I have a late 2008 Macbook with Core 2 Duo and plenty of RAM and HD space. (8GB of RAM, max for my machine)

Every time I do some work in iPhoto and Aperture, my CPU usage goes up to around 60-80% eaten up by those apps. They weren't as responsive as when I was on Snow Leopard. This started happening since I upgraded to iPhoto '11.

I'm thinking of upgrading to an SSD, would that improve my iPhoto performance? I doubt it because it seems that iPhoto is CPU, not IO, bound. Has anyone else tried this?

1 Answer 1


The details you've provided aren't very clear. 1. Has this problem started to happen after upgrading to Lion? 2. What tasks in iPhoto are causing the slow down? 3. When it is running slow, how much free RAM does the system have?

It's likely that it's slowing down because you're low on RAM

  • I've updated the question with more details. I just want to know if SSD will give me more performance. Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 8:21
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    WHile anything with improved read/write speeds will improve response, as a heavy user of both apps, I think something else is wrong from your description. Have you tried rebuilding either app? Trashing the caches on either
    – terrydev
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 9:20
  • I agree with terrydev: while an SSD will almost always help it sounds like at least part of your issue with one or both might be a database that needs rebuilding. I'd work on your current system looking for problems before going the SSD route, especially if you're getting the SSD solely to speed these two applications up. How much overhead HD space do you have? If you're running low on extra space that can have an effect on programs like iPhoto and Aperture.
    – Richard
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 10:08
  • Of course an SSD will make the mac faster, but as Richard said, there is likely another issue, probably with your iPhoto library.
    – hellothere
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 13:55

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