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Author Topic: Video Card and Aperture performance  (Read 13144 times)
Mark Muse
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« on: December 18, 2008, 11:23:39 AM »
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In the process of checking out some raw (DNG) files from the A900 and 5D2 I encountered a problem with Aperture running out of memory (output at 2x native, 16 Bits RGB). I assume this is video RAM since it is, I believe, where most of this processing is done.

I'm using an intel MacPro with 7GB of RAM, OS 10.5x (I upgraded to the latest this morning) and the standard issue sleepy Nvidia 7300 GT card.

Can anyone shed any authoritative light on this? If it is video RAM shortage what are my options? Can I add a second mid-grade card to good effect or would I be better off using a single high end card. Does a replacement card have to be blessed by Apple? If it is system RAM why is it not using what is available to it?
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008, 12:56:52 PM »
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Quote from: Mark Muse
In the process of checking out some raw (DNG) files from the A900 and 5D2 I encountered a problem with Aperture running out of memory (output at 2x native, 16 Bits RGB). I assume this is video RAM since it is, I believe, where most of this processing is done.

I'm using an intel MacPro with 7GB of RAM, OS 10.5x (I upgraded to the latest this morning) and the standard issue sleepy Nvidia 7300 GT card.

Can anyone shed any authoritative light on this? If it is video RAM shortage what are my options? Can I add a second mid-grade card to good effect or would I be better off using a single high end card. Does a replacement card have to be blessed by Apple? If it is system RAM why is it not using what is available to it?


This happened during Export ?  If so, did you try also at 1x Native, 8bit, etc ?

Seems a bit strange. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I don't think multiple videp cards will help - I think you're better off with one high end card. But I'm far from sure.  You're probably better off posting this question on the Aperture board in Apple's forums.

Are these A900 / 5D2 samples publicly available ? I'd be happy to try them on my system to see if I can repeat the issue.
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CatOne
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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2008, 01:01:19 PM »
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I haven't seen that before.  Odd.

I'm on a Mac Pro with 8 GB of RAM and I have an ATI Radeon X1900XT graphics card.  I also have a 1Ds Mark III which has file sizes very similar to those two cameras.

I'm not convinced that upgrading the video card would address this... Aperture uses system RAM in addition to video RAM.  And 7 GB should be enough.

I wonder if there's something odd going on with the DNG files that is causing this... is there anything Aperture related in your system or console logs?  You can view them with the Console application in Application-Utilities.  Click the black/orange box in the upper left corner to reveal the individual logs, and you can view them after this happens and see if there are any Aperture-related errors in there.
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Mark Muse
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2008, 09:34:26 PM »
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Sorry to take so long getting back to this.

     "This happened during Export ? If so, did you try also at 1x Native, 8bit, etc ?"

Yes, during export. 1x, 1.5x, and 2x @ 8bit all work fine. I had this problem before when I imported TIF results of scans of 6 x 9 negs then tried to export them with processing. It simply demanded too much of the available resources.

     "Seems a bit strange. I'm not 100% sure about this, but I don't think multiple videp cards will help - I think you're better off with one high end card. But I'm far from sure. You're probably better off posting this question on the Aperture board in Apple's forums."

I did post in the Apple forum when I encountered this with scans (perhaps a year ago). They told me at that time that Aperture was not designed to handle scans in particular, or files of that size. It sounded either bogus or very short sited to me at the time... and still does.

     "Are these A900 / 5D2 samples publicly available ? I'd be happy to try them on my system to see if I can repeat the issue."

You can download some raw A900 files from    http://www.alphamountworld.com/image-sampl...e-image-gallery
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CatOne
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2009, 11:22:17 PM »
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Oh, so you're exporting at 16-bit, 200%, TIFF?

I tried this with a sample Sony ARW from that site at TIFF, 200% and got an error dialog:

Exported Image Too Large

The version 20080825-Pismo-0153 is too large to be processed for exporting using the export presets you have chosen. You should change the export presets and try again.

I then tried it with a 1Ds Mark III file and got the same dialog.

I tried it with an image from my 1D Mark II and it worked... the resulting TIFF file was 7008x4664 in size (and 187 MB on disk).  The original was 3504x2332 so it's really doing a 400% upsize (2x in both directions).

