Optional Equipment to Consider

You may consider using additional hardware and equipment, depending on the number of images you have and your workflow:

Additional RAM

The more RAM your computer has, the faster it can process your actions. While Aperture functions with the minimum required amount of RAM, more RAM will make Aperture faster. If you plan to work on large projects or have multiple applications open at one time, it’s a good idea to have extra RAM installed in your computer.

Additional Hard Disk Storage Options

The more disk space you have, the more images Aperture can store in the Aperture library. If you’ll be shooting and storing many images (a photography project can contain thousands of images), consider purchasing the highest-capacity hard disk you can afford for your startup disk, the hard disk that contains the operating system. Even high-resolution JPEG files require a lot of space.

Aperture uses external FireWire drives to back up image files and the Aperture library. The Aperture database tracks the contents of all vaults located on external FireWire drives, whether or not they are connected to your computer. Storing multiple copies of your backup files in separate locations lessens your chances of losing your images to a catastrophic event.

FireWire drives provide many advantages:

  • All FireWire drives can be daisy-chained, meaning that you can connect multiple drives using a single FireWire port.

  • FireWire drives are a good way to attach additional hard disk storage space to a portable computer.

  • FireWire drives are “hot-swappable,” meaning that you can connect and disconnect them from a computer without having to shut down first.

Warning: You should never physically disconnect a FireWire drive before unmounting it from the desktop.

When evaluating a FireWire drive for use with Aperture, take the following into consideration:

  • Some FireWire drives may require driver software: You may need to install special driver software in order to use a particular FireWire drive. Check the documentation that came with your FireWire drive for more information.
  • FireWire drives may be bus-powered: This means that they derive power from the FireWire interface itself via pins on the full-sized 6-pin FireWire connector. As a result, these drives are more convenient for portable use and can be used in conjunction with a portable computer without the need for AC power. Larger FireWire drives may not be bus-powered, however, requiring you to plug them into a wall socket.

Additional Displays

You can connect two displays to your computer. With a second display, you can use the extra screen space to take advantage of the ability of Aperture to compare images and play slideshows across multiple displays.

To connect three or more displays to your computer, you must install a PCI graphics card in one of your computer’s PCI expansion slots. For more information, see your computer’s manual or the instructions that came with the PCI expansion card.

For information about supported graphics cards, visit the Apple Aperture website at http://www.apple.com/aperture/specs.