Friday, December 09, 2005

Aperture runs on the G4 Cube

To my surprise, Aperture runs on my Cube, and runs tolerably. I had to hack it to get it to run, given that the Cube does not have official Aperture support, but everything works just fine (albeit fairly slowly). This Cube does have a 1.7 GHz G4 which is adequate as far as G4 speeds go, but the real surprise is that Aperture has no problem with this Cube's GeForce 2 MX, a GPU that is several generations behind even the GeForce FX 5200 (which is also unsupported). The GeForce 2 MX does not even fulfill the hardware requirements for Core Image's GPU-based acceleration. That likely means that Aperture supports Core Image's Altivec fallback on the CPU, despite the fact the application is built never to run on a machine like this. At least this GPU has Quartz Extreme support though. One wonders if Aperture could run on even an older GPU like the ATI Rage 128, which does not even support Quartz Extreme.

I won't detail the Aperture hack here, but suffice it to say that there are explanations available elsewhere out there online, and a valid serial number is still required of course. For the sake of all the people out there with adequately spec'd G4 Power Macs, I just hope that Apple doesn't choose to disable the hack in the 1.0.1 update to Aperture.

Now I said it's tolerable on the Cube, but in truth maybe I think it's tolerable just because I didn't test it for too long. Fortunately, I already have a faster and fully supported iMac (G5 2.0 & Radeon 9600 128 MB). Aperture is not particularly fast on my iMac either, but at least it's a noticeable improvement, although nowhere near as fast as the dual G5 2.3 GHz Power Mac with GeForce 6600 256 MB I had the chance to test out with this application.


Nat said...

Interesting Blog.

Some people say, they have a G5 Dual Core and Aperture is damn slow - they can´t even work with the sliders... (beach ball)

Others have a Powerbook with the minimum requirements and say, wow, how fast it is... (much faster than the competition)

Now, what´s the truth?

Is it possible to edit and color correct the photographs? Or is it slower than ACR and C1...?

I´m pretty confused.

Eug said...

Some of the adjustments are slower than others. I also found that on a Dual G5 Power Mac with 128 MB GPU memory (GeForce 6600 LE) and two large screens (30" & 19"), it was very slow. I think the GPU memory may have been the limiting factor here when the screen size is so large. Also, it probably depends on the the image size too. I have a Canon 20D, with 8 Megapixel pictures, which are not that big by today's standards.

I would suggest going to a store with some of your own pictures and trying it out for yourself.

Also note that I don't do this for a living, so "tolerable" for me on my Cube, might not be "tolerable" for a pro under a deadline.

Nat said...

"Some of the adjustments are slower than others."

Which? And which are fast?

Can you color correct the pictures on your cube (saturation, contrast, levels a.s.o.)?

Can you give me a hint where I find the hack? Or send it to me to dolce_vita at


Eug said...

Saturation, exposure, levels, etc. work fast enough. However, scrolling around with the loupe slows to a crawl when the highlights and shadows feature is being used.

You can find some initial info on the hacks online at places like and others. Some links to get you started:

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bonus said...

Indeed Aperture is very nice. I only got it last week and I'm already impressed by its fluidity and speed. It offers a ton of advanced options in a real easy and simple interface. I won't ever need to import pictures with iphoto, and I only ever use Photoshop for montage because Aperture does the job really well. Well done Apple.