So a "200%" upsize on an A900 file would come out at 12096x8064, and would be around 560 MB on disk.  Apparently this is too much for Aperture to export.  Odd.  Maybe something worth submitting feedback on... I wonder if these limitations are documented somewhere.  With the 50 megapixel Hasselblad's on the way, maybe you can't even export at full size  
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Mark Muse
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2009, 08:33:31 AM »
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Oh, so you're exporting at 16-bit, 200%, TIFF?
 
  200% 16 bit PSD. Same thing basically.

I tried this with a sample Sony ARW from that site at TIFF, 200% and got an error dialog:

Exported Image Too Large

The version 20080825-Pismo-0153 is too large to be processed for exporting using the export presets you have chosen. You should change the export presets and try again.

I then tried it with a 1Ds Mark III file and got the same dialog.

I tried it with an image from my 1D Mark II and it worked... the resulting TIFF file was 7008x4664 in size (and 187 MB on disk).  The original was 3504x2332 so it's really doing a 400% upsize (2x in both directions).

400% in terms of pixels / file size. These are the same results I get.

So a "200%" upsize on an A900 file would come out at 12096x8064, and would be around 560 MB on disk.  Apparently this is too much for Aperture to export.  Odd.  Maybe something worth submitting feedback on... I wonder if these limitations are documented somewhere.  With the 50 megapixel Hasselblad's on the way, maybe you can't even export at full size  :unsure:

I have posted in the Apple Aperture Forum and sent a request for technical support to Apple. No response yet. In both I asked if a more powerful video card will solve the problem (mine is only 256 MB VRAM) but I think it is a built-in limitation in Aperture and will have to be removed by Apple in an update. I will update this when I get replies.
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CatOne
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2009, 09:26:08 AM »
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Quote from: Mark Muse
I have posted in the Apple Aperture Forum and sent a request for technical support to Apple. No response yet. In both I asked if a more powerful video card will solve the problem (mine is only 256 MB VRAM) but I think it is a built-in limitation in Aperture and will have to be removed by Apple in an update. I will update this when I get replies.

I'll try this on my Mac Pro with the 8800GT graphics card later today (when I have access to the machine), and let you know.  I suspect a "better" graphics card won't resolve this issue, but I'll confirm.  My export issue cited above was on my laptop -- a 2.16 GHz 1st Generation MacBook Pro.
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CatOne
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2009, 12:28:51 PM »
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I can confirm I get the dialog on my Mac Pro with 8 GB of RAM and the GeForce 8800 GT as well:

  Chipset Model:   NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
  Type:   Display
  Bus:   PCIe
  Slot:   Slot-1
  PCIe Lane Width:   x16
  VRAM (Total):   512 MB
  Vendor:   NVIDIA (0x10de)
  Device ID:   0x0602
  Revision ID:   0x00a2
  ROM Revision:   3233

I get the error trying to export the 1Ds Mark III files at 400% (200% per side), both 8-bit and 16-bit TIFF files.

I searched Apple's knowledge base and didn't come up with something exact... the closest I saw was this:

http://support.apple.com/kb/TA23853

Which mentions issues "around 250 MB" with an external editor.  Certainly seems like something that should be explicitly clarified (and hopefully addressed).
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2009, 10:10:20 PM »
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This is a nasty bug, because 250 MB+ files are certainly useful - printing 24x36 inches or larger would be a good example.  Assuming you're planning to work on the image in Photoshop and print it from PS, does anyone know how Aperture's upsize quality compares to Photoshop's? If Photoshop handles the upsize better anyway, there's no loss in sending the file to Photoshop at native size, then using Bicubic Smoother (unless you have a file so large (50 mp Hasselblad?) that Aperture won't export it at native size). If Aperture has a more sophisticated upsize than Photoshop, then the bug becomes more significant, because you might want to send Photoshop the file at print size. From what I can determine from Apple's online info, Aperture's resizing is fairly unsophisticated unless you use a third-party plugin, so you'd probably want to resize in Photoshop later. Any plugin that works with Aperture should also have a Photoshop version, so plugin resizing is not a real issue.

As far as I can see, there are three cases where this becomes a real issue.

1.) Files that are natively too big for Aperture (39 MP digital back files are close, 50 MP are too big, many scans are too big).
2.) Files that need to be resized, but won't be opened in Photoshop - a folder full of files that Aperture is batch-processing, where a resize is needed.
3.) Printing from Aperture - will Aperture let you print an oversize file? I'm sure Aperture's resizing algorithm is better than the average printer driver's!

