes when you have a several thousand preview images. If you want to do the same you will (unless someone knows of a better way) need to copy your existing aperture library file to your external disk. From this point on this file will be your "main" library so name it something like "main library.aplibrary" Launch aperture by clicking your aplibrary file on your internal disk (in pictures) export any projects that you wish to remove from your mobile library. Shut down aperture and launch aperture again this time double clicking the "main" library file. Import your projects. Optionally you can remove your project from your mobile library after you have imported the project into the main library. This is the short answer for the way I work. It sounds like quite a few extra steps, and it is but I only need these when I do not import my photos directly into my main vault at home or when I want a smaller project to be 'mobile'.
2006-12-14 04:53:23
Hi Scott,
I got my MacBookPro Core 2 Duo 17″ last monday and like it but...
I got the display problems many users complained about too - despite the fact that my Notebook has the latest revision of screen technology built in (according to the apple user forum there have been 4 different screen models for now). The screen is visibly lighter at the bottom and shows a washed out area in the middle, which seems to erode from a small area at the bottom. The upper half is about a half stop (talking photography sprak) darker. Upper left and right edges are darker too. Viewing angle is narrow. Brightness seems to be reduced compared to earlier models.

The performance of the MacBookPro running Aperture is better than that of my G5 2.5 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, 256 MB Radeon.

Overall I found the performance ok but not outstanding (Funny thing: compared to a Pismo G3 Powerbook running OS 9 and Photoshop 6 it is a lame horse. O.K. I know this is not fair;-). The trackpad sometimes requires more clicks to get activated but maybe I did not check the right preferences. Don´t get me wrong. I don´t want to bash anybody. But I am not as satisfied as I have been, when I bought previous Apple Notebooks. And technique should evolve...

Thijs van der Vossen
2006-12-14 10:55:59
eberhard, did you know you kan keep your current MacBook Pro while you wait for a replacement? Just say you're already using the current one and you should ba able to keep using it until you've received a replacement you're satisfied with.
Eberhard Gronau
2006-12-15 11:32:14
Hi Thijs,
thank you for your hint. I will give it a try.
Paul Simkin
2006-12-18 07:31:40
Greetings -

I've just purchased the dual-core Pro and so far it seems to run Aperture... OK.

That said, I really want to know how I can use the Notebok on location. I shoot events and want to give the client a cd right after a gig. I want to Edit my images and metatag them on the notebook and then upload that stuff to my desktop vesion of Aperture. I don't feel comfortable keeping images solely on my notebook for fear of theft, dropping, etc.

Is there a straightforward way to do this, such as burning a project to a CD (or using my external firelight)and then importing it into my desktop? I then want to erase it from the notebook.

Any help will be met with incredibly good karma. Feel free to write me directly. Thanks folks. Psimkin@gmail.com

Scott Penrose
2007-01-10 20:59:36
I have the same machine, right down to the 100GB 7200 RPM drive. Good decision. However you actually loose 60GB, not 20. The default drive for the PowerBook 17 (unlike the 15) is a 160GB 5400 RPM drive, with an option of a 7200RPM 100GB or a 4400RPM 200GB drive. Speed for me is everything. Even an extra 100GB would not be enough for video anyway, where I use a 500GB FW800 drive.