Aperture 3 System Requirements

Here are Apple’s listed minimum system requirements for Aperture 3.0:

One of the following Intel-based Mac computers:

  • Mac Pro
  • MacBook Pro
  • MacBook
  • MacBook Air
  • iMac
  • Mac mini

Operating system:

  • Mac OS X v10.5.8 or v10.6.2 or later


  • 1GB of RAM
  • 2GB of RAM required for Mac Pro

Other requirements:

  • DVD drive for installation
  • 1GB of disk space for application and documentation
  • 7GB of disk space for Sample Library

Apple recommends a Mac computer with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor.

Now I’m currently running Aperture 3 on an early-2008 Macbook with a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2 gigs of RAM. Most of the time, Aperture operates fairly smoothly for me, even when I’m running multiple programs.
However, if I’m using the brushes a lot or playing with slideshows, Aperture slows down a bit and gets downright sluggish at times. Turning Safari helps, but Aperture can still slow down if my system is doing too much in the background.
Therefore, I wouldn’t touch Aperture without having 2 gigs of RAM, and at least 4 gigs is ideal. I recently made the jump from 2 to 4 and it’s made a huge, huge difference in editing speed for me.
If you need more RAM, check out Crucial Memory for Mac Upgrades. Crucial makes it a snap to figure out what kind of memory you need, the prices are dirt-cheap, and they ship FAST.
Another piece of advice EVERY Aperture user should take if they’re having performance issues is to make sure you have the latest version of the software. Aperture 2 ran horribly out of the box for me, but upgrading to 2.14 made a huge improvement for me.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jerry May 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm

What about graphics memory? The new iMacs offer up to 2GB of VRAM. Do you think it’s necessary to go the full 2GB? What do you think is a minimum amount of VRAM to have for AP3 and future versions?

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