                                     -Dan




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Mark Muse
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« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 05:43:02 PM »
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I haven't done a bake-off but in my opinion Aperture does a superb job upscaling RAW files, and probably better than trying to do the same thing in PS. I typically export 10 MPx files at 2x 16 bit RGB to PS, from which after more processing I make 15 x 22 inch exhibition prints. I have a bit of a reputation locally as a very high quality printmaker, including with pros, for whom I sometimes do work.

I don't believe the problem is a bug, meaning I think Apple didn't believe we would reach this need as soon as we did. But I have no idea what might be required to change it.

I have exported 5D2 and A900 files at 1.5x, 16 bit RGB and finished the enlargement in PS with excellent results.

I don't print from Aperture so I have no idea if the same exists there. But I would want to address a few issues after enlargement and before printing. I always make my final large prints at 100% file size.

Batch processing for export does not seem to compound the problem.

By the way, I have had no reply from Apple on this issue. I have made a feature request for the future for this limitation to be removed. No response to that either, but I don't expect one.
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Dan Wells
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2009, 12:59:36 AM »
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Does anyone on this thread have a high-pixel MF back? The next question is what will it do with a file that is oversize WITHOUT resizing? I'm a bit surprised it will resize an A900 file at all, because even 1.5x in each direction should get the file well over 250 MB, assuming a 16-bit TIFF or PSD (or are A900 files somehow different in size from D3x files - I've been working with D3x files (not in Aperture, which doesn't support them yet), but have never used an A900 file)?

                                        -Dan

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Frank Ederveen
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« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2009, 01:51:56 PM »
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Quote from: Dan Wells
Does anyone on this thread have a high-pixel MF back? The next question is what will it do with a file that is oversize WITHOUT resizing?

Not exactly a high-pixel MF back, but I imported an image that I created by stitching 17 raw images from my 5D together with PTgui. The resulting image is a 520MB psb file, about 16K x 6K pixels and Aperture does not let me export it to jpeg or any other format without down-sizing it.

This is very disappointing because with the edits I did, it looks a lot better than the original. I was going to export it to upload to a print shop to be printed on 20x30".

This is on a little macbook, but with 4GB ram. Processing speed is fine, but it just gives up when I try to export...

I hope they fix this soon!

Regards,

Frank
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TallPaul
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« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2009, 07:52:52 AM »
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Hello everyone, interesting discussion and one I wanted to join as I have an A900 and am looking to move to Aperture for management etc and may want to upsize on occasion.

I did have a thought, which is to my knowledge OS X is still a 32bit operating system, at least until "Snow Leopard" comes along this summer which is rumoured to be full 64bit, and so is limited to 32bit addressing. What this means in real terms is that a 32bit address can only address 4GB of space. Perhaps the limitation is caused by Aperture needing to generate a working space in memory bigger than 4GB before it can output a file over around 500MB? This sort of limitation for example would still affect people with 8GB of memory in their machines.

Just a thought...
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CatOne
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« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2009, 10:43:13 PM »
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Quote from: TallPaul
Hello everyone, interesting discussion and one I wanted to join as I have an A900 and am looking to move to Aperture for management etc and may want to upsize on occasion.

I did have a thought, which is to my knowledge OS X is still a 32bit operating system, at least until "Snow Leopard" comes along this summer which is rumoured to be full 64bit, and so is limited to 32bit addressing. What this means in real terms is that a 32bit address can only address 4GB of space. Perhaps the limitation is caused by Aperture needing to generate a working space in memory bigger than 4GB before it can output a file over around 500MB? This sort of limitation for example would still affect people with 8GB of memory in their machines.

Just a thought...

While 10.5 has a 32-bit kernel, applications themselves can be 64-bit in Leopard.  However, Aperture itself is currently a 32-bit application.
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ITEnquirer
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2009, 01:15:33 AM »
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Quote from: CatOne
While 10.5 has a 32-bit kernel, applications themselves can be 64-bit in Leopard.  However, Aperture itself is currently a 32-bit application.

It has little to do with 32-bit. I'm still working on a Power Mac and that's 32-bit all the way. All other RAW converters work without a glitch; it's only Aperture that has problems.
Perhaps the upcoming Aperture upgrade will fix it...
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In a previous life, I was a member of the Bar Association in Antwerp, Belgium.

Currently I am the publisher of IT Enquirer, an information resource for cross-channel publishing processes with an emphasis on the processes from start to finish (including, therefore, photography both commercial and journalistic). http://www.it-enquirer.com
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